The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been out for a year now and between its original release date and its current status, a lot has changed from what players have first experienced when entering Geralt’s bleak war torn world for the first time. The people down at CD Projekt RED have been busier than bees lately. Even after working three years straight on The Witcher 3, they are still surprising the industry and pouring their hearts and souls into their game as they work their fingers to the bones to make it shine at its absolute brightest.
Pairing with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Blood and Wine expansion, CD Projekt RED had also released a huge update prior to its last expansion’s release, version 1.20 of the game. Not only does the update patch some quest glitches, but it also alters the entire look and feel of the game to the point where the player feels like they are experiencing a completely different game than the one that previously existed a year ago. After going back to the game a few days before the update’s release, in-order to re-familiarizing myself with Geralt’s controls before diving into Blood and Wine and then following to reboot the game after the fact, I felt as if I just entered a parallel universe in which The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was almost exactly the same, but with a much needed improvement on its layout, design and overall feel.
Now if CD Projekt RED had decided not to change as much as they did in the game with their latest patch, I would never have known the difference and would still believe that the older design for the game was just fine, but the newer design is leagues better and controlling Geralt now feels a hell-of-a lot more accessible than it had before. One of the biggest grubs the game had received during its initial release was some player’s difficulties with the combat, which has now been rectified to some degree. Every movement feels tighter and the player feels as if they have a better grip and control over the White Wolf’s movements during combat, making encounters feel a lot less clunky. It’s as if Geralt is lighter on his feet now, like a dancer while in the midst of combat. Every parry and dodge feels rehearsed bringing a whole new sense of immersion that was previously missing before. Geralt feels and controls like a true Karer Morhen trained monster hunter and the years he’s experienced hunting monsters and slaying thugs now feels like it’s seconded nature to him, as it should be.
Just navigating the menus and maps of the pause screen alone makes me feel as though I’m playing The Witcher 3.5 and makes Blood and Wine feel more than just an average expansion on the story, but an expansion on the overall game in general. Now I know that the update and the expansion are two separate entities, but starting the first quest of Blood and Wine and seeing and feeling everything that has been updated makes the expansion feel like your playing a whole new game and not just an added on section of DLC. If this is what CD Projekt RED had in mind while planning their expansion packs, then they deserve a pat on the back, as I have never experienced any sort of update, patch or form of DLC that makes a year old game feel as fresh and new as brand new release.
For all the changes, updates and patches jam packed into the 1.20 patch, please refer to the following link, as there is just far too much to mention in this article alone. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of The Witcher and had any doubts or second thoughts on revisiting the world of Temeria, then settle your mind and fear not traveler, as there is nothing down the path of these updates and expansions but pure gold.