Summer landscapes can be taken for granted as bright and breezy backdrops to games. However, what spring started, summer finishes. Following on from the rebirth of spring, summer further fuels and invigorates the landscape. Lands become majestically colourful, gorgeously lush and bursting at the seams with life as the peak of the growing season and life cycle are hit. Bright sunlight basks the land in glorious light and stretches the days, while vivid foliage spreads as far as the eye can see, punctuated by glorious flowering plants, laying a carpet of life over the land. These are the hazy days of summer, indeed. Life breeds life and swathes of landscape are transformed, covered in lush foliage and colour, while the land becomes more productive, increasing interaction and function.
Summer has its own meaning, and this can be injected into games through the landscapes they have and portray – and all of their elements they contain. Smash this wonderful, bright season together with narrative and story arcs and there is a new side to summer environments to be enjoyed and experienced.
The success and majesty of The Witcher 3’s landscapes are further elevated when examined through a seasonal lens as it can reveal even more environmental nuances and specific landscape features. The configuration of summer landscapes through fidelity, function and beauty underlines the environment’s importance in contributing to The Witcher 3’s place-making, story and atmosphere (particularly in Velen and Toussaint), but also demonstrate the sheer importance and power summer has over the landscape, guiding its life and character. Avoiding fawning over each individually hand-placed, wholly-accurate plant (this time) as examples of The Witcher 3’s summer landscape, it is the active and productive horticultural landscapes that show summer’s power.