Our official review is still in the works, but in the meantime, we’ve been evaluating builds on both PC and console — namely the Xbox One. It could be considered that the Xbox One is the lowest on the end of the hardware spectrum (assuming the PC is up to the recommended specs), but that shouldn’t make such a label mutually exclusive with the worst way to play a game. CD Projeckt RED agrees, attempting to alleviate heady resolution debates online with a video they released last week, demonstrating resolution scaling up to 1080p (in line with the PS4).
Several videos have surfaced, including Digital Foundry’s, which inspect this process, along with a day-one patch. It’s important to keep in mind the difference between analyzing signals through hardware and in-person results. That, and that further software updates can continue to optimize performance.
Luckily, those who sided with Microsoft this generation, (and anyone else that doesn’t have a PC with a $300+ graphics card in it) haven’t been left out to dry. We’ve put about 20 hours into the Xbox One version, and while that’s still just scratching the surface of The Witcher 3, it’s been a pretty smooth ride. Players can expect some typical pop-in at cutscenes, as was the case with The Witcher 2 in most scenarios, and a conservative take on special effects. We have no comment on load times, save for that the digital version gets the job done rather quickly. Only on first boot or when loading up a new region does it need an extra 20 or so seconds to get everything in place.
Additionally, the Xbox One’s suspend/resume feature is a boon to those looking to avoid unnecessary load times. Players will find a world of convenience in being able to hop back into Geralt’s shoes within seconds of turning the console on, rather than endure the several minutes from company logos to nekker-slashing.
So how does it look? Perfectly fine. On everything. CD Projekt RED isn’t just pushing technical limits, but they’ve done so with the remarkable art direction that stood out in The Witcher 2. No matter what resolution, framerate, or platform, The Witcher 3 is a sight to behold. Those obstinate enough to remain embroiled in an internet feud about technical matters are welcome to continue, while the rest of us enjoy a cool game from Poland.
We’re obviously big fans of The Witcher, at Gaming Age, so as far as our take on the game itself is concerned, it seems to be a happy marriage of games 1 & 2 with a well-applied layer of polish to tie those systems together. We’ll see how things turn out down the road, but the team seems to have taken a good amount of feedback from The Witcher 2 seriously. The decision to use an open world is more reflective of the first game than duct-taping an RPG formula to the popular open world genre, and there’s a lot for fans and newcomers to sink their teeth into. We’re looking forward to continuing Geralt’s story and will be reporting back with a verdict on how the trilogy wraps up.
Stay tuned for a detailed analysis and critique in our upcoming review!