Tyranny: Art Book (2016)

A most enjoyable artbook. It’s comprised of various pieces of concept art and in-game visuals from Obsidian Entertainment’s 2016 RPG “Tyranny”, with developer commentary alongside the various pictures.

An artbook is only as good as the art within. Fortunately, “Tyranny” has a fantastic artstyle! It’s a creative mesh of oppressive Bronze Age style aesthetics with colourful mosaics (that sort of juxtaposition is emphasised in the game with the oppressive gameworld being backed by a whimsical soundtrack too). I really like that style, not just for its own sake, but also for being so different than the typical medieval European aesthetic of fantasy settings.

The developer notes alongside the art are really interesting, and are nice and brief. Honestly, I find this artbook a more engaging read than the “guidebook” (really more of a worldbook/lorebook), in that it imparts largely the exact same information about the game’s world and history, but does so with more brevity and clarity, and has the added benefit of a more visual focus.


An example of the commentary text in the artbook is: “The inspiration behind the cinematic and Conquest imagery were ancient Greek and Roman drawings, but with added color rather than being monochromomtaic. It’s sort of an amalgam between the stylization of the game and the Greek and Roman pottery drawings and stained glass windows”.

It’s a brief book, and entirely a supplementary work to the game, but well worth the read for any interested. I give it three stone shields, and a songbird.


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