The Witcher 3 Update proved to be too effective, perhaps on the gaming community. Also, CD Projekt Red released the game way back in 2015. Since then, the game received the highest honors as the Top-Rated Open World Role Playing Game on the review aggregation site Metacritic.
The Witcher 3 Next-gen update is seemingly the driving force behind the game’s resurgence. The 2015 Game of the Year winner was able to surpass Elden Ring, the 2022 Game of the Year winner, in terms of the Metacritic rating.
On the review aggregation site Metacritic, the weighted average of professional critic reviews has given The Witcher 3 a score of 97 out of 100. The score looks unbeatable, even outlasting Elden Ring; who only scored 96.
CD Projekt Red (more popularly known as CDPR), the developer of The Witcher 3, enhanced the ageless quality of The Witcher 3 with the latest update. CDPR has put plenty of work into the game even multiple years after its release has paid off. The game now overtakes Elden Ring as the Top-Rated Open World Role Playing Game.
Updates are supposedly the driving force behind The Witcher 3’s resurgence. Now, let us go deeper regarding the update. Let us discuss what’s new in the Witcher 3 update.
The Witcher 3 Update
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gets an upgrade for current-gen systems with Xbox Series X and PS5. Now, Geralt of Rivia and The Continent look much more visually impressive than the earlier versions of the game. Meanwhile, they didn’t forget about the PC players. It received major updates in terms of in-game graphics as well.
PC Graphics Update
The devs added “ULTRA+” graphical settings on PC, which significantly increases the visual fidelity of the game. The graphical settings available on ULTRA+ effect:
- Number of background characters
- Shadow Quality
- Grass density
- Texture quality
- Foliage visibility range
- Terrain Quality
- Water quality
- Detail level
Aside from that, they also added DLSS 3 support. Available only on compatible hardware.
Next-Gen Consoles Graphics Update
- Improved the overall quality of graphics on next-gen consoles. Including enhanced textures, improved fidelity, shadow quality, greater draw distances, and crowd density.
- Ray Tracing Mode — provides ray-traced global illumination and ambient occlusion with dynamic resolution scaling targeting 30 FPS for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
- Performance Mode — ensures smoother gameplay targeting 60 FPS with dynamic resolution scaling for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
- The Xbox Series S version has no ray-tracing features. Quality Mode provides increased resolution and better image fidelity targeting 30 FPS, whereas Performance Mode targets 60 FPS and prioritizes smoother gameplay over visual quality.
- Implemented the use of adaptive triggers and haptic feedback on PS5 DualSense controllers.
- Added Activity Cards for PS5.
Besides, the graphical improvements of the update, CDPR also implemented multiple gameplay updates and “Quality of Life” changes. This is to make sure that The Witcher 3 is right up there (or superior) to the current games available today. You can find the implemented changes listed below.
- Added a cross-progression feature between platforms. Your latest saves will be automatically uploaded to the cloud so you can easily pick up where you left off on other platforms. Cross-progression provides the latest save for every save type. This feature becomes available after you log into your account.
- By signing up for “MY REWARDS” in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players can receive:
- Swords of the Nine-Tailed Vixen
- White Tiger of the West Armor
- Dol Blathanna Armor Set
- Roach Card
Quality of Life Changes
- Added a Quick Sign Casting option. It allows signs to be switched and cast without opening the radial menu. You can find it in Options → Gameplay.
- Added a new default map filter. The new filter hides some icons such as “?” and boat icons to reduce icon clutter on the map. These icons can be turned back on with the “All” map mode toggle.
- Adjusted the minimum height for fall damage, allowing the player to survive falls from higher heights.
- Herbs can now be instantly looted with a single interaction – without the additional loot window.
- Added options that dynamically hide the minimap and quest objectives when not in combat or using Witcher senses. You can find it in Options → Video → HUD Configuration → Hide minimap during Exploration and Hide objectives during Exploration.
- Added the option to slow walk when playing with a controller. You can now slow walk by lightly pushing the left stick forward.
- Added an alternative sprint mode option when playing with a controller. It’s activated by tapping the left stick. You can find it in Options → Control Settings.
- Added an option to make target-lock unaffected by camera inversion. You can find it in Options → Control Settings.
- Improved the radial menu so bombs, bolts, and pocket items can now be switched dynamically without opening the inventory.
- Added the option to scale the font size for subtitles, NPC chatter, and dialogue choices. You can find it in Options → Video → HUD Configuration.
- Added various other small fixes, tweaks, and quality-of-life changes, including a few secrets to be discovered by players.
- Added the mod Full Combat Rebalance 3 by Flash_in_the_flesh which includes balance changes and various fixes to gameplay. We took a curated approach to this mod, with some elements further tweaked from what you’ll find in the mod by default, while other elements were omitted.
- Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear – Fixed an issue where the chest at the Signal Tower couldn’t be opened.
- From Ofier’s Distant Shores – Fixed an issue where the diagram in the chest at the bandit’s hideout could be missing.
- Hard Times – Fixed an issue where Geralt couldn’t talk or give the letter to the blacksmith.
- Swift as the Western Winds – Fixed an issue where the quest could sometimes fail despite winning the horse race.
- Echoes of the Past – Fixed an issue where, after defeating the Foglets, the quest could get stuck and it wouldn’t be possible to talk to Yennefer.
- Wine Wars – Fixed an issue where the quest couldn’t be completed if the player destroyed one of the required monster nests during exploration.
- Fixed an issue where clearing the Ruined Inn Abandoned Site situated on the southern shore of Ard Skellig was not possible in certain scenarios.
- Fixed an issue where the Grandmaster Wolven Set wouldn’t require Mastercrafted items.
- Various small fixes to quests and cutscenes.