Final week I traveled to CD Projekt Pink to play the long-awaited next-gen replace for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which releases on December 14th – AKA subsequent week. I spent a couple of hours with the replace, enjoying with the brand new graphical choices, high quality of life enhancements, and the hunt related to unlocking gear from The Witcher Netflix present. And I spoke to Performing Narrative Director Philip Webber about that as nicely.
I’ve written extra flowery about what it is prefer to get again into the sport with all these bells and whistles, however right here, in what I believe is a extra digestible kind, is every part I discovered about it.
- There are some hidden surprises within the next-gen replace that will not be detailed within the patch notes, together with some new animations for Geralt and, extra importantly, his horse Roach. “So we hid loads of new secrets and techniques and loads of new little particulars that we wish individuals to seek out,” Weber stated. For instance, Geralt now plucks herbs from crops.
Extra importantly: “Roach can now stroll backwards. Or truly, if Roach is standing there’s even now a hidden button which you can kick. Or I believe Roach now raises his head in the event you’re within the water. We tried to place a lot of these little issues for individuals to only discover, that we do not even put within the patch notes.” I did not get an opportunity to check these after I spoke with Weber.
- This may seemingly be the final replace that The Witcher 3 will obtain and it’ll all be free. “Fairly positive there will probably be patches, in all probability, to make things better, however I believe content-wise I might say that is in all probability the plan,” Weber stated. “However once more, that is what we stated for [second Witcher 3 expansion] Blood and wine [in 2016] additionally.
He added: “I can not discuss it however we’re additionally engaged on the brand new saga proper now,” referring to the challenge codenamed Polaris that may usher in a brand new trilogy of video games. He’s the appearing narrative director on that sport. “So I believe for the Witcher  Wild Hunt, that is, for instance, our large last reward/celebration of that sport that we wish to give. And that is additionally why we needed to make it free. That is, for instance, our because of the followers. Additionally, we have all lived by way of the final two years,” which I took to be a reference to the Cyberpunk 2077 launch points. “It affected individuals within the studio loads. So it additionally felt good for us to guarantee that we do that nicely and that we do it totally free, like this good package deal for individuals.”
- The subsequent-gen replace consists of a curated choice of neighborhood mods for The Witcher 3, plus updates (and bug fixes) made by CDPR and the brand new DLC.
Mods made by the neighborhood embody World Map Fixes by Terg500; Nitpicker’s Patch – Varied chuckcash visible fixes; The Witcher 3 HD Remastered Challenge by HalkHogan; FCR3 – Immersion and Gameplay Tweaks by Andrzej Kwiatkowski; and HDMR – HD Monsters Reworked Mod by Denroth.
Content material additions from CDPR embody: Fast Signal Casting; Different digital camera; Dynamic switching for UI visibility; New default map mode; Enhancements to character fashions; Environmental enhancements; Setting VFX/Tech Artwork; fall accidents change; immediate natural loot; sluggish strolling with controller (three strolling speeds at the moment are obtainable relying on how laborious you press the analog stick); alternate dash mode (press left stick); radial menu enhancements (you may change stock from the radial menu).
- Solely the brand new Witcher Netflix DLC objects and quests, and bug fixes, will probably be obtainable on last-gen machines and Nintendo Change.
“Visible enhancements, in addition to mods and new sport additions, are solely obtainable on PlayStation 5, Xbox Collection X|S and PC. The brand new mission, Netflix-inspired objects and bug fixes will probably be obtainable for the earlier era consoles,” CDPR advised me in a follow-up remark.
- The Change replace is coming later than December 14th. There is no such thing as a particular launch date but.
“Concerning a date,” Ryu Underhill, producer of the next-gen replace advised me in a follow-up remark, “I can say we’re working laborious to get it to gamers as quickly as we will. Relaxation assured we’ll be sharing extra info once we can.
“When it comes to content material, we’re aiming to carry the identical fixes and extra content material to Nintendo Change that we’re bringing to each Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – so which means the replace to Change will not embody next-gen options like visible/technical/ sport enhancements, mods or different additions unique to the PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Collection X|S variations of the sport.”
