10 Best Improvements In The Next-Gen Update, According To Reddit
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the most enduring RPGs, with CD Projekt Red finally unveiling the upcoming next-gen (or current, at this point) update that releases next month. This version of the game is touted by the developers to be making a host of technical, graphical, and quality-of-life improvements to give the game a solid refresh for the new age of gaming.
CD Projekt Red hosted a ~32-minute Twitch stream showcasing some gameplay, as well as a trailer at the end of it. Fans on Reddit took to discussing the changes, with many appreciating the new ray-tracing enhancements and how mods were incorporated into the update.
A Package Of Updates That Doesn’t Charge Players
Even well before the literal gameplay enhancements of The Witcher 3 next-gen update were formally revealed, fans naturally appreciated one key (indirect) feature of this update. CD Projekt Red stated that the update and everything feature it includes would be packaged and free of charge for current owners of the game.
Redditor unsavorydedman made this as their key takeaway, saying “Can we appreciate the fact that this is a free update if you already own the game and not a 60-dollar ‘definitive edition’?” Indeed, remasters and remakes alike are more popular than ever in the industry. However, while remakes like Demon’s Soulsbreathed welcome new life into an older game, remasters like Alan Wakefelt like underwhelming cash grabs.
The New Cinematic Camera Angle
On stream, some of the devs at CD Projekt Red made note that several of these new changes were made optional to give players as much choice as they would want. One of those features was the addition of a new in-game camera angle to use.
Redditor TheFinnishChamp enjoyed seeing this as a new option, saying “games always feel more immersive to me when the camera is zoomed close.” Some players didn’t take to it since it appears too much like the third-person view many PlayStation Studios games force by default. However, making this an optional feature to give The Witcher 3 a more cinematic approach is still a reasonable take.
Faster Loading Times & 60 FPS Performance For Consoles
PC players – assuming they have the hardware to match it — have enjoyed enhanced visual and technical performance on The Witcher 3 since its launch in 2015. Consoles even today won’t measure up to the full potential PC hardware can do for the game, but this next-gen update will noticeably shorten the gap.
Redditor MyNameIsJesseG was quickly pleased, saying “All of the other bells and whistles are great and I’m super glad to have them but honestly all they had to do was say “60 FPS” to get me excited.” CD Projekt Red confirmed that PS5 and Xbox Series X|S would get 4K 60 FPS performance modes. These newer consoles were an impressive leap over their predecessors, and this – plus the faster loading times – are sure to make The Witcher 3 a seamless experience in 2022 and beyond.
Cross-Save Compatibility Via GOG
As gaming technology has advanced — and version exclusivity has gotten more aggressive among major publishers — players have come to appreciate titles with cross-save functionality. Thankfully, CD Projekt Red has confirmed that this will be possible across platforms via the update. Redditor Maleficent-Cap-1328 appreciates the addition, saying “I own it on PS5 and PC but my current main pc I use for gaming is a laptop since I’m not at home often. Being able to use both is a treat.”
So long as fans have a GOG account to connect to, players will be able to enjoy added flexibility in how and where they play The Witcher 3. Nintendo, PlayStation, or Xbox Console-exclusive games aren’t going anywhere, making cross-save compatibility important in giving many players accessibility.
Less Intrusive Minimap/HUD
The Witcher 3 has been acclaimed for, among other things, having one of the best open worlds in gaming. Even so, some players felt that the heads-up display (HUD), and the minimap, in particular, felt too intrusive to the overall visual experience.
Redditor Rootbeerpanic thought this was a good option to have, and said in comparison to Red Dead Redemption 2that they “liked being able to pop the minimap on and off” and that it’s “So much easier to immerse yourself while also being able to quickly check where the hell you are going.” Admittedly, having the choice to toggle between a minimap or a Skyrim-like compass might have been the better option. Nonetheless, having a minimap/HUD that dynamically fades in and out of the screen is a good middle ground.
Ray-Traced Global Illumination
Since the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft were released — as well as modern PC hardware — one of the biggest new gaming buzzwords was “ray tracing.” It might seem unnecessary for some, but when executed in the right settings, it can do exceptional work for a game’s visuals. Redditor Larry52795 remarked that (for PS5) it’s “Going to be hard choosing between RTGI and 60fps. Metro Exodus RTGI made a big difference.”
Buzzwords aside, the ray-traced global illumination effects will do wonders for a medieval fantasy setting. With The Continent being a much more natural setting than, say, the urban jungles in Spider-Man, these lighting effects will beautifully enhance the organic environments.
Haptic Feedback & Adaptive Triggers On The PS5 DualSense Controller
One of PlayStation fans’ favorite side features of the PS5 has been the haptic feedback and adaptive trigger functionality of the console’s DualSense controller. Depending on the game, the controller will provide highly detailed rumble and vibration responses according to what’s currently happening in the game.
Redditor U_S_E_R_T_A_K_E_N is looking forward to this feature and noted “The haptics & adaptive triggers on Cyberpunk next gen was honestly First Party game levels of good.” It’s certainly not a dealbreaker change, but it’s great for immersion. The Witcher 3 is one of the richest fantasy RPGs available, and now being able to feel Geralt clashing swords and more will do wonders for this element.
The Overall Mod Integration
Though rumors were floating around beforehand, last week’s release date reveal officially confirmed that community-made mods would be implemented into the next-gen update. It was a welcome confirmation and collaboration with what the fans have been doing for the game in the years since, with fans like Redditor tulumba2 saying they “love the mod integration.”
One such mod was the user HalkHogan’s HD Reworked Project. This likely was one of the core mods used as a template since a next-gen update will, naturally, involve facelifted graphics.