In-Depth Look at the Next-Generation Update for The Witcher 3

There has been much anticipation for the release of The Witcher 3’s next-gen (new-gen?) update, which would finally bring the 7-year-old game up to pace with the more powerful console generation. While the changes we have seen won’t make anyone think that The Witcher 3 is a brand-new 2022 release, they will likely become the de facto standard for new and returning players.

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The next-gen update for The Witcher 3 will be available for gamers who already own the game on consoles or PCs, and IGN played three hours of it. There will be a graphics setting that favors 4K visuals and ray-tracing at 30 frames per second, and a performance mode that prioritizes 60 frames per second, both of which are characteristic of next-gen improvements.

The developers at CD Projekt Red also included a photo mode and additional easter eggs relating to the Netflix program, in addition to a number of mods made by the community and CD Projekt Red’s own staff to improve the game. While these extra features are appreciated, my favorite part of The Witcher 3 was playing in Performance Mode, which provided a turbocharged, buttery-smooth experience.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 PlayStation 5 Next-Gen Update Screenshots.

CD Projekt Red’s role-playing game (RPG) exploded onto the scene in 2015 and has since been heralded as one of the best contemporary open-world RPGs. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were pushed to their capabilities, but the game was by no means unplayable.

In many spots, the framerate would drop or the models’ textures would conflict. Put aside the more amusing errors (Roach, why are you on the roof?).

These problems will be obsolete once the next-gen updates are implemented, mainly when using Performance Mode on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The 60 frames per second are just incredible, and the game runs smoother than I’ve ever seen on consoles.

Performance Mode will make the game feel nearly brand new for returning players and eliminate any unpleasant frame-rate drops for newcomers, while Graphics Mode introduces ray tracing but this cosmetic effect largely improves the finer margins of The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

Players on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One will have to decide whether they’d rather have better performance or better graphics. Still, the next-gen update will also include various enhancements that will benefit everyone playing The Witcher 3 in any mode.

Included in this is Quick Sign Casting, which allows players to use Geralt’s different Witcher spells without bringing up the radial panel. The camera has also undergone significant revisions, allowing it to respond dynamically to movement and combat while maintaining a tighter focus on Geralt. about the same as the God of War camera’s distance from Kratos.

Models of both friendly and hostile characters have been redesigned to feature higher-resolution textures and elimination of artifacts like clipped hair and armor.

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None of these alterations will fool people into thinking The Witcher 3 is a brand-new game in 2022. Instead, it provides CD Projekt with a chance to go back to their crowning achievement and fix the kinks that have sprung up over the course of the game’s seven-year development cycle.

This implies that new players, in particular, won’t have to deal with the same problems that have plagued the game’s player base since its first release. When you consider that The Witcher 3 still won multiple Game of the Year honors (including IGN’s) despite technical difficulties, it’s clear that these hiccups in performance didn’t detract from an otherwise excellent game.

With the next-gen update, CD Projekt was able to integrate a few Netflix-inspired easter eggs in the game, such as a new questline with a reward reminiscent of The Witcher series on Netflix.

The NPCs in the game can have their Nilfgardian armor swapped out for the infamous armor that the Nilfgardians wear in the Netflix show, which is a nice alternative. You can disable this armor in the options, but I believe it’s fun to keep it around for the evil guys to use.

Newcomers and veterans alike will want to check out the changes in the update, even if nothing essential changes with The Witcher 3 following its next-gen update. The update smoothed off the rough edges and included some new creative modifications that offer a fresh enough viewpoint. It’s possible that you’ll be captivated enough to play it again, or maybe multiple times.

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