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The Art of Total War Hardcover – 23 Jan 2015

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (23 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783292164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783292165
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2 x 30.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"The book is constructed extremely well and contains images that would be worthy of framing and displaying in your home." - Steam First "Many of these pieces are true works of art." - Gaming Trend "Titan publishes art books that are often as compelling to read as they are to look at, and The Art of Total War is perhaps the best example of this." - VG Blogger "This art book is not a collage of images thrown together in a hardback book and waved in the faces of fans as collectable merchandise, but instead is a high-end art book that anyone looking for a lot of in depth detail and thought provoking discussion can enjoy" - Entertainment Buddha "This book is a love letter to the iconic franchise that had a major impact in the strategy gaming community." - New Gamer Nation "If you're an game designer, artist or war history buff, "The Art of Total War "will be a wonderful addition to your library and reference." - Retrenders

About the Author

Martin Robinson is an award-winning journalist and Features Editor at Eurogamer. Previously Content Editor at the UK office of IGN.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:00 Mins
The Art of Total War is the companion artbook to the Total War series of games released over the years.

Also included are artworks for the upcoming games such as Total War: Attila which is scheduled for a February 2015 release, and Total War: Arena that is still in the testing phase. Those titles have considerably less pages devoted.

For Total War fans who have been following the series since 2000, this artbook will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The full list of games included as arranged on the contents page are

Shogun (2000)
Shogun 2 (2011)
Medieval (2002)
Medieval 2 (2006)
Empire (2009)
Napoleon (2010)
Rome (2004)
Rome II (2013)
Attila (2015)
Total War Battles: Kingdom
Total War Battles: Shogun (2012)
Total War: Arena

The artworks consist concept art for the characters, locations, buildings and several battles scenes and miscellaneous stuff like maps, ships. The style is a mixture of computer generated art, painted works and 3D renders. For what I see, a big portion are computer generated art. Quality is generally good, but it gets progressively better with the newer games. The early games clearly have the low polygon characters.

The more unusual artworks would be those Japanese woodblock art-inspired ones used in Shogun 2. Those are the illustrative style as compared to the more realistic style that the game is trying to portray. The Total War Battles series also have their own style that's different from the main series, especially for Total War Battles: Shogun. Some of the more beautiful scene paintings were used as loading screens.
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Format: Hardcover
Some art books are overly wordy and I'm not a fan of that. When I buy an art book I want to see art and any words on the page had better be brief and to the point. A little something about what the picture is about, maybe what the artist was striving for and whether they felt they pulled it off. So when I opened The Art of Total War and saw several pages of writing I considered just giving it a miss. But I'm glad I didn't because it transpired to be a fairly succinct history of the Total War franchise that was actually quite interesting. Something that was mentioned that I particularly latched on to (aside from a mention that they are working on Total War: Warhammer) was a thought on how games have come along graphically and now any game looking to gain an audience had better make sure it looks good. Back when Total War began the armies were just a cluster of pixels darting around the screen, now the battles are comprised of thousands of individuals, near enough, that need to be clearly discernible when a player zooms in to see his samurai take on gun toting soldiers.

The result is a need for the artwork you find in this book. Much as first person shooters now need to have a movie style art department to plan out their every 'scene', so too the makers of real time strategy games. What is interesting about this development is the direction that Creative Assembly have taken towards their concept art. There are a lot of very nice 'mood pieces' in this book which wouldn't look out of place on a gallery wall. These pieces don't represent anything that actually happens in the game, no specific event or action, but are merely designed to convey a certain point, such as the scale of a battle or the lighting. Such pieces can be found throughout the book and they are a treat.
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By louise on 28 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
BEAUTIFUL BOOK AND FANTASTIC ILLUSTRATIONS JUST WISH WE COULD GET HOLD OF POSTERS FOR MY S0ONES ROOM
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
kinda thought there would be more art and less writing but it is still a good book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Nice artbook for the fans 26 Jan. 2015
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Art of Total War is the companion artbook to the Total War series of games released over the years.

Also included are artworks for the upcoming games such as Total War: Attila which is scheduled for a February 2015 release, and Total War: Arena that is still in the testing phase. Those titles have considerably less pages devoted.

For Total War fans who have been following the series since 2000, this artbook will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The full list of games included as arranged on the contents page are

Shogun (2000)
Shogun 2 (2011)
Medieval (2002)
Medieval 2 (2006)
Empire (2009)
Napoleon (2010)
Rome (2004)
Rome II (2013)
Attila (2015)
Total War Battles: Kingdom
Total War Battles: Shogun (2012)
Total War: Arena

The artworks consist concept art for the characters, locations, buildings and several battles scenes and miscellaneous stuff like maps, ships. The style is a mixture of computer generated art, painted works and 3D renders. For what I see, a big portion are computer generated art. Quality is generally good, but it gets progressively better with the newer games. The early games clearly have the low polygon characters.

The more unusual artworks would be those Japanese woodblock art-inspired ones used in Shogun 2. Those are the illustrative style as compared to the more realistic style that the game is trying to portray. The Total War Battles series also have their own style that's different from the main series, especially for Total War Battles: Shogun. Some of the more beautiful scene paintings were used as loading screens.

The highlight of the book besides the art would be the commentary that talks about how the games have evolved under developer The Creative Assembly over the years. It's interesting to read about the history of game development and how battle mechanics, gameplay and art are all woven into one. Since the games are based on history, there's also some writeup on the historic accuracy of the games and the compromises made.

As there are so many games featured, it's not possible to cover each in detail. Only selected pieces of artworks from each title are featured. I do feel that more could be included.

Overall, it's a good artbook for fans of the Total War series.

4 out of 5 stars.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The best total war artbook 8 Feb. 2015
By ARTBOOK PASSION - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
++++ FIND ALL MY REVIEWS ON MY SITE ARTBOOK-PASSION.COM - lots of picture, video and review ;) - Link towards my site in my profile. If you think of buying this book or something on amazon, use the amazonlinks of my site, thank you ++++

Titan Books continues to publish artboooks on video games, what a collection ! After Halo, Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Battlefield and many more, it's now the Total War series that is transposed into an artbook to celebrate its 10th birthday. But in 10 years there have been many versions of Total War, so how it is possibnle to show and satisfy fans s in only 190 pages? Well, this is what we gonna see together, here we go for the critic/review of the art of Total War.

First things first, this artbook surprised me. It's pretty much different from other video games artbooks by Titan Books. Indeed, in the other ones, there are often full -pages illustrations, and even two-pages illustrations. That's not what we have with this book.

To show the most pictures as possible without ending with a 300 pages artbook, , I think the publisher had to make a few choices. The Total War saga is not only made of 2 or 3 games, but of more than ten, picturing several and various periods of time. Each time is given between 30 to 40 pages, except the Medieval one, which has only be given 16 pages.

For each time period, there are illustrations of the characters, the decors or even artworks, the whole in colours or sketched. The idea of gathering artworks by periods of time allows us to note the graphic evolutions between each game , as Shogun I and II.

So it's a very visual artbook, and very pleasant to read (except 2 or 4 pages showing pictures really small). It's important to note that we have around 10 pages explaining the Total War saga birth and its evolution. At the end of the book, you can discover the mobile versions of the saga, the free to play project and the next licences.

To conclude with, The Art of Total War is a pleasant artbook for hardcore fans. As regards the illustrations quality, I wish the book was 100 pages extra, with bigger pictures.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
amazing art 7 May 2015
By David J McDowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book with exceptional art work,mI might be a bit prejudiced as one of the key artists is my son.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
nice art 19 Feb. 2015
By Poh Boon San - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
another really great art book of a fantastic game
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