Matt Sainsbury

Game Art

Published by No Starch

Sep 04, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Video games have come a long way since Pong; this is extremely evident in Matt Sainsbury's gorgeous new coffee table book. Game Art highlights the stunning visuals from 40 incredibly varied modern video games, produced by both independent and major studios. From fantasy worlds to epic quests to micro-budget puzzles to twisted fairy tales, the games Sainsbury features place an emphasis on awe-inspiring aesthetics, and the author's interviews with the creative minds behind each entry lend deep insight into not just these works, but the future of gaming.

An established video game reviewer, Sainsbury has tracked the evolution of the medium for over a decade and a half. His knowledge is evident on every page of Game Art, from how he discusses the work to the book's very curation. Selections such as E-Line Media's Never Alone, and Naissancee from French studio Limasse Five, might not be common household games, but Sainsbury dexterously articulates their contribution to the gaming revolution currently gaining momentum. He probes each developer (or developing team), exploring not only the end product that graces consoles or computers, but the birth of each game. Where did the idea come from? Were studios receptive? What influenced the creation of the game? In an age where the premise of a video game can be anything up to and including controlling a particle in space, manipulating a child's imaginary friend, or staving off the Apocalypse, the experiential benefit to gamers is matched only by the new freedoms found by developers.

Game Art doesn't ask readers to plop down and plow through cover-to-cover in one setting. Rather, much like the art it spotlights, it implores them to take their time appreciating the stunning imagery Sainsbury has chosen to feature. For the committed gamer, there is no finer tribute. (www.nostarch.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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