It's been seven years since Gerald started his last adventure in the third installment. Now, on December 14, 2022, a next-gen update was finally released that not only graphically optimizes the PC version, but also brings PlayStation 5 and XBOX X/S consoles into the next age. I would like to tell you how good the next-gen update is in my PS5 review.
Ray tracing with serious problems
The next-gen update was released free of charge for all owners of the main game and adds ray tracing, among other things, which is supposed to provide more believable lighting and more realistic shadows, but there are extreme frame drops on the PlayStation 5 with it, which is already very sad with two shifts. If you turn the function off, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt runs as smooth as butter. Thus, there is currently nothing else to do but use the performance mode, which already offers some improvements in contrast to the PS4 Pro version. Textures look much better and sharper, the shades are high-resolution, and the color palette is more realistic, so you can basically compare the PS5 version with the former Ultra settings on the PC. The real problem, however, wasn't necessarily the graphics, but the wide view, which was hardly present, this now changes completely on the PS5, because at the greatest distance, vegetation can be seen, shadows are cast sharply and animations play quite normally. The best change, however, are bushes and trees, because just at the release of the game, it bothered me immensely that everything bent like rubber. In the next-gen version, the wind is much calmer and the trees and bushes blow more naturally.
Performance of the PS5 version
In performance mode, framerates are stable on the PS5, at least as long as there aren't too many dynamic shadows from trees or wandering NPCs in a scene, or strong particle effects like smoke filling the screen. The breathtaking battles can also be enjoyed with a stable 60 FPS and feel much better than on the PS4 with 30 FPS thanks to faster reactions. The same is true for roach riding. Character models look sharper on the next-gen consoles, you can see that especially on the clothes, which is due to the higher textures, which hardly loses any loss even when scaling to native 4k. However, it is annoying that even and especially on the PS5 many textures suddenly jump into the picture, so you still have annoying popping textures, some effects also flicker. Deactivating the "lens effects" can also bring improvement, personally I found the deactivation better, but it doesn't bring much either, something should be patched here.
DualSense features on the PS5:
The Witcher 3 takes advantage of the PS5 controller's features, but like so many other titles, doesn't make much of them. The haptic feedback provides finer vibrations, for example when we ride through the landscape. The adaptive triggers, on the other hand, only change the pressure point when casting spells, and that's it. More could have been done here, especially when fighting.