A Realm Reborn is very unique in its genre, and not many MMOs get a second chance at life given how expensive they are to develop and maintain. While it might not have the most interesting visual design compared to the expansions, The Art of Eorzea -Another Dawn- still has some tricks up its sleeve to make it worth getting for die hard fans.
First off, the front cover is gorgeous, with a colorful sketch of some Warriors of Light in front of the Mothercrystal. The book’s outer sleeve is transparent with the name and logo printed in a classy silver, and you can take it off if you just want to look at the cover. Most of these art books I’ve reviewed follow the same general outline, starting with key art going on to characters, gear, enemies, etc. and Another Dawn is no different. However, being the basis for the game’s design going forward, there’s a lot jam-packed into this book for each section. It’s got all the concepts for the recurring characters like the scions and rulers of the three city states, along with a few pieces leading up to Heavensward.
Outside of pages filled up with gear designs, there’s artist commentary for just about every piece in the book. It’s not super in depth or anything, but it’s nice to see at least a sentence describing why or how the artwork was drawn this way. One of the most interesting pieces is an illustration of Odin, where Nagamine says they cut the original artwork in half and shifted each slightly to the side to give the feeling of space itself being cut by Zantesuken.
The most interesting part of the book by far, however, is the Sketches section. Printed on a slightly different kind of paper, this section shows you sketches and iterations of designs that would eventually become what you see in the rest of the book. This is the best part of any artbook in my opinion, because the design process is what I’m most interested in seeing if I actually buy a game’s artbook instead of just looking up the concept art online. It’s really cool to see content that didn’t make it into the final product or was drastically changed, and this section alone makes this book worth owning. I hope we can see these kind of sections added to future art books.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn The Art of Eorzea -Another Dawn-
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn The Art of Eorzea -Another Dawn- shows you just how much love and care was put into recreating the world of Hydaelyn. The final art is gorgeous, but the sketches are what really set this art book apart.