Dark Souls: Design Works Info

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  • Showcasing the grim and chilling artwork behind the
    fan-favorite Dark Souls game in a gorgeous hardcover collection,
    Dark Souls: Design Works features key visuals, concept art,
    character & monster designs, rough sketches, and an exclusive interview
    with the game's creators.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.52

649 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for Dark Souls: Design Works:

4

Feb 17, 2019

Since it's more illustrations than text, keeping it as a semi short review.

I got this for the bf last year [and I got him #2 for v-day so expect that soon as well] and read this because I knew I was also going to be getting the second.

I played through Demons Souls in its heyday, and as much as I love the look/lore/dismal-ness of the Soulsborne series, the control scheme is really difficult for me to ever really get used to, so I've played about halfway through DS1 [that this book is for] but Since it's more illustrations than text, keeping it as a semi short review.

I got this for the bf last year [and I got him #2 for v-day so expect that soon as well] and read this because I knew I was also going to be getting the second.

I played through Demons Souls in its heyday, and as much as I love the look/lore/dismal-ness of the Soulsborne series, the control scheme is really difficult for me to ever really get used to, so I've played about halfway through DS1 [that this book is for] but had to stop also because I no longer had a system to play it on. That being said, I've watched countless let's plays and have spent hours and hours reading into the [fascinating] lore of the series, have read the related comics, etc.

The design and general aesthetic of the Soulsborne games have always been a favorite of mine. So when I found out this book existed I was stoked. It's very high quality, both physically and the content within. It's so nice to be able to see art/diagrams of the many enemies in the games, since most of the time the game is so dark, and moves so fast, you don't get to see the detail that goes into the things you fight most of the time.

There's also random commentary on some of the design choices, and interviews within the book that were very interesting to read over.

That being said, I didn't give it a full 5 star because it seemed rather... incomplete? There's actually a ton of official art and detailed concepts that you can easily find online from the designers/official websites/etc that were left out of the book for some reason. That, and there are enemies [bosses in particular in this case] that are actually huge and detailed, and lots of important lore around them, and they only got a picture that's maybe a fourth of a page and tiny, whereas other common enemies get full pages. This includes some of the Lord Souls bosses too, which I thought was really backwards.

I'd definitely only really recommend it to Soulsborne fans who have played DS1 since it is pretty spoiler-y if you haven't/plan to; or if you at least highly appreciate DS1. ...more
0

Dec 16, 2015

Dark Souls grabbed a hold of me with a power that most other games seem to have forgotten. The game gets a wrap for being hard, & it is-- about as hard as old NES games were. The skills you need, the world you explore, the clever maps...all of that is built on a gorgeous & evocative foundation. This book is full of pretty pictures & insights into that macabre process. --MK
5

Mar 18, 2014

This is a brilliant showcase of all the hard work that went into the design of the amazing video game Dark Souls. As a huuuuuge fan of the series, i found this book highly fascinating, and to top it all off, there is a long interview at the back with the design team themselves, I learned a lot of new things about the lore of the series, and all in all, a must read for any fan of the games, or people who love art books in general.
5

Nov 26, 2019

I don't have much time for playing video games these days, but I really enjoy reading about and looking at the art that goes into the development of them. This book has page after page of stunning, gorgeous artwork. It's an amazing example of beauty and horror tastefully combined. As a collection of visuals in the genre, I can't recommend it enough. I would have liked to see more text about the game's development, but that clearly wasn't an objective of the book's creators, and the visuals are I don't have much time for playing video games these days, but I really enjoy reading about and looking at the art that goes into the development of them. This book has page after page of stunning, gorgeous artwork. It's an amazing example of beauty and horror tastefully combined. As a collection of visuals in the genre, I can't recommend it enough. I would have liked to see more text about the game's development, but that clearly wasn't an objective of the book's creators, and the visuals are strong enough to stand on their own. ...more
2

Sep 10, 2015

I love Dark Souls and its in-game designs, but this art book is honestly very underwhelming. It doesn't feel like it is doing much justice to the games vast world and numerous enemies. There is too little of, well, everything basically. Not much environmental art, very little item art.

Not to mention, it was somewhat disappointing to note you can find far more comprehensive concept images of characters like Knight Artorias online than you may find inside this book, images that showcase the I love Dark Souls and its in-game designs, but this art book is honestly very underwhelming. It doesn't feel like it is doing much justice to the games vast world and numerous enemies. There is too little of, well, everything basically. Not much environmental art, very little item art.

Not to mention, it was somewhat disappointing to note you can find far more comprehensive concept images of characters like Knight Artorias online than you may find inside this book, images that showcase the different parts of his outfit in their entirety rather than only the final, full look. Perhaps they figured it'd give the book a much cleaner look. Which I wasn't expecting, purchasing a book titled "Design Works". I expected concept art in its entire, sketchy, doodle-ish gorgeousness.

Someone already mentioned the book feels somewhat soulless. I can only concur. I feel it is largely due to the layout they chose to go for with this art book. Images are generally very small, and oftentimes quite a number has been crammed to fit within the same page. The more polished promotional art in the beginning of the book have been treated marginally better. I understand that these concept works are very sketchy in style, but it doesn't mean they wouldn't make beautiful full-page images. Seeing the artist's handy work is GREAT. Let it show, don't make them small scale just to blur the images into seemingly more polished pictures.

The interview at the end of the art book was a lovely addition, and pretty much saved this book for me. It was exceedingly interesting to learn how the director chose to work with the designers (every designer working on their respective stages with relative independence), and on the other hand, how the designers approached their works. Nakamura's philosophical approach was especially fascinating.

Don't get me wrong - I do like the images. I just loathe their chosen presentation. The only thing that really pleased me about the book's visual appearance was the cover. The matt finished silver felt sandy, and made a nice contrast with the glossy black centre.

Overall an ok art book. Great designs treated with less than what they truly deserved. Hopefully Dark Souls II will have a better design for its art book. ...more
3

Jan 27, 2015

A gorgeous book, love the texture of the hardcover.

Definitely allows you to savour the concept art of various memorable (and non-memorable!) creatures you'll find in the game.

The book is a little .... soulless, though. There's not much insight provided into any of the design. There's an interview in the back, and it's definitely interesting, but I'd love to see something more in-depth.

If you're into art books, especially video games ones, you'll be happy. I'd be happy enough with a digital copy A gorgeous book, love the texture of the hardcover.

Definitely allows you to savour the concept art of various memorable (and non-memorable!) creatures you'll find in the game.

The book is a little .... soulless, though. There's not much insight provided into any of the design. There's an interview in the back, and it's definitely interesting, but I'd love to see something more in-depth.

If you're into art books, especially video games ones, you'll be happy. I'd be happy enough with a digital copy of this, whereas most art books have some quality about them which would be lost in the medium chance. ...more
2

Apr 22, 2016

Not knowing this book was just showcasing the videogame artistry of Dark Souls, I put this book on hold anticipating a story. While the graphics of the game were indeed spectacular, I was mildly disappointed by the absence of narration. However, I will give the artists their due by saying they did an extraordinary job creating such a barbaric, foreboding world and populating it with the most vile demons I've ever seen.
4

Feb 04, 2014

I really need to play more Dark Souls. I've dabbled in it, but the game is pretty intimidating. This book has done a bit to get me interested again. The monster and boss designs in this game are just fantastic. They're great to look at, but also frightening and unsettling at the same time. Just what you want from monsters.
4

Dec 26, 2015

I really love the art direction in this world. However, I would liked to have seen even more of the rougher development sketches in this book too as I like seeing the design process and how the artist works.
5

Oct 01, 2016

It's an artbook filled with some of the beautiful concept art of the first incredible Dark Souls game.
What's not to love?
5

Sep 08, 2014

Beautiful artwork and a very detailed and insightful interview with the creators of one of the best realised fantasy worlds in gaming.
5

Jul 05, 2014

I just love the design of this game. Whether it's locations (Anor Londo is my favourite) or bosses (Ornstein's armor!), everything is so detailed and beautiful.
4

Oct 10, 2014

Inspirational showcase. The interview at the end is a very nice addition. A must have for the fans of the franchise and dark fantasy / art as general.
4

Jun 16, 2013

Amazing Mimicry ahead.

Beautiful, looking forward to the English language version coming soon.

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