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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Art of BioShock Infinite
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2013
Bioshock Infinite has such a tremendous effort of character, art & design that this art book, for me, was an absolute must have.

Firstly, and as you can expect, the book is presented wonderfully. Under the outer sleeve is a weathered effect hardback book with a gold-foil print.

After a page of introduction by Ken Levine, the artwork begins.
There are eleven chapters in all:

1. Finding Columbia
2. Elizabeth
3. Booker Dewitt
4. Songbird
5. Founders, Citizens & Vox Populi
6. Heavy Hitters
7. Advertisements & Propaganda
8. Vigors
9. Sky-Hook
10. Weapons & Airships
11. Columbia

The first point to note is that this book is a pure art book, as in there is very little in the form of writing or extended descriptions. The artwork is usually full page or fantastic double page spreads, showing ideas and forms that never made it and designs that changed over time. The artwork of the characters, items, people and places have only small printed annotations here and there, together with the scribbles from the concept artists at times.

Perhaps the lack of text or extended explanation may disappoint some, but for me it is a perfect approach. This is an art book, and especially considering the fact this is an art book for Bioshock Infinite, the artwork and design speaks for itself.
Images aren't pushed into bordered corners by blinding walls of text, and they haven't crammed as much as they can onto each page. Instead, everything is given it's own space, and it never feels messy.

There's a lot covered, and it's worth noting that the main focus of the book tends to be orientated around the design conceptions, the changes, and the designs that never ended up in the game. So basically, you won't find every single piece of Infinite's art work in here, and more often than not you won't find the finalised versions (Another point that perhaps will be a downer for some)

But overall, this is fantastic exploration of the art and design that went into create the deep, vibrant world of Bioshock Infinite and is an interesting insight into how the designs evolved - All presented in a fantastic fashion.

Wholeheartedly recommended to any fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2013
Don't buy the kindle edition!

I was hoping to save some space on the bookshelf so I ordered the digital version.

-The pages don't appear full screen (which would've been fine) but rather in a window in the middle of the screen.

-You can't zoom in.

-You can enlarge some parts of images which comprise several different illustrations but the control of this is not intuitive.

-You can't read some of the text as it's too small onscreen.

So 1 star for the kindle edition!

I have seen and looked through the hardcover edition and that's gorgeous, so go for that!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A lot of games these days have pretty weird characters. BioShock is one of them with its own kind of weirdness, especially the characters.

This is a large 184-page hardcover concept artbook published by Dark Horse.

The concept art features the environment, characters, weapons and other props such as propaganda posters. I like the environment art for the floating city of Columbia. It's beautiful yet mysterious.

There's plenty of character art, that of Elizabeth, Booker, Songbird and many of the grotesque and mechanical enemies, Heavy Hitters. It makes you wonder about the twisted minds of those in Columbia who created these monstrous beings. They have included quite a bit of discarded art that couldn't make it to the game as well.

The art is accompanied by some commentary and annotated handwritten text. No much. If you've not played the game, it's quite impossible to know what the game is about by looking at the art.

It's a nice companion video game artbook, but overall, I felt the art is not as refine as Deco Devolution: The Art of BioShock 2, but this is also sort of a different title.

A Kindle edition for this is also available. You can check out the preview pages on Amazon.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2013
This is a beautifully presesnted and well made art book but the contents at least for me; were a little dissapointing.

I was hoping for something the showed the development of the artwork and architecture of the city but this book is mostly made up of full page pieces of finished art, many of which we used in the games promotion.
This art is beautiful and as i've said the book is very high quality but if your looking for insight into the design process or to see behind the characters and locations in the game then this is maybe not the book for you.
If however if would like to see more of the games incredible asthetic then look no further.

In short a wonderful book, if a bit too light on substance for my liking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2014
This is a beautiful book but greatly hampered in Kindle form as you cannot pinch-zoom so most of the amazing art is lost. This is even on a relatively large Retina Display. With the ability to pinch and zoom this would be 5 stars.
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I loved the game and I've seen some of the stunning concept art around the internets and I'm surprised I didn't get this deluxe hardcover book sooner, which was languishing in my Amazon wishlist for a while before I finally got round to buying it, and now that I have, it's a very welcome addition to my art book shelf!

Published by Dark Horse, each of the 184 pages are jam packed with gorgeous concept art from the game. The artwork, of course, speaks for itself, covering a full page and often spread over two, but never looking messy or as if it's been squeezed to fit on the page, and is accompanied by some commentary and annotated handwritten text, although not much. This is definitely an art book!

The early part of the book, after the introduction from lead writer on the game, Ken Levine, starts with the concepts of the main characters Elizabeth and Booker DeWitt, along with early art of Songbird, the population and items of Columbia and the heavy hitters. I always find it fascinating to see the original concept art of characters and environments and the way they sometimes evolve until you see them in the finished game or movie. And this is no different in 'Bioshock Infinite'. It seems they had a clear vision of who Elizabeth and Booker were from the off, with not too many changes from the original concept art. The heavy hitters seemed to go through the biggest changes, as the original concept art came across as much more gory and a bit far removed from the enemies you finally encounter in the game.

I have a thing for vintage art and advertisements, so I enjoyed that section of the book. A whole chapter on the advertisements and propaganda posters, with most of the images being full page spreads and looking very nice too, with lots of detail!

I have The Art Of The Mass Effect Universe, also published by Dark Horse, and this book follows in it's footsteps with a superb exploration of the art and design that went into creating one of this year's best games, 'Bioshock Infinite'.

If you're a fan of the game and enjoyed it's visuals, you'll enjoy flicking through these pages. Don't forget to take a peek under the slipcover for an embossed vintage engraved style on the hardcover, an extra visual treat.
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on 22 July 2015
I sadly had to wait for a long time for it to arrive but when it did it was worth the wait. I opened the box to see it was neatly packaged tight with two layers of thick bubble wrap. The front cover was nicely printed and I took off the cover to see a gold printed image of the picture on the front cover, beautiful. The book has much depth and truly amazing concept art included for main characters like Elizabeth. It shows the development of what Columbia would grow into and a few notes around most pages informing you on what they were thinking or doing while illustrating that image. The book is almost like a tour of the minds of the developers of Bioshock, showing everything that we see in such a great game from its early stages and how it would become what we know now of the stunning game Bioshock Infinite. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the series and I am very pleased with what has arrived in my mail today!
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I really enjoyed this book, while it didn't take me a lifetime to read it and look at it I felt like it was an interesting window into a world we so rarely think about. It was amazing to see the development of characters and concepts into the gaming world. How some ideas developed into others and how other just died a death. It also shows the level of dedication Irrational Games has to the players in that all the story elements, landscape, characters, enemies and even just posters on a wall were worked on until they were perfect.
A true must for a Bioshock Infinite Fan, for everyone else, it is still worth looking into as it shows some amazing art work, and a look into how games are developed.
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on 4 March 2014
I'm a huge fan of Bioshock series, and the book is the epitome of everything I love about it.
Not only does it reveal the creative process and the designs of things in the game, it also shows a lot of unused concepts and things that could have been potentially in the game, and those are of most interest to me. The book itself features a wide variety of artwork with bits from every part of the game, illustrating its every aspect. Its large, and at 162 pages its bursting with creativity of the people at Irrational (shame about the closure of the studio).

A must-have for any Bioshock fan and anyone who loved the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2013
If like myself you enjoyed the game and the world itself I would recommend this book. Beautiful imagery and a great insight into how ideas start and develop. Well worth the price.
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