The Art of Halo is a collection of concept art used for making the games, along with commentary by Eric S. Trautmann. The book includes a foreword by Jason Jones and a preface by Marcus R. Lehto. It was released on November 9, 2004 and an updated version was released on October 18, 2011.
The majority of the book focuses on the development of the major aspects of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, from the Weapons, the games environments and the designs. There are many early sketches and concept art for these things, much of it by Shi Kai Wang and the Bungie art team. Certain sections show the influence of earlier Bungie games on Halo's design. One section shows a timeline of Bungie's history. The ideas are shown as they evolved, from a series of sketches to storyboards and their amazing animation. Finally, some screen shots are included to show how the ideas were eventually incorporated into the Halo games.
There are also many explanations for the processes and the development. Some of these explain things to Halo fans that we haven't been aware of...like the role of Grunt Ultras. They also explain what the intentions were for many of the ideas and how they changed over time.
The final section of the book contains a few full-page pinups of various concept art. Including some scenes in the levels of Halo and ideas of new characters.
- While the book shows ranks of certain species within the Covenant the Elites' section is missing the ranks of Ultra and Councilor, probably because these rank models did not appear until Halo 2.
- There are several images of character design from when Halo was going to be an RTS game.
- There are many errors in this book, such as a caption pointing at a Plasma Grenade, but pointing it out as an Assault Bomb. However, the Assault Bomb was on this page. Another mistake consisted of calling the Prophet of Mercy the Prophet of Truth.
- This book shows the Easter egg on the Assault Bomb, where it has writing on it.
- The Zealot shown on the Elite ranks has black as its secondary color, although the secondary color for Zealots in-game is brown or tan.
- The level "Assault on the Control Room" is mistakenly titled "Attack on the Two Control Rooms".
|Books of Halo|
|Main series||The Fall of Reach • The Flood • First Strike • Ghosts of Onyx • Contact Harvest • The Cole Protocol|
|The Forerunner Saga||Cryptum • Primordium • Silentium|
|Kilo-Five trilogy||Glasslands • The Thursday War • One unannounced sequel|
|Reference||The Art of Halo • The Art of Halo 3 • Encyclopedia (2009) • The Essential Visual Guide • The Art of Building Worlds • The Art of Halo 4|
|Official Guides||Halo: Combat Evolved • Halo 2 • Halo 3 • Halo Wars • Halo 3: ODST • Halo: Reach • Halo 4|
|Miscellaneous||Black Art of Halo Mods|