The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt finally released into the wild this past week, slaying critics and earning rock-solid reviews across the board. CD Projekt RED’s third entry in their Witcher franchise is the first to harness the power of current-gen technology, giving Geralt of Rivia a huge open world to explore.
But the arrival of Witcher 3 hasn’t been without its hiccups. CD Projekt RED has been fielding an ongoing controversy spurred by fan claims that the graphics in the finished game are considerably less impressive than those on display during early showings of the game, including the 2013 demo build, which was created using a different rendering system. CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinski went on record to explain the differences, and why they occurred, but the graphical “downgrade” has still been a burr in the saddle for some irate gamers. Now the developer has released a new patch that will add more graphical customization options for PC copies of the game.
The second patch for Witcher 3 tackles various bugs and provides graphics tweaks for the PC version of the game. It adds a 1280 x 720 resolution option and also improves texture rendering for both the high and ultra presets. These changes may still not assuage the fans whom are irked that the game doesn’t look as good as it did two years ago, but improvements are still improvements.
Here’s a rundown of the other changes made by this latest Witcher 3 patch:
- Rebinding of all keys is now available after switching on the ‘Unlock Bindings’ option in the Options\Key Bindings submenu.
- Corrects an issue in the dialogue system that might have caused dialogue looping in certain scenes.
- Fixes an issue with incorrect behavior of Wild Hunt warriors after they were affected by the Axii Sign.
- Corrects a bug that caused spontaneous combustion of gas clouds.
- Fixes boat stuttering in cutscenes.
- Further improvements made in NVIDIA Hairworks performance.
- A few additional gwent cards are now available in the Prologue area.
- Fixes an issue where users with usernames incorporating non-Latin characters were unable to import saves from The Witcher 2.
- Includes a series of overall stability and performance improvements.
- Fixes issues related to alt + tabbing and minimizing the game window.
- Updates the game icon.
- Enlarges the loot pop-up window in the UI.
- Fixes an issue where, in certain circumstances, the comparison window could extend beyond the game borders in the UI.
- Upgrading items included in gear sets no longer destroys rune sockets on said items.
- Introduces small tweaks in the UI for gwent.
- Corrects some missing translations in localized versions.
The Witcher 3 certainly isn’t the first game to get called out for disparities in the game’s appearance between early development and final product. Aliens: Colonial Marines is the most egregious example that springs to mind, with developer SEGA actually getting hit by a class-action lawsuit in 2013 over claims that the game’s early demos were wholly inaccurate representations of the eventual game. Thankfully, Witcher 3 is a much, much better game than the mess that was Colonial Marines, graphical issues notwithstanding.
The Witcher 3‘s graphics problems haven’t been limited to PC either. PlayStation 4 copies of the game suffered framerate issues, with several reviews calling out the game for regularly dropping below 30 frames per second at times. A day-one patch was issued to address this problem, but ironically that patch hamstrung the Xbox One version, glitching out cut scenes and reducing texture filtering. It seems like every major game goes through this sort of post-release dance these days, with one patch addressing a handful of known issues, only to expose – or cause – others. Remember when you could just blow in the cartridge and that would usually fix everything?
At any rate, CD Projekt RED will have plenty of time to keep tweaking Witcher 3. The game is estimated to take around 100 hours to complete in its entirety, and it’s the sort of game people will likely be playing and replaying for years to come. The developer has also already announced two large expansions for the game that will release beginning later this year, adding around 30 hours of gameplay to an already massive title. Hopefully more content won’t mean more problems.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is currently available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.