Differences between The Witcher 3 Next Gen and the base Witcher 3
Seven years after its original release, Polish studio CD Projekt has released an updated version of the best game of 2015. The Witcher 3 has undergone some transformations, made its way to modern platforms, and acquired contemporary technological advantages. The update was provided to players free of charge.
Differences in The Witcher 3 Next Gen
The complete list of changes is extensive, and it doesn't make sense to enumerate hundreds of minor innovations. Primarily, the developers focused on visuals by adding new textures, ray tracing with DLSS, and updated weather conditions. It's worth noting that a significant portion of the work had already been done by modders, and the game's creators included their efforts in the remaster. This approach is similar to what Bethesda did with the legendary edition of Skyrim.
A significant part of the change list is dedicated to addressing various bugs and errors, which The Witcher universe has always been known for. The developers dug a little deeper, modifying core systems and adding a shoulder camera perspective.
A new story content in the form of a long quest has been introduced, followed by the opportunity to acquire new armor. However, there is no additional new content beyond that.
Graphics: While the original version already looked stunning, it had become somewhat outdated in certain aspects. The Next Gen version features 4K resolution textures, improved models, and enhanced detailing. Additionally, a photo mode has been added, encouraging players to further appreciate the beautiful world.
A More Convenient and Logical World: For example, fast travel points have been added in areas where they were lacking. Geralt no longer dies from jumping off low heights, which used to frustrate players in the original game. Furthermore, Geralt has learned how to perform rolls, although the game is still far from being a parkour experience.
The Added Story Quest "In the Shadow of Eternal Fire" involves a monster, another witcher, branching choices, and other delights. The quest lasts about an hour and has been well-crafted. As a reward, players can obtain new armor from Netflix's The Witcher series.
Ray Tracing: This popular modern technology in the world of video games has not been left out in The Witcher 3 remaster. When enabled, ray tracing adds shading that significantly enhances the visual experience, especially for a game from the previous generation.
Improved Russian Voice Acting: Few people expected that the Polish developers would address the issues with the Russian voice acting, which had serious problems from the start. Characters often spoke their lines too quickly, which significantly detracted from the immersion, and the developers had no means to fix the flaw. However, with the release of the remaster, this problem has been resolved, and now no one rushes through dialogue.
Strange Rebalance: One of the mods affected the skill system, rendering many skills useless. In fact, the rebalance led to a reduction in the complexity of the system. While The Witcher is certainly a fantasy game, with the update, the developers veered slightly towards realism. While it may be appropriate in some areas, overall, it probably wasn't necessary to change what already worked well. For example, guards have become weaker, and Geralt can now defeat them in large groups. At times, the game feels noticeably slower, somewhat akin to Red Dead Redemption 2.
Frame Rate Drops: Optimization issues have plagued CD Projekt. Cyberpunk 2077 was an absolute nightmare at launch, which is better left unmentioned. Unfortunately, the tradition continues with The Witcher 3 remaster. While not as severe, the frame rate drops significantly in certain areas, and the project's appetite for hardware has increased. This is unjustified because there are no major graphical changes. It's the same game, just slightly improved.
Ray Tracing Completely Degrades Performance, even on the most powerful graphics cards, and DLSS doesn't save the day. The optimization of ray tracing is terrible, although the situation is somewhat better in Cyberpunk 2077. Remember, this is a game from 2020 with excellent visuals.
Which is Better: The Witcher 3 or Next Gen
The remaster was primarily developed for the current generation of consoles, and it is much-needed there. However, there are too many issues on PC, and players will have to wait for patches and fixes. Despite the long announcement and constant talk about the remaster, it has received mixed reviews upon release. The work mostly involved adding ray tracing, one (albeit significant) quest, and incorporating fan-made mods.
Once the major issues are fixed and the problems are reduced, it's worth returning to the remaster. The game has become more beautiful, and many bugs and errors have been addressed. However, for a fully immersive experience, a very powerful system with a minimum resolution of Quad HD is desirable because the main advantages lie in the improved visuals.
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