The Witcher 3 releases its long-awaited next-gen (new generation?) update. This includes features that add features to the seven-year-old game to rival more powerful console generations. No one can convince anyone that The Witcher 3 is suddenly a brand new 2022 release, but the update we’ve seen will undoubtedly become the new default version of the game for new and returning players.
IGN spent three hours playing the next-gen update to The Witcher 3, which is releasing for players who already own the game on console or PC. You can usually expect a similar suite of upgrades coming with next-gen updates, including a graphics mode that favors 4K visuals and ray tracing at 30fps, or a performance mode that favors 60fps.
CD Projekt also added a series of community-created game-enhancing mods, studio internals, photo modes, and even some new easter eggs related to the Netflix show. , the highlight of my playthrough was undoubtedly Performance Mode, which offers a supercharged, incredibly smooth version of The Witcher 3.
Screenshots of The Witcher 3 PlayStation 5 next-gen update.
CD Projekt Red’s RPG was an instant hit in 2015 and is consistently rated as one of the best modern open world RPGs. And while it’s by no means unplayable, its ambitions have certainly pushed the boundaries of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
There were many areas where the framerate would drop or the model’s textures would clash. Never mind the weird glitches (Roach, what are you doing on the roof?).
Especially when using performance mode on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, next-gen updates may bring these non-problems down the road.60 fps is blistering, levels never seen on a console can run the game.
The graphics mode introduces ray tracing, a visual effect that greatly improves The Witcher 3’s margins. Performance mode, on the other hand, makes the game feel almost new to returning players and eliminates the frustrating frame-hit rate drops for new players.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox players must choose between performance and graphics. The next-gen update also has some universal changes that will improve your overall experience with The Witcher 3, regardless of which mode you’re playing.
This includes Quick Sign Casting, which allows players to cast Geralt’s various Witcher spells without opening the Radial Window. The camera has also undergone major changes, now reacting dynamically to movement and combat, and sticks closely to his Geralt for a more personal feel. Similar to God of War’s camera distance to his Kratos.
Character and enemy models have also been reworked with high resolution textures to remove imperfections such as hair clipping and armor clipping.
These changes won’t convince anyone that The Witcher 3 is a new release for 2022. Instead, it gives CD Projekt a chance to revisit their greatest hits and smooth out some of the speed he bumps present in the seven-year-old game.
What this means is that new players, in particular, will be able to play The Witcher 3 without any of the issues that plagued players when the game was first released. But given that The Witcher 3 swept several Game of the Year awards (including IGN), even with a few framerate drops and bugs, those technical issues weren’t the game’s worst. It didn’t compromise quality.
And for fans of the Netflix series, the next-gen update gave CD Projekt the chance to include several Netflix-inspired Easter eggs in the game. This includes new questlines with proper Netflix The Witcher-style rewards.
One fun option is being able to change the Nilfgardian armor worn by NPCs in the game to the infamous armor worn by the Nilfgardians in the Netflix show. Don’t worry, this armor can be changed in the settings, but I personally think it’s a fun option to keep for bad guys.
Nothing radically changed in The Witcher 3 after the next-gen update, but the rough edges are much smoother and the new creative changes offer a fresh enough take that beginners and veterans alike will at least see the changes. You’ll want to check for updates. There’s a good chance you’ll be pulled back on your second or fifth playthrough.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s News Editor.you can contact him @lawoftd.