The Witcher 3 next-gen update includes ray tracing, DLSS, photo mode, QoL improvements
Something to look forward to: CD Projekt Red promised to release a big update for hit title The Witcher 3 two years ago, as an upgrade for PC and current-gen consoles. The company has now provided final details on the expected features, including ray tracing and various quality-of-life improvements.
The Witcher and Cyberpunk developer CD Projekt Red held a deep-dive stream this week (below), revealing details on a significant update for The Witcher 3. Initially announced in 2020, the upgrade arrives on December 14 for free to game owners on both PC and consoles.
The first change users may notice are the graphics. The studio added ray-traced global illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion, improved textures, improved character models, better LOD distance, and other visual improvements.
Newly-added DLSS 3 (or DLSS 2 for those with RTX 2000 or 3000 GPUs) and FSR 2.1 should improve frame rates despite the heavier graphics settings. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series console users can choose between 30fps quality and 60fps performance modes.
Changes to the controls and user interface let users perform specific in-game actions more quickly, like switching magic spells. The map functionality will receive more customization options for a potentially less intuitive experience. The update will also add an optional close-up camera perspective and a photo mode.
Some of the additions to the re-release are based on community-made mods with CD Projekt Red’s adjustments. Other contents in the update, like outfits and a quest, are based on Netflix’s The Witcher television series, which caused the most significant game-sales spike since its 2015 launch.
The Witcher 3 previously only offered cross-progression between PC and Nintendo Switch, but the update extends the feature to PlayStation and Xbox versions. Now players will be able to transfer their saved progress between all platforms. The update also comes with bug fixes for a couple of specific quests.
The Witcher 3 Complete Edition is just one of several projects CD Projekt Red recently announced. In October, the company mentioned plans to release a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 and five more Witcher games in the coming years. A remake of the first Witcher game, developed by Fool’s Theory, is rebuilding the adventure in Unreal Engine 5. So it should be a massive improvement over BioWare’s 15-year-old Aurora Engine.