Assassin's Creed Limited Edition Art Book is a making-of art book, the not-too-technical kind.
There are over hundreds over beautiful pieces of art included, complete with great insights on how the game was designed artistically. We have the producer, art directors and artists, AI programmers describing how the game was made. They talk about game rules, for example the real world climbing, design concepts for characters and environment, their research process, and other stuff. There's a bit of everything but none too technical.
There are plenty of character design in the book. For Altair, many iterations of costumes are included, with the different belts, embroidery. This also means you get to see a lot of discarded ideas. Other characters include the assassins, citizens, military, Saracens, scientists and of course the different assassination targets. They actually had to put in more colours and accessories because 100% historical accuracy would mean citizens wearing rather similar (boring) clothes.
Concept paintings for the cities, towns and sets are included. These are really gorgeously painted with lots of details. The different sets include Masyaf, Arsuf, the lab, Damascus, Assassin's Bureau, Acre, Jerusalem and a few discarded concepts. The middle eastern mood is so perfectly created that a professor at Oxford couldn't tell that the development team didn't travel for their research. They hired a historian to help with research. Research images provided (not in this book) are not even available on the Internet.
Unfortunately individual paintings are not credited although there's a list of artist included at the back.
For a supposedly limited edition art book that's this good, I'm surprised it's not in limited availability yet. So grab yours while it's still in stock.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)