PrintE-mail Written by Matt Wells

Ultra-violent and unrelenting, Bethesda and id Software’s Doom has been a huge hit with fans. Returning to its explosive roots, the new Doom features its trademark design and atmosphere of terror. Thankfully for fans of this visceral horror shooter, Dark Horse provides an exclusive look into its concepts in their new book, The Art of Doom.

Lavishly produced in an oversized hardcover, The Art of Doom features five different chapters full of never before seen concepts, focusing on demons, environments and weapons. Edited by Ian Tucker, the book is certain to please fans of the series.

An introduction from executive producer Marty Stratton and creative director Hugo Martin promises an in-depth look into their production of Doom, which they quote gushes “personality and a sense of humour”. As readers can easily tell from the direction of Doom, they’ve managed to capture the look and feel of the old game whilst injecting this new hyper-realism to it.

The art book has an impressive range of concept designs, which focus on the very first stages of character development sketches, to complete final renders. The renders alone provide a whole new appreciation for the effort put into the iconic shooter, as it just shows us how far video gaming has truly come in recent years.

Doom has always been recognised for its unique landscapes, and that part of the book boasts around 80 pages of beautifully put together scenery. For some reason, a few landscape concepts have been blown up across double page spreads, which results in a slightly pixelated image. Unfortunately, that’s rather common with Dark Horse’s art compilations.

Still, the book is carefully crafted to showcase a decent variety of what went into the video game. Character designs are a delight to look at too, with a showcase on the characters used in the troubled multiplayer mode. One of the many highlights also includes a look at the unique demon, Pinky.

Despite the introductions from the art team, it still feels like the book could have benefitted from annotations explaining the design process of several concepts. Admiring the imagery is one thing, but some further insight into the developmental process would help fully realise the artist’s vision.

The book also feels like its missing information about the game’s lore, especially throughout its later chapters. A few pages focusing on Hell is great for fans, but perhaps an exploration of its main themes would improve on the contents.

Nonetheless, it’s still a worthy purchase for fans of the video game. The Art of Doom might feel like it could do with a little more content, but it’s still chock-full of awesome concept designs that will keep art book aficionados happy.



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