GN Unplugged: The Art of Blizzard

Review

posted 4/12/2013 by Travis Huinker
other articles by Travis Huinker
Platforms: Multiple
GN Unplugged is an article series here at Gaming Nexus which takes a look at the world of gaming outside of consoles and PCs; this is meant to highlight those offerings within the gaming culture that don’t require a joystick or mouse and keyboard. We will look at various toys, movies, and comics tied to the video game industry as well as various table top and card games. If you have any recommendations for products that we should look into please send an e-mail to news@gamingnexus.com or leave a comment below.

The Art of Blizzard from publisher Insight Editions is the ultimate collection of artwork spanning each of the Blizzard Entertainment game realms including WarCraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. At 376 pages, the Art of Blizzard includes nearly 800 works ranging from concept art and sketches to full-fledged paintings both traditional and digital. The book measures 9.7 by 13.2 inches, all of which is enclosed in a strong hardcover binding for smooth page flipping. In regards to the layout, the book's introductions are followed by sections for each of the popular Blizzard game franchises and then ends with artwork from canceled games and holiday-specific images.
 

The majority of pages are filled with highly detailed and stunning artwork, in addition to brief sections of commentary provided by Blizzard Entertainment veterans including Nick Carpenter, vice president of art and cinematic development, Sam Didier, senior art director, and Chris Metzen, vice president of story and franchise development. Much of their commentary is provided in brief segments where the three comment on each other's reactions to particular pieces of artwork. The commentary sections between the three are often infused with the signature Blizzard sense of humor. When the commentators aren't joking with each other, many interesting details are revealed regarding the development process and concepts behind beloved characters and worlds.

Unfortunately, the provided commentary sections are both scarce and brief throughout the book. The majority of artwork pieces are included without any sort of description or caption. While the focus of the book is to highlight the many stunning works of art from the artists at Blizzard, it was unfortunate that not more commentary was included to provide further insight into the origin of various artwork pieces and their relationships with the development process.
 

The commentary is a nice addition to the book, but the focus is solely on the artwork. The presentation of the various sketches, concept art, and paintings follow the Blizzard game tradition of providing a highly polished experience. Flipping through each of the book's sections result in a nostalgic journey through series favorites with artwork from game manuals and early concepts of beloved characters such as Jim Raynor. The artwork featured is from a variety of highly talented and famous artists, from Chris Metzen and Sam "Samwise" Didier to Wei Wang and Gerald Brom.

The Art of Blizzard is another great addition in the gaming-related books released by Insight Editions, following the previous Diablo III: Book of Cain. The Art of Blizzard is a great book for those individuals that have been looking to further explore the stunning artwork that defines the WarCraft, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises. Blizzard enthusiasts need not look any further for the perfect book to display upon their bookshelves and coffee tables.
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