The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow Hardback Review

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Martin Robinson, an award winning journalist and features editor for Eurogamer is back with another entertaining and insightful hardback having previously published ‘Halo: The Art of Building Worlds’ and ‘The Art of Deadspace’ through Titan Books – his latest release is ‘The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow’, and it coincided with the retail availability of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 .

The Art of Castlevania Lords of shadow will take readers on a journey into the art production of both the original Lords of Shadow and the sequel, Lords of Shadow 2. Featuring a stunning display of concept art with detailed creator commentary through-out you will have a comprehensive insight into the fantasy world and the minds of the creators behind the popular Konami franchise. The book offers and exclusive look at Gabriel Belmont, the evolution of a legend and how Hideo Kojima helped influence the final design model during Lords of Shadow’s inception to reflect the tragedy that consumed Gabriel’s heart and the emotion that informed his story. As the main protagonist, within the art book it also details the struggles that the design team faced as they aimed to recreate one of the biggest characters for the rebooted franchise taking him from an initially planned barbarian figure to a dark and disturbing Dracula with a sombre disposition.

Further reading will inform you into the thoughts of the well-known Scottish actor, Robert Carlyle who takes on the voice acting of Gabriel and Dracula and how he even helped change the direction of the first ever trailer for Lords of Shadow. If you are a fan of the Castlevania franchise, then The Art of Castlevania will be quite an enlightening read, it may be an ‘art’ book but it’s not all just about the pictures!

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There are around thirty pages alone depicting the majority of the Belmont Family and striking art designs of Alucard, who is featured through-out Castlevania’s history, but in Lords of shadow his story was rewritten. Alucard is the inverse of Dracula, he is what becomes of Trevor Belmont and is possessed by the light within to pursue the monstrosity his father has turned into. The Belmont dynasty is shown through both images and text as well as touching on the game, Mirror of Fate, which is part of the Lords of Shadow story released on the Xbox Live Arcade. Following the details of the Belmonts, the book goes further into the imagining of the allies and antagonists within Lords of Shadows. To keep you informed if you haven’t played any of the games – the Lords of Shadows are a collection of Knights whose goal is to purge the land of evil, but eventually they end up becoming part of the evil itself.

From the re-imagining of Carmilla who appeared in the 1987 Castlevania II: Simons Quest to the lack of availability of actor Ian McKellan for Zobek’s voice which then in turn led to the casting Sir Patrick Stewart instead;  so much information is covered in the book that you’ll be a Castlevania Lords of Shadow mastermind in no time!  The later sections of The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow keep you up to speed on how the locations and environments were designed to be grand and part of the fairy-tale wilderness picture postcard settings the developers had in mind from the on-set.  The whole artbook depicts a mythical journey and how rich and detailed the design team had to be to re-write the Castlevania history. This book demonstrates the diversity, detail and attention paid to ensuring the spectacular sights are every bit as dark and psychological as per the momentum of Lords of Shadow, building upon the foundation set by the first title and continuing the trends in the latest release, Lords of Shadow 2.

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The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a stunning collection of the art featured in the hit Konami Lords of Shadow franchise and is well presented, documented and a fantastic insight into how everything shapes together to become the dark, horror theme setting that you play in the videogame. The book would make an ideal gift for any Castlevania gaming fan or a superb purchase if you’re looking to expand your collection of gaming memorabilia.

You can search to buy this book online or visit Titan Books website directly via this link.

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