I've mentioned a couple of times that one of the main reasons I became interested in Warhammer as a whole was the gorgeous yet creepy art by Adrian Smith. Since I'm guessing I am not alone in that respect I thought I could share a few bits of his recent visual novel: Chronicles of Hate.
I got both books yesterday and I quickly read through them in a couple of hours. Only looking for these covers did I discover they are a companion of sorts to a tabletop game whose models would look amazing in a Khorne army. Goodness, I want to try it.
Anyway, let's start talking about the visual novels.
As you can see, they are a bit bigger that a 40K codex. At least in height, they are thinner with the first volume at 100 pages and the second 126.
The art is all I have always loved about Adrian Smith's style. Reading this was like revisiting his old black and white illustrations in the WFB books, specially those for the Chaos Warriors and Beastmen which were always in my top favorites.
The story is very straightforward. In the very first page we have some paragraph's which tell us all we need to know about the dark world the story takes place in.
After that there's barely any dialog or narration. Everything is conveyed through the illustrations with only a few words being exchanged for the reader to understand the details and nuances that would otherwise be quite difficult to follow. This lack of text makes you take your time to analyze every panel to take everything in and there's too many details in there!
However, that's also the main problem I've had with these books. Since you are paying a lot of attention to the illustrations you will also notice that they sometimes have an unfinished look to them or worse, they even seem blurry. I took some other pictures but since the pages are glossy and not matte it may not be so noticeable. This picture I found online of an actual page in the first book shows it better:
I was very disappointed by this but if you look at the pages from a bit further away it is not so noticeable. Besides, if Adrian Smith did all these illustrations by himself (no other artist is credited) I can let it pass as I can imagine a single panel may have taken hours.
Still there are many amazing illustrations, this one in book two has to be my favorite: