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The Witcher 3 Next Gen Update is really great on PC but runs into trouble every now and then

The release of The Witcher 3 Next-Gen has been a long time coming. CD Projekt RED originally announced to fans in early September 2020 that its most successful and renowned game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would receive an update focused to upgrading the experience on next-generation consoles and PC.

CD Projekt RED stated at the time that the upgrade would be available in 2021. The Witcher 3 Next-Gen was confirmed for the latter half of 2021 earlier that year, but in October 2021, the Polish studio was forced to delay it by at least six months, with a new projected launch window of Q2 2022.

Saber Interactive, which had already handled the Nintendo Switch port, had been tasked with developing this next-generation update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, in an unexpected turn of events, CD Projekt RED announced in April 2022 that it would retake control of the development, which also meant that The Witcher 3 Next-Gen would be delayed indefinitely.

Witcher
credit: wccftech

Investors were understandably concerned, therefore CD Projekt RED had to rapidly persuade them that the new version had not entered development hell. Any remaining uncertainties were likely resolved the following month, when the studio re-confirmed The Witcher 3 Next-Gen for the Holiday 2022 season. Then, in November, we received the official launch date of December 14th.

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The free The Witcher 3 Next-Gen update is now here, with a slew of quality-of-life and gameplay changes on top of all the technological upgrades.

Players on PC may now experience a whole new Ultra+ graphics preset. They can then enable four ray tracing effects on top of that: global illumination, ambient occlusion, shadows, and reflections, with the last two absent on consoles.

Witcher
credit: wccftech

The game looks excellent with everything turned on. Granted, it had a fantastic foundation to begin with, but the textures are noticeably higher quality here (due in part to the integrated mods), and the draw distance, as well as the precision and sharpness of reflections and shadows, are vastly enhanced. The ray traced global illumination, on the other hand, steals the show and takes the game’s lighting to new heights.

Walking through Beauclair, Toussaint’s capital, afforded breathtaking views to the left and right. On the surface, the game appeared to run quite well on a high-end setup (Intel i7 12700K, GeForce RTX 4090), providing approximately 120 frames per second with DLSS 3 enabled. However, the issues immediately surfaced, ranging from unpleasant stuttering that temporarily reduces frame rates to a seemingly never-ending series of crashes.

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To put it frankly, it is not the faultless demonstration that fans and CD Projekt RED officials had hoped for following the infamous Cyberpunk 2077 launch troubles on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s made worse by the fact that the game has been delayed for over a year from its initial release date. To be sure, these problems may be lot easier to resolve than the preceding one.

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