The Art of Battlefield 1 is a beautiful look behind-the-scenes at the World War I-inspired first-person shooter from EA.
The book, published by Dark Horse Books, features over 180 pages of beautiful conceptual artwork. It describes the artistic journey of taking a 100-year old war, and turning it into a modern video game.
I liked the book, first and foremost, for its pretty pictures. It was fun, simply flipping through the pages. The art is so good, that I actually thought about how fun it would be to have some of the images framed. You know, hung on the wall in our TV room. In fact, some of these images are so well done, that they almost look like real photographs.
In addition to the amazing artwork, this book covers a lot of insight into the process of making Battlefield 1. While the game takes place during the first World War, some creative alterations had to be made while others had to be excluded. For example, one of the these sections demonstrates a modern take on World War I-era propaganda and advertisements. Artists studied real military recruitment material and product advertisements, and designed their own, which was used in game.
Warning: Spoilers ahead
The Art of Battlefield 1 does contains possible spoilers. Some content focuses on concept art and background information about missions throughout the game. That’s a little dangerous for those who may want to experience things without knowing about any of the possible scenarios. If that’s you, then you may want to avoid picking this up until after completing the campaign.
More armies, less everything else
One area that I thought the book lacked was the artwork and description of the vehicles and weaponry used in Battlefield 1. There was a lot of concept art and discussion about the various armies featured in the game, and not a ton about anything else. The book even gets into the detail of various uniforms, but not much is shown about the vehicles and weaponry.
I’d like to know more about how the weapons and vehicles featured in the game. What type of creative freedoms may have been considered? After all, we’re talking about taking a 100-year-old war, and putting it in the hands of a gamer in an era when most first-person shooters have a futuristic take.