These 4K ‘The Witness’ screenshots are a masterclass in elegant simplicity

When The Witness landed in January 2016, it intrigued players with its silent mystery, mentally demanding puzzles, and picturesque landscape. It showed just how beautiful a game could be with a bit of care and a gentle hand, even with technically simple textures and models. And as these 4K The Witness screenshots demonstrate, it looks even better when you expand the resolution.

It did not take a whole lot of computing power to actually play the game at 4K, but we went ahead and threw everything we had at it anyway. We took the screenshots on our high-end test rig, which is powered by an Intel Core i7-6950X with 16GB of RAM. We chose the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Edition with 11GB of graphical memory for our GPU, plugged into an Acer 4K monitor. We also went ahead and turned all of the settings up, and even then, did not see any framerate drops.

One of the more striking elements of the island in The Witness is the juxtaposition between detailed and simple shapes. While trees, rocks, and buildings have a clean, rounded look, there are a number of statues around the island that are deeply detailed, and depict people in lively situations, as if frozen in the middle of a struggle. That stark contrast lends to the eerie nature of the island’s mysteries, even as the colorful atmosphere and booming ecosystem attempt to distract you.

We tried to avoid any spoilers or puzzle solutions in our screenshots, in case you have not gotten around to play The Witness yet. The creator, Jonathan Blow, who is also responsible for the classic platformer Braid, is said to be working on another project. We found out through a post on his personal Twitter account in late March.

If that sounds like an appealing position, a great place to start would be examining both The Witness and Braid with fresh eyes. The 4K The Witness screenshots up above should give you a good, deep look at the game, with plenty of emphasis on detail, without having to spend a few hours struggling through the often-enigmatic puzzles.