Many items line the bookshelves in my cramped apartment–from graphic novels, to DVD’s, to statues of things I love. None of these other things are held in as high esteem as art books though. These tomes are but a fraction of documentation that shows what it was like to work on something I love before I even knew I loved it. Concept art shows what characters started as and what they were shaped to be. Environmental art is a glimpse beyond what we can see in the final medium. The latest art book I will be adding to my collection is the forthcoming The Art of Overwatch.
First things first, I absolutely love Overwatch. I play on average 15-20 matches a week, and follow it’s sports scene like most people follow football. Beyond that, I have been a Blizzard fan for nearly 20 years now. What makes The Art of Overwatch so special is that it is the first entry into a franchise for Blizzard. There was no art book for Diablo, or Warcraft: Orcs and Humans or Starcraft, only their sequels. There are no previous installments for Overwatch to fallback on.
Because of this, The Art of Overwatch sings. It really feels like Blizzard had been so used to making the same three games for years that Overwatch allowed a huge explosion of creative energies from its staff. The book is broken up into nine chapters, showing off unused hero concepts, rich sprawling environments, and in-game things like Sprays and Skins. The biggest mystery is still the story of Overwatch, and this book continues teasing players as to what has shaped this world.
The best part of the book by far is the chapter on the stars of Overwatch: the heroes. The book was completed sometime after Orisa’s launch, but before Doomfist entered the world of Overwatch, so sadly he is exempt from the book. But that means even heroes that came out post-launch like Ana and Sombra have some concept art to show.
As much detail and work that were put into the heroes, there was even more put into the environments. After all, these are the maps that everyone plays in, so they need to look great while remaining functional. This is where a bunch of easter eggs are hidden, and this artwork shows them off without the wink and smile presented in game. It is really daunting to realize how much work has been put into something as simple as a jar of Winston’s peanut butter.
The Art of Overwatch looks to be a great addition to any shelf. Art books like these are few and far between. The amount of artwork in this particular book is astonishing, with something new to grab your attention with each turn of the page. The stories told in the forward and first chapter of the book show exactly what Blizzard was aiming for with this ambitious project, and it is safe to say that they hit the mark.
This review originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.