I really like the Dorling Kindersley (DK) visual dictionaries. Its great to see the fantastic artwork and visual style of such iconic works as Star Wars, Pixars movies, Transformers, and now Halo, brought to the page in full colour glossy large format.
Getting caught up in the 'feel' of a game can sometimes render the beautiful art design as a grey blur, in fact good art design will always do this. Good art design will enmesh one so completely in a game world that a zen like state of complete oneness may be achieved. As the bullets fly, alien battle cries ululate, and war machines tear up the battlefield, there is no time to stop and smell (or visually take in in this case) the roses.
After saving the universe, its good to go back and take a look at just how beautiful everything you saved is. It can be easy to forget that every plant, every rock, every tree, weather, water, fire, every character movement, twitch and facial expression was crafted by the hands of talented artists. Every chunk of metal flying out of that tank you just blew up was meticulously brought to life by a visual effects artist.
And I haven't even started on the insights a reference like this can bring to the fiction of the universe...
Keep your eyes peeled for the guy in green with the can do attitude, due later this month.