‘Art of Dead Space’ explores the game’s visual evolution, Necromorph design

Feb. 05, 2013 | 12:30 p.m.

"Most of the Necromorphs are people-sized. You have to come up with how all these bodies fit together and merge to form this giant, nasty thing," Visceral Games artist Brett C. Marting explains in "The Art of Dead Space." (Titan Books)

"'The genealogy of the Necromorphs was extended dramatically in 'Dead Space 2,'" Visceral Games artist Brett C. Marting explains in "The Art of Dead Space." (Titan Books)

An interior image of the USG Ishimura featured in "The Art of Dead Space." (Titan Books)

Christopher Shy's concept art for the USG Ishimura; the design was used for his last graphic novel. (Titan Books)

One of the most hotly anticipated games of early 2013, “Dead Space 3″ continues the survival horror outer-space franchise with a third installment that sees hero Isaac Clarke venture to a frozen planet to finally attempt to eradicate the Necromorphs.

In “Dead Space 3,” the player once again controls Clarke, the hapless space engineer who has tangled with the grisly extraterrestrial threat of the Necromorphs twice before. For his third go-round, the shadowy hallways of overrun space stations have given way to the icy expanses of the planet Tau Volantis. But just because he’s on a wide-open planet doesn’t mean the series’ essential ability to terrify has dissipated. The game designers exchange shadowy corridors for zero-visibility snowstorms to achieve the same eerie effects. And the Necromorph threat continues to evolve in ever more disgusting and frightening ways.

A new companion coffee-table book released this week by Titan Books titled “The Art of Dead Space” explores the evolution of the game’s distinct visual style. Hero Complex has an early look at a selection of images from the hardcover tome penned by Martin Robinson, which also contains some interesting details about the design of the Necromorphs.

” ‘The genealogy of the Necromorphs was extended dramatically in ‘Dead Space 2,’ ” Visceral Games artist Brett Marting says in “The Art of Dead Space.” “Species development demanded a different outlook in the design. … Most of the Necromorphs are people-sized. You have to come up with how all these bodies fit together and merge to form this giant, nasty thing. You still want to keep that human element, because that’s what makes the Necromorphs scary — you can see the human in there.”

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"The Art of Dead Space." (Titan Books)

“The Art of Dead Space.” (Titan Books)

“The Art of Dead Space,” with a $34.95 list price, features more than 300 images including original concept art, images and sketches from the “Dead Space” games, including the latest installment in the franchise, and concept art from the graphic novels “Dead Space: Salvage” and “Dead Space: Liberation.”

Check back on Hero Complex later in the week for an interview with artist Christopher Shy about the imagery he crafted for “Dead Space: Liberation.”

Next month Titan Books will release a collector’s edition of “The Art of Dead Space,” which will be available for $75 at the Titan Exclusives Shopify site. The edition, which will be limited to a run of 1,000 copies, will come with a print signed by game artist Patrick O’Keefe.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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