Writer: Martin Robinson
Publisher: Titan Books
Page Count: 192
The Art of Dead Space is the ultimate gallery of the Dead Space universe, with over 300 images including sketches and concept art by acclaimed artists from breathtaking spacescapes to terrifying necromorphs, character designs to creating a religion, plus commentary from the artists themselves. Includes art from Dead Space, Dead Space: Extraction, Dead Space: Ignition, and Dead Space 2.
Greetings to ill and sun-dried,
Today, I give you Heather Royston’s fourth and final review of a book tie-in to the game Dead Space published by Titan Books. I can’t really add anything to her great review, so I’ll turn you over to Heather now!
Signed in human blood,
Sean Lee Levin
The Art of Dead Space is the final book in the Dead Space collection that made its way into my hands. This was actually the first book I picked up, but upon flipping through it, I decided that it would be better to read the graphic novels first, and then check out the behind the scenes stuff. I’m glad I chose to do that, because I definitely think I saved the best for last.
The book is a “coffee table” style hardcover, oversized and perfect for showcasing the concept art behind all three games. The dust jacket is an eye catching red and black, forming the shape of Issac Clarke’s RIG suit. Personally, I think this captures the tone of the games perfectly (at least from what I’ve read.) Underneath the dust jacket, if you’re the type to remove those, the book itself is a solid shiny black, with the title on the spine done in white and gray. The words Dead Space are embossed on the front and back covers. Inside of the covers is a Rorschach style inkblot with what is definitely intended to be the RIG mask with the vague shapes of the Necromorphs. I actually spent quite a while looking at that before I realized I hadn’t even cracked the book. It’s rather mesmerizing. There is a different one at the end of the book that I couldn’t take my eyes away from. Next is a splash page of Issac in his RIG, weapon at his side. It makes a heck of an impression, as does the title page. It’s a scene of Issac being blown out of a ship, followed very closely by a gang of Necromorphs. The layout is done very well, not blocking the details with the title and credits.
Ian Milham, the “Franchise Art Director” on Dead Space and Dead Space 2 gives a foreword describing his experience working with the artists on the game concepts. From there, Martin Robinson takes over, setting up the book for the wonders held within. From there the book is separated into sections. It opens with an introduction to Issac Clarke, where his character came from, and how his look evolved. It moves on through the other characters in the games, showcasing the weapons, the different ships and settings of each game. Robinson lays out details that were put into the series that I hadn’t appreciated before. The repetition of the ribbing throughout everything, and the use of the lighting to play on it, is something I look forward to seeing in the games. Getting to see the concept art is always a treat, especially for something you haven’t seen yet. If the game looks half as good as some of these spreads, I’m going to have my mind blown!
Final Thoughts: The Art of Dead Space is absolutely worth spending your money on if you’re a fan of the series, or even if you’re just a fan of art. Martin Robinson does a fantastic job of describing the art and what it leads to without really spoiling anything in the games. You can take a journey from the humble beginnings and on through the series and see the evolution of it all. I did notice a typo in the text, but I almost feel like it adds something to the book, like a homemade tribute. The artists featured within absolutely deserve the recognition for their creations, though I do question why Ben Templesmith was not included despite there being a section about the graphic novels. I now feel fully prepared to immerse myself in the Dead Space games and have a deeper appreciation for everything that went into creating this universe. I quite happily give The Art of Dead Space 5 out of 5 tentacles.
Heather Royston – Assistant Editor/Reviewer