Home Gaming Has The Witcher 3 been “downgraded?”

Has The Witcher 3 been “downgraded?”

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8bitwitcher

It’s been an industry standard for years. Publishers and developers wow gamers with an in-engine cinematic or early snippet of a game that’s a projection of what the developers intend for a game to look like. Since Watch Dogs’ infamous “downgrade” saga though, gamers have been picking games apart looking for the differences between early reveals, and final game code. And they have – this time with The Witcher 3. According to the internet, The Witcher has been significantly downgraded since its initial reveal.

A Guru3D user (via DSOgaming) has outlined a great number of the visual downgrades, including stuff like reduced textures, fewer particles, a substantial hit to LOD and significantly less impressive draw distance. While it would be easy to point the fingers at consoles and blame them for the slightly less pretty game, it seems that even the PC version on ultra doesn’t quite match up to the 2013 trailers.

Take a look at these screenshots, and note the differences between the two sets. It’s worth noting that these aren’t exactly apples-to-apples comparisons, and aren’t comparing the same scenes with each other – but I suppose the internet needs something to get angry about – and boy, are some people getting angry. CDPR has been accused of lying to its consumers and misrepresenting its game, with some defending the lower quality visuals, and others decrying it as yet another downgrade.

What do you think? Is this something to get upset about, or should we, y’know, actually wait and see how the game turns out. From our experiences, it’s a bloody beautiful game – no matter which platform you get it for.

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Last Updated: May 11, 2015

98 Comments

  1. ReaperOfSquirrels

    May 11, 2015 at 10:07

    DILLIGAF?

    Just release a playable game and I’ll be happy. K, Thanks, Bye.

    Reply

    • nalsonmandela1

      May 11, 2015 at 15:15

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      Reply

  2. Captain JJ Fantasticus

    May 11, 2015 at 10:10

    I think the newer ones are probably just the console screenshots
    *runs

    Reply

    • Mistake Not...

      May 11, 2015 at 10:11

      *Chases after, pitchfork in hand.

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Fantasticus

        May 11, 2015 at 10:12

        O_O

        Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      May 11, 2015 at 10:13

      The brows have spoken!

      Or rather Browman!

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Browman

        May 11, 2015 at 10:14

        No!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 11, 2015 at 10:19

          😛 (refresh)

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 10:20

            I miss the eyeliner days

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:22

            What is thicker, your snor or your brows?

          • ReaperOfSquirrels

            May 11, 2015 at 10:38

            Or the eyeliner?

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:39

            What is funnier, the eyeline or the browsers?

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 10:43

            Your momma!

          • ReaperOfSquirrels

            May 11, 2015 at 10:51

            You wanted to go back to the eyeliner days… so I figured we could combine the two.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 10:52

            What have I done?!

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:56

            Pandora’s box, you have opened

          • ReaperOfSquirrels

            May 11, 2015 at 10:57

            Caused me to think of a new name for you. “Captain JJ Browman of the Eyeliner”

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:58

            *Captain JJ Browman of the SS Eyeliner

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 11:05

            Hai?

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 11:05

            You guys really weren’t joking when you said you were only being nice last week.
            Damn it, I’m an old Lagz member, I shouldn’t be taking this kind of punishment. That said, it’s actually quite nice and refreshing compared to my work, so it’s all good I suppose.

          • ReaperOfSquirrels

            May 11, 2015 at 11:10

            We’re always nice to you… just depends on the level of niceness.

            Right now we’re so nice it seems like we’re being mean.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 11:11

            O_o
            I’ll believe you. This time.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 10:44

            Everything is thicker than average

      • ReaperOfSquirrels

        May 11, 2015 at 10:16

        Captain Browman!

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Browman

          May 11, 2015 at 10:17

          No!
          We need to go back!

          Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          May 11, 2015 at 10:20

          What rank starts with a B…..

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 11, 2015 at 10:22

            Brigadier?

