Review: The Art of Bioshock Infinite by Ken Levine and Nate Wells

Bioshock InfiniteSource: Dark Horse/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Publisher: Dark Horse
Edition: E-galley , 186 pages
Genre: Video Game Artbook
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

In The Art of BioShock Infinite, delve deeper into the city of Columbia-the fabled floating metropolis that serves as a beacon of technology and achievement for the early 1900s! This deluxe hardcover features production designs and concept illustrations focusing on main characters Booker DeWitt, Elizabeth, and Songbird from the highly anticipated BioShock Infinite video game. See the evolution of the Heavy Hitters, the populace of Columbia, the Sky-Hook, vigors, airships, and much more! This deluxe hardcover also features an introduction from BioShock Infinite Creative Director Ken Levine!

So I’ll admit that I am a big fan of art books based on video games and tv shows, there is something about seeing all the cool concepts and work that went into a loved project that just makes the experience even cooler. I’d have to say that this one is no exception.

Bioshock Infinite is a game that a lot of game fans were looking forward to since the first two games in the series, and since it took a long time to come together it is really cool see what kind of ideas the creators were throwing around before settling on the final storyline and designs. If you are not familiar with Irrational Games’ still of game, it tends to lean towards the designs that elicit some sort of emotion from the player, it could be repulsion or it could be curiosity (is it human or machine?) but it’s guaranteed to catch your eye.

The concept art is really strong in itself and I’m actually a bit sad that somethings couldn’t be used in the new game because they look amazing. There are whole sections dedicated to the character design/development for Elizabeth and Booker, as well as sections on the vigors, Columbia, Songbird, and propaganda posters seen through out the game. I am a big fan of the Vigor section because I honestly think I’d buy the bottles they designed if they were available, some of them are really great looking. The propaganda section is also really great because many of the posters in the game might end up being glanced over during the action, so it’s a good chance to see them. The artwork is beautiful and I love the full page scenes they depict some of the early ideas for the city of Columbia and Elizabeth.

The one complaint I have about this book is that while there is a ton to look at, there is not a lot of reading involved. I know it’s not meant to be textbook thick, but I would have loved a bit more explanation about the ideas behind some of the concepts or why they went the way they did. Other than that it is a beautiful artbook that makes a great companion to the game, and if you are a Bioshock fan then I’m sure you’ll really like this one.

I received this in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2013) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review: The Art of Bioshock Infinite by Ken Levine and Nate Wells

  1. Do you read these on your kindle? How does the artwork look on it if you do?

  2. Good to hear the artwork is strong since there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of words to go with it
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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