The Official Marvel's Spider-Man Art Book is One of the Coolest and Most In-Depth I've Ever Seen
With added commentary from the developers, Marvel's Spider-Man: The Art of the Game gives you one of the most insightful looks into the game's development.
Even though I’ve now wrapped up Marvel’s Spider-Man and have done all that it has to offer (until the release of next month’s first DLC pack), I still can’t get enough of just what Insomniac Games has created. This has led to me watching a bunch of interviews with the devs, listening to many spoilercasts, and digging back into the history of the development of Marvel’s Spider-Man.
One of the coolest pieces of info that I’ve been spending some time with lately is that of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Art of the Game. This, as you might expect from the title, is the official art book that released separately from the game and shows the process that Insomniac went through in designing everything. And I mean that pretty literally, because this book touches on just about “everything.”
Of course, what you’re likely expecting to see from this art book is, well, art — and it has that in droves. Much of the early concept art for Marvel’s Spider-Man is shown within this book in great detail. Some of my favorite designs that are shown throughout deal with that of character models. From the creation of Spidey’s new costume to deciding how classic villains should be recreated for this world, the sheer number of looks that the characters went through as seen in this book gives you a great idea into Insomniac’s mind frame when beginning work on this project. Plus, it’s all just really interesting to see how things grew and developed over time.
Along with highly-detailed character art, there are also a ton of environmental locations and setpiece moments that ended up making their way into the finished game that are shown in Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Art of the Game. I always think it’s really neat to see concept art for these aspects because I’m always so impressed that they simply began as a drawing and ended up being created into a full 3D-rendered location within the game.
What’s by far the most impressive part of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Art of the Game, though, is that the book doesn’t just contain pages upon pages of this gorgeous artwork, but it also features a ton of valuable insight from the developers. Rather than just letting the art speak for itself, nearly every page in this package features words from Insomniac Games’ Jacinda Chew and Bryan Intihar, Marvel Games’ Bill Rosemann, and many of the artists from both Insomniac and Marvel Games. Their added explanations provided with the artwork have given me further details on things that I wasn’t aware that I wanted to know, but I’m much more glad that I do now.
I’ve honestly never read an art book that contained this much info from the creators of the product itself and it’s definitely the selling point of the book, even more so than that of the art. I’m down to look at concept art all day long, but when it has that added background information from the artists along with the reasons as to why certain stylistic decisions were made along the way, that’s how you pull me in even more. Plus, I think this added contextualization is all the more interesting since the subject, after all, is Spider-Man. I enjoyed reading about how they approached creating their own version of this character’s world while still staying true to the many different iterations Spidey has had over the years.
Oh, and it’s worth noting that if you bought the Collector’s Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man and you think that you already own this art book, you probably don’t. The version included in that package was a miniature edition which still features a lot of the same art, just not all of it. The full bundle is nearly 200 pages long and contains a ton more to read and scan over.
This is one of the most impressive art books I’ve seen in quite some time and I’ve owned a fair amount of these things over the years, whether they be for video games or films. It’s the added insight from the developers that really makes it stand out and makes picking it up worth your time and money. Just be prepared to do some reading rather than just looking at pictures if you want to get the most out of this book. If you’ve been looking to learn more about the development of Marvel’s Spider-Man after finishing up the game for yourself, then this is the best companion piece that I’ve found so far.
If you want to grab your own copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Art of the Game, it’s currently available for purchase over on Amazon. Even though the book retails for $39.95, assuming you’re a Prime member, you should be able to pick it up for around $25 instead.