With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt officially going on sale tomorrow, eager fans of CD Projekt Red’s ground-breaking open world RPG series will finally be free to conjure spells, slay beasts, and bed women at their leisure in Geralt’s last adventure for the Witcher franchise. Coupled with the bevy of gameplay options are stunning and meticulously crafted visuals, of which the Polish-based development team continue to labor over before the game’s release.
After promising to fix the title’s PlayStation 4 FPS issues, CD Projekt Red has run into another graphical problem, but this time with The Witcher 3‘s Xbox One version. Apparently, after applying a day one patch for the console release, the game’s frame rate is improved, but at the cost of gameplay and cut-scene visuals.
While the application of The Witcher 3‘s 588mb day one patch for Xbox One fixes minor bugs strewn throughout the game and polishes graphics for the most part, the downsides come at a heavy cost. The download causes glitchy, violent stuttering during the pre-rendered cut-scenes, dropping playback as low as 22fps. Yet even without the patch, the videos still falter due to frame-pacing complications.
Plus, after its application, texture filtering becomes reduced, leading to blurrier textures, as well as shoddier shadow dynamics which are possibly affected by the optimization of draw distances. For instance, when players move closer to shaded or clouded areas in the game, the shadows fade on approach, never completely filling out as Geralt steps closer to them.
Now, it’s possible that the Xbox One video files suffer because of their being a lower priority than the background streaming required to boot up the next big bit of gameplay, especially since one of The Witcher 3‘s most impressive features is its lack of open world load times. This makes sense, because if anything, the priority of a game developer is to make sure their game is playable on fundamental level first.
Graphics are important when it comes to video games, but if gamers can’t finish a quest because of lagging or freezing gameplay, then the title is poorly constructed. Having said that, it’s obvious that CD Projekt Red is making an attempt to improve the Xbox One version’s performance in-game, while not completely reducing the value of its visuals. So, overall, it seems as if the updated code is better than playing the game unpatched.
It’s still unclear as to which console platform will ultimately be the best overall choice for fans of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, especially since CD Projekt Red will no doubt release patches in the future that rectify most, if not all of these problems. Regardless, some players’ favorite gaming mediums are already set in stone, so this information doesn’t affect them at all. But, as usual, the PC version appears to be the finest form of the game, especially with its beautiful, yet demanding ultra settings.
If you’re exclusively an Xbox One gamer, how does this news affect your decision to purchase The Witcher 3 when it debuts? Will you wait until all of the kinks get smoothed out or have you been gung-ho from the get-go?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt drops tomorrow on May 19, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs worldwide.