God of War III is probably the most epic game of 2010. With epic games come epic art.
The Art of God of War III is the second book in the Art of the Game series from Ballistic Publishing. Mine's the paperback edition but for the hardcore collectors, you can indulge yourself with the limited Special edition and the Folio edition, which have suede leather-bound covers and other luxurious finishing.
In this book are character studies, 3D models, environment art, production art and storyboards. Just because the imagery doesn't move in this book doesn't make them any less intense. That's my first impression of the book.
The concept art is incredible. The work featured are beautiful and extremely detailed. You get to see the true pained face of Hades (sculpted and textured), know whether or not Kratos brushes his teeth from the texture maps, laugh at the straightened out snakes on Gorgon Serpent's head as its in the T-pose, get close with the hot Poseidon Princess and Aphrodite, or just marvel at the muscles, blisters, or intestines of various creatures that made it into the game, as well as many of those that didn't.
All the things you want to get a closer look on, but just can't because they happen too fast on screen, are now all captured in high resolution for your viewing. The designs are amazing. After looking at them, I'm not too sure who my favourite character is anymore.
A good portion of the book is devoted to the atmospheric environments on the game. You can see these spectacular places as they were in their concept stages, and compare them to the production art which is close to what you see in the game. Everything just looks really grand, Olympus City, Hades' underworld, Hercules' Arena, Labyrinth and all. This is truly one hell of a world that can only be created by talented artists.
There's also the commentary and interesting information that weren't even in the bonus section of the game disc.
The art direction for the game and art is wonderful. This is an intensely good art book. Highly recommended.
This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook or visit their website.
The Art of God of War III is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Bookdepository (US | UK).
Some of the storyboards
Covers created for marketing.
Kratos vs a sentry and Poseidon
Hades, one of my favourite characters in the game.
The ever-helpful harpies that are always around to 'aid' Kratos to go where he wants.
Olympus Legionnaire, Olympus Guardian, Wraith Variation, Wraith of Olympus
A variation of the Berserker that wasn't included in the game. It looks very fierce, and angry.
The Zbrush model of Hades. The flame inside the helmet is very cool.
Another two of my favourite enemies in the game, Minotaur and Centaur. Nice Zbrush models. Check out the muscles.
Very grotesque and awesome at the same time. This is the Cyclops Enforcer with its many variations.
The Gorgon Serpent with the snakes straighten out.
Weapons of mass destruction
Background paintings for the underworld, hell.
The different parts of Olympus shown during Hermes' run.
Inside Olympus Palace. Everything looks so grand. Imagine a hotel designed like this.