Castlevania Lords of Shadow has recently been released and has been a big focus of attention to gamers on Steam. We have been given the opportunity by Titan Books to review their art book featuring the images which were used in the creation of the Castlevania Lords of Shadow game.
We at SteamFirst are not new to reviewing art related game content as we have recently reviewed The Art of Titanfall and Thief. Moving forward I will take you through the pages of this book as I highlight what appealed to me and discuss what I feel could have been improved.
This book I have in hand was released on February 28th of 2014 and was created by Martin Robinson. As I flip through the pages I notice that the content within mostly focuses on the characters from the game as opposed to some of the earlier books I have reviewed which took much time exposing the reader to environments and items from in game. These aspects are within the pages of the book, but the main highlight goes to the characters from the story. If you take a look to the left you will see the contents of this book. You will notice that out of the 192 pages included within, 143 of them are of characters. If you are one who cares more about game characters than you do other aspects of a game, this book is right up your alley.
Gabriel Belmont gets the focus at the very beginning of the book which is well deserved as he heads up the game. In the pages of which he is featured you will notice his character is briefly explained and his character models are displayed. The artwork here is very different from my previous reviews as the artist seems to add an unrefined element to the images. In no way to I mean this in a negative way. By unrefined I mean that the artwork has much fading and saturation to it. Call it an element you would notice in an early sketch.
The character receiving the next section of highlight is Dracula.In here you will find images of Dracula through different stages of development. Also included here is some information of Dracula when in both Dragon and Rat form. Following these different morphs of the fan favorite character you will be introduced to a little bit of Dracula’s equipment and relics. This will be a fan favorite chapter in my opinion as the Dracula character surely has an extensive following.
The Belmont Family
This chapter introduces the reader to the characters from the Belmont family. Here you will read a brief story on each of the characters, how they are related and the role they play within the game. Included here you have Marie, Trevor, Alucard, Sypha, Simon and Victor. Each of these characters plays a vital role within the story and has a brief explanation of that role within these pages. You will be given insight to early concepts of each of the characters along with the final product of development. Images within this section include early sketch styled pictures all the way to well refined, colorful images. I am a fan of the detail of these characters and being able to witness the development stages that they all went through.
Allies and Antagonists
The next section of this book which I will point some attention to is the Allies and Antagonists section. This chapter includes one of the images which I find the most creepy within this book. To the right you will see this image of Laura which for some reason, makes my skin crawl. I am not sure if it is the pale white skin or the unsettling grin on her face, but whatever it is, I have to give credit to the artist of Laura as the image definitely does not sit well with me. I will assume this is the feeling they were hoping to evoke from the viewer during her creation.
Another image from this section which I want to highlight is the god mask which I have featured in the gallery below. Along with the image comes a brief story of the mask which helps further define the story.
Here we have a variety of characters encountered in the game, all very different, detailed and exciting. This chapter has earned the “favorite chapter” title in my eyes. The artwork here shines as you can clearly see within the images the creation and effort put into each of their developments. You will see displayed below some of my favorite from this section. It is easy to see that the artist was wearing their creative hat when developing these characters.
In summary, this book is what I have come to expect from anything put out by Titan Books. Well constructed, well thought out and worth the price tag. I encourage die hard fans of the title to look into adding this book to your collection of Castlevania momentous.
If you are interested in picking up a copy you can visit Titan Books to do so.