CD Projekt releases custom art of Geralt in Elden Ring as Shadow of the Erdtree beats The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine as the highest-rated DLC for any RPG

The Witcher 3 art
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Update: Not only is CD Projekt Red supremely unbothered by losing its crown to Shadow of the Erdtree, the studio's gone and released a slick illustration featuring Geralt toppling Mohg and heading into the Land of Shadow himself.

Original story follows.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is finally here, and it's already breaking records. Not only is it currently the highest rated gaming release of the year, but it's even managed to snatch a title held by The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine for eight years by becoming the new highest-rated DLC of all time. 

Over on Metacritic, Shadow of the Erdtree's current Metascore is a whopping 95 on PS5, based on 59 critic reviews. This just squeezes past Blood and Wine's Metascore of 92 for its PC version, which was based on 52 critic reviews (its Xbox One version has a score of 94, but this is only based on seven reviews). 

The fact that The Witcher 3's expansion has held onto its crown for so long just goes to show how damn good it is, but those at developer CD Projekt Red don't seem salty at all about being pushed into second place – they're just excited to get stuck into the Elden Ring DLC themselves. Earlier this week, the studio's global community director Marcin Momot stated: "It was a good run. Nevertheless, SUPER HYPED for this Friday."

This same sentiment was echoed by Philipp Weber, the narrative director of the new Witcher saga who was previously a quest designer on Blood and Wine. "If any game had to do it, I'm happy it's Elden Ring," Weber writes on Twitter. "I can't wait to start the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, so it's high time I finish leveling up my new character to be ready!"

While Shadow of the Erdtree has only been out for a few hours, it's already debatable whether any of our preparations were enough when it comes to handling the expansion's difficulty. Elden Ring veterans are already being humbled by an early boss, quickly proving that even those who thought they were well and truly ready for the DLC may be in for a tough time. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised though – after all, director Hidetaka Miyazaki did say that FromSoftware has "pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player," which is, frankly, terrifying. Good luck if you're heading out in the Land of Shadow today, Tarnished – you're going to need it.

Check out our guide on where to go in Shadow of the Erdtree first if you want to delve into the Lands of Shadow.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.