Nonetheless, the Change will get cloud save and cross-progression options, similar to all different platforms. “Our cloud save characteristic and cross-progression will actually be capable to be used from Change to different platforms,” stated Ryu Underhill.
- The Witcher Netflix DLC is a brand new hunting-style quest that takes place in The Satan’s Pit in Velen. The Satan’s Pit is the place you end up instantly after leaving the beginning zone in White Orchard. It is that large, round, picket fenced place the place nothing appears to occur. At present, there are only some humanoid enemies in there, and the massive door to the mine is closed. This DLC opens these doorways.
The DLC is satisfying, however do not get your hopes up on something tremendous necessary. It is only a mission. The mines are spooky and the showdown on the finish is memorable, nevertheless it’s about price half an hour, plus a bit extra for a follow-up stage. It was flagged as degree 15 for me. I have been advised there are a couple of methods it may finish.
The crafting chart you’re rewarded for finishing is the Forgotten Wolven Gear, which appears like Henry Cavill’s armor from the primary season of The Witcher on Netflix. Philipp Weber advised me that in the event you improve the armor to its master-crafted model, its look modifications to that of Cavill’s armor from season two.
- The alternate Netflix appearances for Dandelion/Dandelion, and the wrinkled Nilfgaardian armor, will be turned on and off within the sport’s menu (they’re off by default). And CDPR is nicely conscious that individuals seek advice from the latter because the “ballsack armor”. Weber laughed knowingly after I talked about this. “We may guess what it was going to be like,” he stated of the response. “We additionally know that the armor modified in season two, nevertheless it’s an iconic piece now.
“The intentions behind the armor have been good. I do know it became a meme and all, however we additionally needed to verify we put it within the sport, as a result of some individuals would possibly wish to play with it. It was additionally necessary to make it a alternative , in order that [isn’t] lively by default. In the event you play the sport usually, you’ve got Witcher 3 Nilfgaardian armor. However you may activate it if you need.”
- Whether or not this crossover Witcher content material alerts one thing extra important between the Netflix present and CR Projekt Pink, Weber could not say. “To be trustworthy, I am unsure,” he stated. Netflix showrunner Lauren Hissrich visited the studio in 2019, however not a lot has occurred since then. Apparently CDPR began speaking about doing DLC final yr. “I believe it is cool to share issues however we additionally wish to guarantee that we additionally keep on with our universe total,” Weber stated.
- There are two new graphics modes: Efficiency and Ray-Tracing. In RT mode, you get ray-traced world illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion, and improved display screen area reflections. You additionally get 30 FPS.
In Efficiency mode you clearly do not get the ray-traced additions however you do get 60 FPS, plus a number of graphical cleanups and determination and texture upgrades talked about additional up. Digital Foundry has gone into element on all of the graphical modifications within the video above.
- The brand new, nearer over-the-shoulder digital camera angle makes the world really feel larger and thicker on newer machines, however isn’t included on older machines due to attract distance and body charge causes.
“This one is simply obtainable on subsequent gen and PC because it modifications the FOV [field of vision] of the sport, as a result of it zooms in additional so that you see the space extra,” defined Weber. “And truly we needed to guarantee that for the previous variations, we do not break the body charge. So we did not do any updates that will primarily break the body charge of the previous variants. However smaller quality-of-life issues we additionally delivered to these variations, and naturally the Netflix content material as nicely.”
- The autumn harm has modified barely. It triggers slightly later so Geralt can soar from greater with out taking harm. His glass legs at the moment are much less glassy.
- Shields can now be thrown with out the radial menu by urgent face buttons along side, on PS5, the best set off (this was the platform I performed on).
- Many components of the HUD can now be toggled on and off and rescaled, such because the minimap but additionally enemy well being bars and so forth. This consists of subtitles and dialogue textual content, which will be modified on a scale of 1-10. It is going fairly large.
- Haptic suggestions is added on PS5. It picks out parts like horse hooves if you gallop, in addition to, clearly, battle results and miscellaneous results if you journey around the globe. It’s good.
These are the weather I needed you to soak up at a look – the extra information from the next-gen replace. Once more, I’ve additionally written my fuller impressions of what it is prefer to play with the brand new graphical enhancements, and what it is like to return to a fantastic sport. You’ll find them elsewhere on the positioning.
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