Castlevania, as a franchise, has a long and stories past. It spans over several different consoles and has been imagined and re-imagined several times. Everyone was upset with 3D style Castlevania games, until the Lords of Shadow franchise started up and proved to Castlevania fans that there was something to a 3D realized world for the franchise. The franchise saw three games to the story arch with the last game having been just released. However, the one thing that has always received the highest praise independently of the rest of the game was the art direction. No matter how awkward some aspect of the game was or what controls issues existed, the art always stood out among the rest of the game’s elements.

81KZl6UfFTLTitan Books saw an opportunity to take what was the best part of the games and highlight them in a new and interesting way. With that vision, the Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was born. This book captures all the typical elements you’d expect from a video game art book including backgrounds, characters, illustrations, concept art and final designs. However, because the art direction of this series was so strong, the art leaps off the pages and it is sure to speak to any Castlevania fan. Titan also did a particularly nice job of showcasing the vision of the games and speaking to what the fans really want to see in a supplementary art book.

This book features 192-pages in a hardcover book.  Every page beautifully illustrates the art from all three game titles including Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow  2 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. There is a fairly even mix of character illustrations and environment paintings, many taking up a full page on their own. There is also a fairly even mix of allied characters such as Gabriel, Dracula, Dracula’s Family, etc and foes such as Satan and various Titans, among others. All of the selected pieces faithfully convey the dark, gothic tones found in the game. The story was all about the battle between heaven and hell and this book does the original artistic direction justice.

Finally, Mercury Steam provided some interesting commentary on some of the highlighted designs. If you had any interest in the game, this art book is a must buy. You’ll learn all 81GqtRlggILsorts of interesting stories from the evolution of the series to how Hideo Kojima got involved in the project. It is a great way to get a close look at one of the most visually appealing games in recent history while hearing all about how the game came together.

All in all, The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a beautiful collection of a historic franchise’s recent success. If you love Castlevania: Lords of Shadow or if you are just interested in getting a peek into the artistic direction of a game, this book is for you. It does a great job showcasing a franchise that has changed the way we game today. Also, having the chance to get an inside account of the artistic process of a game is very interesting and worth the price of the book alone. If you get an art book this year, make sure it is The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. If you are a Castlevania fan, there is no reason why this book should not be sitting on your shelf.

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About The Author

Joe Marchese is the founder / Editor in Chief of New Gamer Nation. He has been a gamer for his whole life but has been focusing on his passion to deliver the industry's new to New Gamer Nation. He is an expert of video game culture and has been featured on Fox News Online. Don't be shy to reach out and let him know what you think!