I considered doing a formal review for The Art of Fallout 4, but found that it’s hard to talk about the book without wanting to talk and talk and talk about the game.
Fallout 4 was an incredible game (see?), with such an immersive and intense gaming experience. I was bittersweet when it ended – glad for my life back, but sorry to see that exciting main storyline draw to a close. I ended up buying the book to cling on to the world outside of gameplay, disguised as a birthday present to my partner.
Anyway, I think the book certainly has more appeal if you have actually played the game, though the art is beautiful in its own right. I got a real sense of satisfaction when I recognised sketches from my playthrough, and it was interesting to see the early designs for some of the key characters – early Mama Murphy and her development was particularly cool.
The Art of Fallout 4 reminds us that without the artists there would be no game. The pre-production pages talk about the decision-making process of things like the Vault Suit.
The book strips everything back to the basic foundations, like first sketches of the cities, storyboards and colour studies, and reveals the evolution of the game throughout the subsequent chapters.
Chapter 8, ‘Illustration’, is possibly my favourite chapter, and includes a number of full-page posters, capturing the essence of 1950s America that really defines the game. There are post-war illustrations too, including the quirky pages of the Wasteland Survival Guide, splattered in mud and blood.
Overall, this really is an awesome keepsake for fans of the game. My only criticism is that there isn’t more writing talking about the artistic process, but the chosen layout does allow for full-page art – maybe that is the compromise.
INFO | Goodreads
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