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:23

            Nah, too high, thinking more along the lines of PFC or Corporal

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 11, 2015 at 10:43

            Sies. I’ve earned my rank!

          • Admiral Chief

            May 11, 2015 at 10:46

            Fair enough, Captain Browman it is

    • Joe Brown

      May 11, 2015 at 11:02

      They aren’t. One is a Nvidia promo image. Nvidia would not show console promo images.

      Reply

  3. Mistake Not...

    May 11, 2015 at 10:11

    “The gerrfix! What heppend to the gerrfix?!”
    “We have some amazing gameplay on show as well, would you like to have a look…?”
    “But the GERRFIX! THE VISHOOLS!”

    Reply

    • Kyle Myburgh

      May 11, 2015 at 10:33

      Not the point. It’s false advertising.

      Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        May 11, 2015 at 11:18

        not really, they made videos with the builds they were using at the time.
        if the build changed, then the videos changed.
        intentionally using an older build, because it looks better, that would be false advertising.

        Reply

        • Bagel

          May 11, 2015 at 13:39

          So like watchdogs?

          Reply

          • Matthew Holliday

            May 11, 2015 at 14:18

            pretty much.
            pretty sure it will be better than crapdogs though.

      • miza

        May 11, 2015 at 14:54

        Maybe?? I don’t know. Old screenshots are OLD. They could just be concept screenshots. I’d rather have downgraded graphics than dumb AI.

        And while we’re on the subject, does that makes tech demos for consoles false advertising? You rarely ever see a game that looks as good as those.

        Reply

      • Mark Treloar

        May 12, 2015 at 07:00

        Why complain? is there any product today that isn’t sold with false advertising?

        Reply

    • agff2

      May 12, 2015 at 16:23

      Well when 2 years of hype is built on “OMG THE GRAPHICS ARE SO AMAZING” can you really blame them? Don’t promise what you can’t provide.

      Reply

  4. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    May 11, 2015 at 10:17

    “But will it play on a 486 DX2?”
    “Yes, of course!”

    Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    May 11, 2015 at 10:19

    Shovel Knight is so cool. I’d buy a 8bit Witcher any day.

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      May 11, 2015 at 10:39

      What a rad game, that.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 11, 2015 at 11:09

        A bit on the short side but I’m loving every minute of it. Luckily there’s a new game plus.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          May 11, 2015 at 11:19

          So, it is like your love life?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 11, 2015 at 11:44

            I wish! Would be an improvement actually.

    • Ir0nseraph

      May 11, 2015 at 10:47

      The only reason you enjoy 8 bit’s so much is that your internet can finally download a game small enough so you don’t die of old age.:P
      I just can’t get into 8 bit games , looking forward to the witcher , the PS4 gameplay videos looks good enough for me.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 11, 2015 at 11:08

        8bit is where I learned to drive in video games. Like a lorry for instance XD

        Reply

        • Ir0nseraph

          May 11, 2015 at 11:54

          LoL, so you went straight to driving and skipped the cycling part.:P

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 11, 2015 at 11:55

            Exactly.

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      May 11, 2015 at 11:10

      Shovel Knight is on my list – one of these days I will be on holiday! ONE OF THESE DAYS I WILL PLAY SOME OF THE GAMES IN MY BACKLOG!

      Reply

  6. SEGA Neptune

    May 11, 2015 at 10:23

    Nep Nep loves the color silver 🙂

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 11, 2015 at 10:29

      Wonder if somebody will ever use their valuable time to create a Witcher mod for minecraft. Somebody did for lord of the rings called TolkienCraft so it can be done.

      Reply

      • SEGA Neptune

        May 11, 2015 at 10:34

        Nep Nep found the PC version.

        Reply

  7. Loftus

    May 11, 2015 at 10:24

    The newer images looks cleaner to me, and if the changes makes the game run smoother then it’s all for the best. Me thinks these guys are a bunch of nit pickers.

