Cyberpunk 2077 Style Disaster: Cyberpunk 2077’s 2020 debut served as a watershed moment for the video gaming industry as a whole. Released in a mad dash to meet the Christmas deadline, the game was a technical disaster on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
There were so many issues that the game was unplayable. There was rapid fallout, with rumours that developer CD Projekt would go bankrupt and other publishers showing signs of being too afraid to release games in a similar situation for fear of the same fate.
Most publishers evidently felt that the quickly forgotten fury of a few hardcore gamers was insignificant compared to the rewards of hitting a schedule, and so they went back to their old ways of delivering faulty games that never work completely until months later.
You’d think CD Projekt would be more careful, but this tardy next-gen update for The Witcher 3 is evidence to the contrary. Released in 2015, The Witcher 3 has received nearly universal acclaim since its launch. We haven’t had the chance to put in the more than 50 hours it takes to complete the game, so this won’t be a scored review; considering the bugs, that’s probably for the best.
Even after seven years, The Witcher 3‘s success is evident when playing the game. It’s epic in scope, rich in detail, and infused with a humane, grounded quality that’s sometimes lacking in more clinical Japanese role-playing games.
Despite countless attempts to recreate its enchantment, nothing quite like it has been released since, and creator CD Projekt has not yet returned to the same realm (although they will, relatively soon). Even though seven years is a long time for technology to advance, The Witcher 3’s fighting feels dated.
However, it was criticised even back then, so it’s not surprising that it hasn’t been improved upon. Even if the Witcher’s balletic pirouettes and cunning little dodges appear like the main character Geralt is making an effort, the lock-on still regularly targets faraway adversaries instead of close ones, and there is an overall air of wobbliness.
The Witcher is renowned not for its combat but for the exceptional quality and depth of its quests, which are as stunning now as they were when the game was first released. Sometimes, even the most inconsequential of side quests will grow into their own mini-novellas, complete with colourful people and offbeat locations.
— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) December 9, 2022
Also, even when you set out to do the right thing, dishonest quest-givers or unanticipated consequences (many of which don’t manifest themselves until much later in the game) sometimes get in the way. Adding haptic feedback to the PlayStation 5‘s controller improves the gaming experience in subtle ways, whether you’re landing sword blows or making sales to merchants.
Aside from the decreased load times, the adaptive triggers will feel like they add a little more heft to battles. There are a lot more recent changes to learn about. Cross-platform save support via GOG.com allows you to start a game on one device and continue it on another, in addition to the ray-tracing and performance options available on current-gen consoles and PC.
You can now complete a mission to acquire Netflix-themed weapons and armour. The redesigned menus are the most helpful feature, though, as they make it much simpler to toggle between magical signs and activate them during battle. It’s incredibly useful, as it improves the game’s flow and reduces the amount of time spent on menus.
The UI is great and a noticeable upgrade over the previous version, especially now that the map view is simpler and isn’t overrun with icons by default. The characters in The Witcher 3 are the game’s strongest point.
— Brendzun (@Brendzun) December 8, 2022
The charismatic protagonist Geralt, the formidable witches he likes to hang out with, and the inspiringly diverse cast of characters you encounter, fight alongside, and complete tasks to continue to shine. In his roleplaying, Geralt can sound like Batman because he likes to snarl his lines instead of speaking them, yet he is still quite likeable.
It’s unfortunate that numerous issues plague this release. Geralt’s head and shoulders glitch out in the inventory screen, his hair flutters in the breeze indoors, and distant parts of scenery don’t so much pop in as strobe across the screen, and these issues persist even after installing a patch.
Even on the most important quests, there were several instances where events did not take place as planned. There will undoubtedly be a frenzy of fixes, both on day one and beyond, but that misses the point entirely.