The Witcher 3’s next-gen changes bode well for the series’ future

CD Projekt Red is back up and running. Although the player’s confidence was affected after Cyberpunk 2077’s turbulent debutThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s free next-gen update is a return to form, in an attempt to improve on an already great game, heralding good things for the future of the series. .

Instead, a simple PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series port with beautiful graphics and a $20 price tag turned into a self-reflection task for CD Projekt Red, as the developer returned to the drawing board to really try it out. and improve The Witcher 3. Anyone who has purchased the physical version of The Witcher 2 or 3 before will remember the additional gift pack they came with (such as soundtrack CDs and maps), and CD Projekt Red basically created a digital version with the next generation update.

Whether it’s one of those new armor sets based on beloved book locations like Dol Blathanna, new lore passages, Brand new missionor even new Gwen card, the development team is really trying to show that they care. What really bodes well for the future, however, is not just the effort behind these new additions, but rather the changes CD Projekt Red has made to the previous mechanics.

For fans returning to The Witcher 3, The most notable of these changes is in the combat system. That’s what many people weren’t happy about in the original, as it could be slow and a bit repetitive at times, but CD Projekt Red has made some small changes that bring real intensity and dynamism to every life. war.

The new close-up camera angle pushes the player into the heart of the battlefield, the sprint attached to the L3 essentially adds a new mechanic to combat, and the quick symbology keeps you locked in battle. Combine these with 60fps gameplay and haptic feedback (at least on PS5) and the battle is almost scripted. Geralt uses Yrden to trap one enemy, parry another, launch Igni to knock them both down, then dodge an arrow before dashing towards the archer and delivering a brutal finish. Each battle is like a cutscene.

These changes would even look like a gratifying improvement if they appeared The Witcher 4 (for lack of official title), so CD Projekt Red launching them definitely shows that even better things are on the way. And its understanding of what the community wants is even more interesting.

However, CD Projekt Red doesn’t stop there, as it actually includes fan-made mods as official features in next generation update. Improvements to the world map, balance updates, and even some texture upgrades are all features added by the team but made by the community. Especially after eliminating so many players when Cyberpunk 2077’s debutCD Projekt Red’s return to its community hopefully shows that the same mistake won’t be repeated once The Witcher 4 is released.

This will only be the first (or second) in several new Witcher gamesof course, as CD Projekt Red announced earlier this year that at least five sequels and spin-offs are in the works. While this ramping up of game development will likely present its own challenges, as long as CD Projekt Red puts the same effort and attention into future games as it did with the next-gen version of the game. The Witcher 3, fans of the series will win’ no worries.

Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance contributor to IGN and a UK news editor. He would talk about The Witcher all day.


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