There are art books and there are art books, and then there's the new Uncharted 2 art book, a limited-edition, leather-bound, gold-embossed monstrosity that will set you back a car payment.
Videogame art books have become all the rage in recent years. Just about every collector's edition release includes one, although what constitutes an "art book" can vary wildly, from a dozen or so stapled pages of early concept sketches to the unbridled awesomeness that came with the Neverwinter Nights 2 and BioShock 2 special releases. There are occasional after-market releases too, like the World of Warcraft Atlas, which I've considered picking up despite the fact that I've never actually played the game; but there aren't many of them that can compare to this beast.
Created by Ballistic Publishing and Naughty Dog, the Uncharted 2 art book actually comes in three flavors: The standard soft cover edition, available for $65; a special edition for $129, which in retrospect maybe isn't all that special after all; and the Limited Folio Edition, for which you will pay - get ready for it - $300.
What exactly do you get for dropping three bills on a frikkin' art book? Nothing less than "a black suede leather-bound cover, with gold-embossed cover art, and a matching hand-crafted, black suede leather-bound presentation case with a ribbon to easily remove or place the Folio Edition." A presentation case! But that's not all: Each Limited Folio Edition will come with its own certificate of authenticity, individually number and hand-signed by Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells, Creative Director Amy Hennig, and Art Directors Robh Ruppel and Erick Pangilinan.
Unlike most other "limited" editions, this one is true to the term: Only 200 are being printed. And in case that's not enough, Ballistic will only ship the book to customers using "the most secure and trackable service" from FedEx or ECI. In other words, you're going to drop another 100 bucks just getting this thing to your house.
Is it worth it? It sure does look impressive; on the other hand, I picked up the super-awesome 289-page hardcore edition of Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar from EB for about 30 bucks. Bottom line? If I see this on sale at EB for 30 bucks I'll grab it, but otherwise I think I'd rather buy groceries for the next few weeks. The Art of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is scheduled to ship later this month.
Source: Press the Buttons