It may have been a long time coming but the new-gen upgrade for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has fans excited. In fact anticipation seems eager for the major update. Since The Witcher 3 made its name with visually impressive sights, containing sweeping landscapes and comely character models, fans have been considering the graphical goodies that are in store.
Those on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and those on a powerful enough PC will see plenty of improvements in The Witcher 3 once the update is released on December 14. While we know we'll be getting 4K textures and models, and ray-tracing capabilities, it all doesn't mean much without a visual demonstration. This is where fans have been closely scrutinising the released screenshots of the upcoming curren-gen upgraded version of the game and comparing them to the original game.
Over on PC The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a dedicated and lively modding community who continue to create. Popular mods have included adding character models that resemble the actors and actresses from The Witcher show on Netflix. While the most downloaded mods include those that attempt to make the game look as good as possible.
One of these is the hugely popular 'The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project' made by HalkHogan. The mod aims to "improve the graphics by reworking models and textures" and has proven enormously successful having been downloaded over five million times. Another visual enhancement mod is 'The Witcher 3 Enhanced – Reshade' which enhances shadows, lighting, colours, and contrast. These visual modifications have all helped the PC title look that much superior to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. But since screenshots have been shared of the upcoming current-gen upgrade, eagle-eyed fans have spotted additions and enhancements that seem to supersede what even the best mods have managed.
One keen fan recreated one of the screenshots. As you can see above, the left-hand side shows what was captured on the PS5, while on the right the fan has recreated the exact scene but in the original game on PC and on max settings. There are noticeable differences. What stands out on the PS5 screenshot is the increase in foliage density and variety, with more colourful flowers and more voluminous trees. In addition, the mountain looming in the background has been reworked, making it appear dramatic, and, well, more mountainous. There's most mist and cloud effects as well as the addition of a flock of birds.
As someone comments in the thread, it seems the upcoming update will add entirely new effects. "As someone who has modded the PC version extensively, there isn't a grass mod that looks like whatever they're using in the next gen release," writes TwoCoresOneThread. "Whatever that is is something new that looks noticeably better IMO."
CD Projekt Red will be banking on the upgrade, which is free to those who already own a version of the game, as it hopes that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will see the kind of resurgence that Cyberpunk 2077 saw when it was upgraded for current-gen systems such as PS5 and Xbox Series. Going by chatter online the patch could very well help the Polish company's bottom line and find a whole new generation of players. It releases December 14.
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