Since its release in 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has become a benchmark for storytelling and graphics in gaming. From its dense narrative filled with mature themes and tough decisions to its compelling gameplay requiring precise knowledge of the enemy and proper planning, The Witcher 3 remains a staple in the library of many gamers. However, despite CD Projekt Red’s success in adapting Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels to a video game format over the course of a decade, lately, the company has had a turbulent couple of years.
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Cyberpunk 2077’s release in 2020 left quite a mark on CD Projekt Red’s then-spotless record and one that the company has taken a great deal of effort to fix over the past two years. 2022 has been a redemption story of sorts for the Polish studio as Cyberpunk 2077 entered the good graces of gamers once again following the release of its anime adaptation and several patches fixing the game’s most egregious problems. Coming in at the end of CD Projekt Red’s year of redemption is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s next-gen update bringing ray tracing, 60 FPS, and a slew of improvements to the seven-year-old title. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition on PS5 looks great, plays well, and feels like a fitting conclusion to CD Projekt Red’s turnaround year while also acting as a victory lap for The Witcher 3’s tenure as one of the best role-playing games on last-gen and now current-gen hardware.
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This console generation’s most significant leap in graphical fidelity lies in using real-time ray tracing to create realistic lighting in worlds that already look great in terms of polygon counts and environmental meshes. The Witcher 3’s next-gen update on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S brings ray-traced global illumination (RTGI) and ray-traced ambient occlusion (RTAO) to consoles under the “Ray Tracing Mode” in the game’s…