The Art of Titanfall 2 Review
The debate about whether videogames are ‘art’ or not continues to rage on and on – but whatever side of that particular fence on which you stand, one thing isn’t up for debate: they certainly contain art. Games can be visually arresting for many reasons, but with the power under the hood of this latest generation of consoles we’re finding ourselves wowed more and more every day.
The first Titanfall looked nice enough, to be sure – workmanlike some might say, in its depiction of off world mining colonies and an inter-planetary battle for control. There was variety aplenty, people looked like people, giant robots looked like giant robots, but it’s clear that sacrifices were made to maintain the fluid motion for which the game was rightly lauded.
It’s testimony to the talented team at Respawn that, just two and a bit years later, the sequel ramps up the visual glory to 11. People still look like people, giant robots still look like giant robots but – particularly in the campaign – we’re finding lots of reasons just to stop and stare at the visuals splashed across our screens, admiring the fauna and flora and the worlds we are exploring. We can’t stop for too long, though, because, you know, giant robots with huge guns.
Luckily, whilst in-game loitering to look at the pretty pictures will result in almost certain death, Titan Books are on hand to help us celebrate the art of Titanfall 2 at a more leisurely pace in a brand new 192-page hardback book called – somewhat predictably – The Art of Titanfall 2.
This is a must have for any Titanfall fan. It’s packed with high quality content from concept sketches through to fully rendered vistas of other worlds. Weapons, Pilots, Titans, Opponents, Wildlife and Locations are all covered along with comments from the responsible artists and Respawn development staff, including Ryan Lastimosa [CLANG – name drop] who we had the pleasure to meet and game with at EGX.
The artists’ input helps give much greater insight into how the end results were achieved, and why – in a game that blazes past our noses at 60 frames per second, every tiny detail is important. So much of the content is instantly recognisable as the finished article from the game, but there’s a gold mine of concept pieces and back story items that add to Titanfall lore.
It is amazing how much detail goes into even the smallest items and weapons and when this is applied to the bigger carrier vehicles, they almost pop off the pages. Character design, too, is also explored in some detail.
If you have ever wondered who is involved in nailing down game’s final look – and how long it takes to get there, or just why certain visual choices were made, this weighty tome will give you the answers. Full of glorious artwork, interesting facts and amusing anecdotes, this is a book that deserves pride of place on the coffee table of any Titanfall fan, or indeed anyone who has wondered just what it takes to turn lines of code and wireframe models into works of art.
~ Mark Daley, Community Manager