One of the best computer role-playing games in years, The Witcher, also features some of the most fascinating art direction. The dark atmosphere and dilapidated world doesn’t house the grandiose architecture featured in similar games of its ilk. Yet with unique flourishes and attention to detail, it’s equally effective, even more so.
A circular room within a crumbling fortress features a vaulted ceiling that converges into a central fireplace. It’s an ingenious combination of the central hearth common in residences through the 18th century and the vaulted ceilings of Romanesque architecture. An impressive space enhanced by polished marble floors and stained glass windows.
The entrance into the underbelly of the city is graced with a gargoyle relief. More commonly used to crown building features, it’s unexpected at this level, yet completely logical as mythical protection and as a spout.
Complementing these virtual environments, the designers grace the load/save screens with a wealth of beautiful concept art. To open the game, a stunning cinematic from Platige Image, directed by Academy Award nominee Tomasz Baginski.
The Witcher limited edition with artbook is available in Europe. Stateside publisher Atari has chosen not to release a limited edition. U.S. residents can acquire this import via GoGamer.com.