Here’s our last guest post this week from Ed Key:

Divinity: Original Sin has especially nice environmental art direction in the first area, the town of Cyseal. Rather than being a generic desert or generic forest, it has a particular mediterranean feel and uses a limited set of plants in consistent ways.

"Pencil pine" cypresses, thick swathes of lavender and some prickly-looking plant that tends to grow among rocks.

There are a few oddities that come out if we keep looking:

The benches (that you can of course sit down and relax on) are made from a strange tree that doesn’t grow anywhere in or near Cyseal. Maybe this wood was imported specifically for its properties as a bench (perhaps it exudes a nice fragrance?) or maybe they were a sylvicultural gift from another city, like the cherry trees of Berlin.

Or maybe there’s a sad tale…

We also see patches of small tree stumps. Obviously these trees were cut down to build emergency seige defences (mostly these rather gnarly chevaux-de-frises). This is a nice bit of environmental storytelling, and adds some depth. But! There are no living specimens of this tree - nothing else in Cyseal grows in the way these had been growing. A casualty of the orc attack was an entire species of tree!

(Epilogue: In common with most games, tree saplings are not represented in Divinity. Maybe this simple representational convention means that there is some invisible hope for the lamented Cysealian cheval-de-frise-tree.)

Divinity: Original Sin (2014)

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