Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 is the second of two enhanced art books Titan released last month on iTunes. The other is the Art of Dead Space which we reviewed last week and which you can read about here.
Like the Art of Dead Space, this art book was originally printed as a hardback, hardcopy full-color book available from pretty much any book store online you could imagine. On it’s face, it’s a great artbook. It looks absolutely fantastic and the artwork really is stunning. But when you’ve got a game as great to work with as Halo 4, though, that comes as no surprise. Easily one of the best looking video games released recently, the book really does the game justice.
And the enhanced features make it even better.
The great thing about the digital edition is that nothing ever has to be left out. When you’re limited to a book with very set page numbers and dimensions you can try your hardest to squeeze in everything. The problem is that you’d have to sacrifice the quality and size of the images you do use. If you want to keep the book’s integrity you have to pick and choose things and hope that the fans forgive you. But when you have the opportunity to embed galleries in other images and to put videos in, too? You have more options.
The folks who put together this art book definitely made the most of what they had and then had some fun. The book is full of exclusive interviews with the developers at 343 Industries and with clips of gameplay that tie into the artwork and images. they also got to thrown in a lot of additional work that otherwise would have been left out. They could hate just added in some galleries but they took it one step further and added in rotating images on a lot of the pages. Just wait a few seconds and the images shift to show things people who got the hardcover never get to see.
Now, there is room for improvement. I read the Halo 4 art book after reading the Dead Space book and I think that art book gave me some pretty high expectations. The content ratings before the game play clips were a bit redundant. And while the interviews were cool they didn’t feel quite as frequent as they were in the Dead Space digital art book. I could be totally wrong with that – I didn’t count. But they seemed to throw in more clips of the gameplay – which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I actually wished the other book would have done more of that sometimes. It’s really cool to see the concept art and then have the opportunity to see how that piece or artwork became a reality.
What it seems like to me is that maybe they are still trying to strike that balance of how much and what types of footage and interviews they should add in.
And so far I think they’re doing a really great job on it. The rotating images on those pages where the images changed was fantastic. You can still open them in a separate gallery, too, and view them individually. But there’s just something cool about seeing them changing and knowing that you might not have seen these images if not for the digital format of the book.
Die hard Halo fans should certain check it out.
[Video hopefully coming soon. My iPhone refuses to upload to YouTube right now for whatever reason. Working on it. Until then, check out Mashable’s gallery of artwork from the print edition.]