If you've been itching to dive back deep into the Continent, we've got good news for you. The current-gen update to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (no, it's not a sequel or a remake) will be available on December 14 for the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X as well as the PC. Basically, it's a chance for CD Projekt RED to showcase The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in its best light yet, probably exceeding the expectations it initially set at E3 2013.
CDPR initially confirmed the release date for the next-gen update to the Witcher 3 a little while back, but this is the first time we're seeing it in action and it doesn't disappoint.
Several years after the open-world action RPG came out, The Witcher 3 looks like a current-gen game complete with 4K character models, ray-traced lighting effects, and a slew of cosmetic upgrades, all aimed to tide audiences over for the next few years. If you thought Geralt looked a lot like a grizzled veteran that's seen far too much in one lifetime before, his next-gen self will have you wishing he would just hang up his medallion and retire.
Kidding aside, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is more of a refinement and fine-tuning of the 2015 title than a step-up. This isn't to say that CDPR didn't do an excellent job. But, for all of the criticism The Witcher 3 got its post-E3 downgrades, the Polish studio ultimately delivered. You could say that the changes are geared toward preventing one of the best games of its generation from showing its age before too many people notice it.
Here's a list of everything new in the free The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt update:
- 60FPS performance mode and 30FPs with ray tracing (except for the Xbox Series S)
- Haptic feedback (on the PlayStation 5)
- Cross-save between the PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
- New perspective (over-the-shoulder camera) and photo mode on the PC
- Sign magic button shortcuts
- New map filter to clear "?" symbols
- Mini-map toggle for horseback riding and combat
- Larger subtitle fonts
- New questline to acquire gear from Netflix's The Witcher
- Additional Netflix-style costumes for Ciri, Yen, Tris, Dandelion, as well as Nilfgaardian soldiers
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looks beautiful thanks to mods and maxed-out settings on a PC. The next-gen update to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will change that. The introduction of a new Ultra Plus settings option will push the "aging" title to newer heights. We can already see the surfaces looking shinier when it's raining and a starker contrast between shadows and reflections. Plus, the overall world looks a lot better with more refined details.
We dare say that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the PS5 and Xbox Series X should look much closer if not better than its original reveal at E3 2013.
Ultimately, if you loved The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the free upgrade will make you love it so much more. If nothing else, it should keep you busy until The Witcher 4 and The Witcher remake come out, whenever that may be.