Things Are Finally Looking Up For The Witcher 3 On PS4 Pro After Its Latest Patch

Illustration for article titled Things Are Finally Looking Up For iThe Witcher 3/i On PS4 Pro After Its Latest Patch em/em
Screenshot: Kotaku (The Witcher 3)

The Witcher 3 got a PS4 pro patch today. People can finally play in 4K with High Dynamic Range (HDR) support without having to navigate seas of vegetation magically popping in as they travel.

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CD Projekt Red’s attempts to update The Witcher 3 to take advantage of the PS4 Pro have been troubled. The game first got 4K support (using checkerboard rendering) and minor improvements to overall visual quality on PS4 Pro in an update last October. The Witcher 3 has always been a beautiful game, but everything looked more vibrant and smooth. Foliage especially, which the game is full of, looked noticeably better when compared to the PS4 version.

Still, it didn’t offer the 60fps that the Xbox One X enhanced version did, nor the HDR support. After a period of quiet and then delays, an update adding HDR (though its implementation hasn’t been without criticism) and some further stability improvements finally arrived last month. Everything seemed complete, except for one minor issue: miraculously disappearing and reappearing plant life.

Despite promising minor visual and stability improvements, April’s patch 1.60/1.61 adding HDR support severely compromised the game’s draw distances on PS4 Pro when playing in 4K mode. A hill half a football field away might appear barren, but as Geralt ran towards it grass, flowers, and even entire trees would pop into existence unexpectedly. It wasn’t good.

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Today, CD Projekt Red released patch 1.62, a hotfix aimed at fixing this issue. For the most part it does. While playing today I still noticed some trees fading into view on occasion, but nothing on the same broken level as before. For all intents and purposes, The Witcher 3 now takes full advantage of the PS4 Pro, providing both a good reason to return to the game and a convincing case as any why it might be worth it to upgrade to a PS4 Pro if you haven’t already. (Of course, the game looks even better on Xbox One X and even better than that on a high-end PC.)

Illustration for article titled Things Are Finally Looking Up For iThe Witcher 3/i On PS4 Pro After Its Latest Patch em/em
Screenshot: Kotaku (The Witcher 3)

The latest patch comes just in time, since The Witcher 3 will be celebrating its three-year anniversary on May 19. If you never got around to trying the game’s two DLC expansions, which combined effectively offer a whole other game, you should go do that.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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DISCUSSION

apocalypticboredom
ApocalypticBoredom

Funny enough I just started a second playthrough this week. Astounding game. There’s something about the way its narrative mixes with the open world that elevates it above any other game like it. The writing is very strong of course, but more than that it feels of-a-piece with gameplay that sees you spending dozens of digital days and weeks in its world. There’s no disconnect between an urgent linear story and an open world that encourages exploration and dicking around. Instead of an epic movie, it feels like a sprawling TV series, earning its lengthy time commitment episode by episode. It just feels good to return to the game, and only 5 hours in I’m already encountering moments I’d missed the first go-round. One of the best games of all time.