The Art of Thief

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Video game art books take fans inside the minds of the creative writers and artists that build beautiful, unique, and beloved characters and universes. They are made with the sole purpose of providing commentary and conceptual artwork to let the fans fully realize the work and progress that was made in the process of building the game. The Art of Thief does all of these things well, letting fans get a more in-depth view of the main character, Garrett, supporting characters, the world, items, and more, but will likely leave you wanting more.

The Art of Thief is broken up into four primary sections, providing the beautiful artwork and creative ideas behind the main character, supporting characters, props, and setting. Each chapter of the book presents a detailed look inside the creative processes used to build the universe and characters alike, while also presenting commentary that explains the reasoning for creative decisions as well. The layout of the book flows very well, showing that every object was subject to a great deal of thought and effort.

From the first to the last page, black is, without a doubt, the dominant color. This is to be expected, due to the grim tone of the game, but the repetition is easily noticed over time. From the detailed portraits and sketches of Garrett, to the dark and lonely paintings of the city, color is absent and is very much longed for. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but for anyone who likes their art books to be diverse in the way of color schemes, this will be a point to keep in mind.

Of all of the content that the book has to offer, the final chapter depicting the city and environments is the most enjoyable and has the highest amount of diversity. Each painting has strong individual personality and remarkable beauty, breaking the repetition that I grew accustomed to during the earlier chapters. Uninviting, yet intriguing settings accompanied by a healthy mixture of smoke and fog provide a pleasing conclusion to the 189 page book.

The Art of Thief is a unique art book. It does a great job providing a mix of conceptual artwork and commentary, allowing readers to get an inside look at the immense amount of effort that went into the game’s development. Though the artwork within is beautiful and expertly crafted, the overall lack of color diversity and heavy repetition may leave you feeling dissatisfied.

2.5 / 5.0