Book Review: The Art of Watch_Dogs

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The Art of Watch_Dogs by Andy McVittie is a cool look into the characters and the underground movements that are prevalent in the video game. One of the first things that sticks out is that they designed the whole book based on the theme of coding and hacking. It looks like it’s part of a computer program.

The art directors, Sidonie Weber and Mathieu Leduc, were very concerned about making the setting highly realistic. They talk about why they chose Chicago: because it’s currently one of the most monitored cities in the US, which made it an ideal future setting where cTOS, the surveillance company in the game, is watching everything.

One of my favorite things in the book was learning about the graffiti the team designed. I loved that they not only focused on protest graffiti, but also neighborhood murals and gang graffiti. The designers put a lot of thought into the different sections of town, and they made sure the buildings and graffiti subtly showed the differences. The protest graffiti was definitely my favorite. The images of people with camera lenses for eyes and the red recording dots are haunting. The graffiti about the economic crisis also resonated with me. The corrupt executive shitting money and the quarter with a vulture on it instead of an eagle are both very powerful.

The book is broken up into four sections: Dramatis Personae, The Living City, The Underground, and Everything is Connected. If you love Watch_Dogs and want to learn more about the process that went into designing the game, this is definitely a book for you. You can grab it on Amazon for around $20.

[Disclaimer: A review copy was provided for me to review this book.]

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