14 December 2016

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward | The Art of Ishgard -Stone and Steel-

Along with the snow shots in my previous post, I took the opportunity to photograph my latest art book purchase: Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward | The Art of Ishgard -Stone and Steel-!

I'm a huge fan of the FF MMO series. Back in elementary and middle school I played FFXI more than I played outside, so I have a lot of fond memories of the franchise. Though FFXIV had a very rocky start, I got back into it about a year ago, starting over completely -- and I haven't looked back. The Heavensward expansion has been my absolute favorite experience, and Ishgard my favorite city-state. I'm also a sucker for the Dragoon playstyle and dragons, so there has been so much in this expansion for me to enjoy. :)
As the name states, this is the official art book for Heavensward. It's filled with gorgeous concept art, character designs, and plenty more foundational works that set the tone for the dramatic and thrilling continuation of the Warrior of Light's journey. As a disclaimer, this review covers content that may be considered spoilers, though I tried not to include anything too indicative of it.

Let's take a look inside!
At a staggering 304 pages, The Art of Ishgard is filled to the brim with lots to pore over.
Cid's airship, The Exelsior.
Concept art of Alexander - The Burden of the Father.
Above and below are the Astrologian globes and decks (my personal favorite healing class). Pages upon pages are dedicated to weapons alone. 
Greatswords of the Dark Knight!
Arcanist tomes/codexes/grimoires, etc etc.
Many pages cover gearset breakdowns, like this one featuring the Demon Striking Set (Monk). Pieces of this set drop from the 24-man raid World of Darkness.
Art of the Woad Skyraider's Set (Tank classes - Paladin, Warrior, Dark Knight.) The sets that drop from the dungeon Sohm Al are one of my absolute favorites. It reminds me of Beastmasters a lot, which was a job in FFXI I was rather fond of.
It also shows early concepts of the new playable race, the Au Ra. We almost got Vieras as the new race (above)! I think the bunny ears would have been very cute.

Concept art of enemies and bosses.
Concept art for The Dusk Vigil, another dungeon released for Heavensward.
Some of the artwork fills up an entire page.
Azys Lla
The Coerthas Western Highlands

I barely scratched the surface of this art book, but I can't recommend it enough. It's an incredible addition to any bookshelf, whether you play FFXIV or not. The amount of detail highlighted on every page is awe-inspiring, and I can appreciate the in-game items/zones even more seeing the foundations for it all.

Also!

You get a bonus in-game item with the art book -- a wind-up Relm Arrowny from FFVI!

Book Details

Softcover, 304 pages
Full Color

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