The Witcher 3 Retail Version vs Day 1 Patch Graphics Comparison Shows Minor Downgrades


After years of wait, it is finally time for millions of eager players to grab their copies of this year’s one of the most auspicious open world action role-playing video game titles. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now out on PC and both the eighth generation video game consoles, and disregarding all the graphics downgrade controversy, the definitive title in The Witcher series looks as beautiful as anything. However, it seems like the developer is still tweaking the in-game visual effects of the game, as the day 1 patch for the game improves the performance on the game on consoles, but with some minor side-effects.

Day 1 Patch for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Improves Performance on Consoles With Minor Side-Effects

Concluding the legend of the witcher, Geralt of Rivia, the main protagonist of the renowned open world RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is finally up for grabs now in stores, and according to the critics, the game is nothing short of a masterpiece that cost CD Projekt RED years to carry out the development. With its deep storyline, smartly written quests, engaging open world, and more than 100 hours of intriguing gameplay, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is undoubtedly one of the few exceptional RPG titles that you can play on your PC, or eighth generation video game consoles right now.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, just like almost all other major triple A titles, is affected with initial bugs and glitches that often result in creating a rather amusing in-game site. The reports are not as large in number as so to prevent the fans from spending their bucks on the game. CD Projekt RED has also released a Day 1 Patch for the game, which it recommends players to install before jumping into the game. The patch fixes stability issues, adds support for DLCs, and improves the overall performance of the game on all platforms. However, it seems like at the same time, the patch also scrapes some of the in-game effects on the Xbox One as well as the PlayStation 4 version of the game.

The day 1 patch adds notable improvements to the game, such as less geometry pop-in during cut-scenes, fewer instances of flickering shadows, slightly better frame-rate during gameplay, and other minor tweaks. However, these improvements come with a cost. As seen in the GIF comparison below, courtesy of EuroGamer, anisotropic filtering has been dropped a little with day 1 patch. Texture filtering has also been very slightly downgraded. Tail-off in clarity across the floor in the post-patch build of the game is quite visible in the comparison below.

It can be seen that the developer has increased the amount of atmospheric fog with the day 1 patch, perhaps to give a little prominence to the draw distance. The fog covers the lack of textures, and objects in vast sceneries. Such as, in the case of the comparison shared below, the area not covered by trees is hidden by the fog. Furthermore, shadows take a hit as well. The day one patch decreases shadow draw distance for the sake of performance optimization. Noticeable dithering across the patches of shade comes as a minor side-effect. The character’s shadow is affected as well. You can check it out in GIF comparison below, along with some screenshots, courtesy of GearNuke.

Overall, the notion of visual presentation of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt being compromised with day 1 patch is quite controversial, just like the original overall graphics downgrade reports. However, regardless of the minor differences, the patch does play important role in improving the performance of the game. With less drops, the frame-rate appears to be much more stable after the patch is installed.