Art of the Genre

I’m a big fan of Star Frontiers, which is strange because I’ve only ever played in a single campaign of it in my life. Still, that Alpha Dawn Elmore cover always drew me in, and I have everything ever produced for it just because I love to look at it, flip the pages, and imagine ‘what could have been’ if I’d just had more opportunity and drive to make something happen in this game. Instead, I played the hell out of Robotech, but that is another story.

Anyway, back to Star Frontiers. In 2004 Wizards of the Coast produced D20 Modern’s variant, D20 Future, and someone in that company thought, ‘hey, we’ve still got that old Star Frontiers license so why not make D20 Future as if it were an updated Star Frontiers’.

Well I say HELL YES! I didn’t find this book until years later, probably 2008 or so, but still, when I discovered just how incredible this book is [and how awesome D20 Modern is for that matter] I was in seventh heaven.

The cover is of the standard D20 design featuring three characters that show different aspects of the genre. It was done by Dave Johnson and I love his work in blending a touch of anime with some hard hitting American comic bent.

Interior work, in glossy color, is done by a collection of 14 different artists, however, I have to say this begins that WotC/Paizo stage of not being able to tell one from the other. Some people would call this ‘Wayne Reynolds Syndrome’, at least for fantasy, but I have to say it works just as well for Science Fiction.

The art is sound, and seamless, but again there isn’t a real value on ‘soul’ in it, just some pretty pictures to go with the words.

So, although I would give game design on this product my highest marks, the art leaves me lacking, again not in content as it has a good deal in there, but in tactile quality.

Artistic Rating: 3.5 [out of 5]

Written by Scott Taylor — April 13, 2014

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