Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: November 15, 2019
Titan Books has published a hardback book titled The Art of Borderlands 3 available from numerous online retailers and high street book stores. Can The Art of Borderlands 3 deliver what it sets out to by producing an official art book companion to the videogame Borderlands 3?
Borderlands 3 is the most recent chapter in the first-person shooter role-playing game Borderlands franchise that has a total of over 43 million sales throughout the duration of the franchise. The first Borderlands game released on October 20th 2009 that went onto become a smash hit, spawning sequels including Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and spin-offs such as Borderlands Legends, Borderlands Online and Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands. Borderlands has entered other media beyond videogames including multiple comic book series that fleshed out the story elements such as the 4 issue release of Borderlands: Origins telling the back story of how the four main protagonists of Borderlands came together and the 8 issue release of Borderlands: Fall of Fyrestone followed the events of the first game, while multiple novels have told stories particularly situated after the first game; a variety of soundtrack albums have been released containing music from games and downloadable content campaigns. Meanwhile, a film adaptation of the Borderlands series is in development at Lionsgate who are responsible for such successful blockbuster film series as Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Expendables and more besides.
The Art of Borderlands 3 is in expertly experienced hands as it is written by Chris Allcock; a game designer and writer who began his career at Rare in 2003 having played a major part of developing such well known titles including Kameo: Elements of Power, Kinect Sports, Rare Replay, Sea of Thieves and more besides.
The Art of Borderlands 3 book begins with an introduction written by art director of Borderlands 3, Scott Kester that covers the expansion in scale and engineering of art, character design, environment design and graphical assets within Borderlands 3 in direct comparison to Borderlands games from the previous generation that sets the tone and pacing for the subsequent chapters.
The characters chapter from pages 9 to 67 focuses on the artistic creation and interpretation of playable characters, villains and non-playable characters. Characters have a written overview of their history in the Borderlands franchise or how they factor into the story within Borderlands 3, alongside describing the artistic design process of each specific character; accompanied by a range of concept art phases showcasing the character design team’s focus on diversifying characters such as trying varying facial features, hairstyles, tattoos, clothing and a slimmer or larger body to differentiate each respective character’s physicality. Featured characters have anywhere from a page to half a dozen pages per character including Amara, FL4K, Moze, Zane, Marcus, Zane, Lilith, Zero, Vaughn, Maya, Tannis, Rhys, Atlas Forces, Ellie, Sir Alistair Hammerlock, Moxxi, Mordecai, Brick, Tina, Ava, Wainwright, Clay, Lorelei, Typhon DeLeon, Aurelia, Katagawa Jr., Troy and Tyreen.
The environments feature from pages 68 to 131 starts by covering how players can manoeuvre from planet to planet via half a dozen pages focusing on the ship known as Sanctuary III before venturing onto space followed by multiple areas of Pandora, while props and signage also plays an important design process in relation to the personality of environment design on the surface of Pandora, alongside a look at Pandora’s moon named Elpis. The city of Promethea has 16 pages worth of focus as it is a new major planet introduced in Borderlands 3; emphasising the architecture located on the planet’s surface, alongside Atlas Headquarters, Promethea’s vault, while the signage and props are showcased that are situated on the planet’s surface and an asteroid belt in the circumference of Promethea. Elsewhere, an Orbital Platform, Athenas Monastery, the Wetlands, Jakobs Estate, vault, props, signage and sky of Eden-6, alongside Nekrotafeyo depicts the depth of diverse habitats and environments on a wider range of planets in Borderlands 3 via concept artwork and final artwork; complimented by a discussion of each unique environment from artists.
The Creatures and Enemies chapter from pages 132 to 161 includes a guide and artwork for each creature such as Nekrobugs, Guardians, Jabber, Saurians, service robotics, Ratches, Rakk, Skag, Spiderants and Varkids, alongside humanoid enemies including the Maliwan Army, the bandits and psychos of the Children of the Vault and vault monsters.
The weapons feature from pages 162 to 207 comprises of an introduction to each faction’s weaponry with artwork including Atlas, Dahl, Hyperion, Jakobs, Maliwan, Tediore, Torgue, Vladof, Children of the Vault and Alien Eridian, alongside class mods, shields and legendary weapons. Meanwhile, the vehicles chapter from pages 208 to 215 features a written introduction and various phases of artwork including the Outrunner buggy, the Bandit Technical and the ring-shaped Cyclone motorcycle. The Art of Borderlands 3 concludes with four pages worth of credits related to not only the development of Borderlands 3, but also the many people who have contributed to the book.
Quality of writing is amazing as it has such a naturally informed feeling to it due to how Chris Allcock’s writing is fully complimented by numerous artists in every facet of each chapter, alongside annotation of every piece of artwork to describe exactly what phase of concept artwork that represents.
The Art of Borderlands 3’s presentation is incredible as the artwork from front cover to back cover with the positioning of art providing a spacious look; resulting in every piece of artwork framing the overview of each paragraph covering the creative process and the annotation of the artwork.
The Art of Borderlands 3’s value is at the very centre of an in-depth look at the artistic creative processes from the perspective of the art director and artists themselves from over 800 pieces of artwork and interesting interviews throughout the 227 pages.
• Title: The Art of Borderlands 3
• Writers: Chris Allcock
• Contributions: Scott Kester (Introduction and Interviews), Artists and more
• Publisher: Titan Books
• Length: 227 pages
• Cover: Hardback
The Art of Borderlands 3 can be purchased in the UK from Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Borderlands-3-Chris-Allcock/dp/1789090814/ and Forbidden Planet at https://forbiddenplanet.com/279208-the-art-of-borderlands-3-hardcover/
The Art of Borderlands 3 can be purchased in America and Canada from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Art-Borderlands-3-Insight-Editions/dp/1683835719/
You can also find Titan Books’ official website including a back catalogue of captivating books at https://www.titanbooks.com/ and product details regarding The Art of Borderlands 3 at https://titanbooks.com/9814-the-art-of-borderlands-3/