    Reply

  8. HairyEwok

    May 11, 2015 at 10:25

    -_- GG….. I have lost my hype through some simple comparative imagery (Yes i am the eye candy type that would waste 3 hours looking at the pretty clouds and rainbows)

    Reply

  9. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    May 11, 2015 at 10:30

    What makes an argument like this hard, is that we don’t have shot by shot comparisons by upping the GFX at one spot and it’s simple, wait until the game is released before making assumptions, if they tweaked the graphics for promotional purposes, then so be it, it’s hardly the first time we’ve seen it happen…

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 11, 2015 at 10:31

      But wouldn’t it be considered false advertising then. Since they show a product you clearly wont get at release. I don’t want to buy a ferrari with a beetle engine in it.

      Reply

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        May 11, 2015 at 10:33

        It would be, if they don’t disclose that it’s a vertical slice of the game, also if they do release notes that state why certain elements were left out they are covered(from the law point of view anyway)

        Reply

  10. Marius Nell

    May 11, 2015 at 10:33

    and that is why I join house biscuit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7jhfJLkS7s

    Reply

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      May 11, 2015 at 11:11

      House Biscuit – “A Biscuit never preorders”

      Reply

  11. Jonah Cash

    May 11, 2015 at 10:37

    Seeing as there are apparently retail versions that are already in peoples hands we will have the answers shortly. Also stay of the internet to not spoil the game for yourself until it releases.

    Reply

  12. lk kara

    May 11, 2015 at 10:37

    The troll who made these screen cap comparisons is a fawking idiot. Those were not necessarily downgrades. As the builds were being updated the game had changes made to it…. as in LEVEL LAYOUT and has nothing to do with graphics downgrades. If the one pic that’s showing the wall/rocks./gate is even real……. that would be a level re-design, not a graphics downgrade. There are itms that are in one but not the other, as in the objects were once a part of the game and in the other screenshots might have been removed…. and that’s not a graphical downgrade, that’s simply a different level layout change replaced over a span over game betas, you dumb fawking nubs. Go row a pair and stop your moaning, I’m sick and fawking tire of you uber geek losers.

    Reply

  13. boondocksaint87

    May 11, 2015 at 10:48

    I made the comment when the first screens came out, that the game will not look like the original screens etc. Man, wish I did not post it as a guest. I remember I got flamed for it. It happens with all the big hyped games.

    BS en klaar

    Reply

  14. Stiggie

    May 11, 2015 at 10:55

    What these graphical whores don’t realise is that yes that with all games they start off with high visuals but as the game progresses and more is added tot he game and the world gets bigger something has to change to make it run smoother. People who know me know I love graphics because its the best way to immerse you into a game, but then there is those that can’t except amazing graphics and gameplay it’s all about the graphics only. Those that want good graphics it seems and below par gameplay. F off and go play Project Cars in 12K you idiots.

    Reply

    • taz

      May 15, 2015 at 07:15

      You do realise 12k is 3 x 4k screens ?

      Reply

  15. JayDiCee

    May 11, 2015 at 10:59

    Experience = Gameplay*Story(squared)

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      May 11, 2015 at 11:54

      rofl

      Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 11, 2015 at 12:56

      Hey by all means I’ll love her for her gameplay IF she can be modded XD

      Reply

  16. 40 Insane Frogs

    May 11, 2015 at 11:08

    I’m oddly fine with this. As long as the Witcher 3 curls my toes, I don’t care if gets downgraded to 16-bit graphics ( or looks like Final Fantasy 2 on my old gameboy).

    Reply

  17. Mark Treloar

    May 11, 2015 at 11:23

    How is this bigger news than the fact that some stores in the US sold copies of the game on the weekend breaking the release date?

    Reply

  18. Matthew Holliday

    May 11, 2015 at 11:24

    not really that put off by it, game should still be good.
    tried not to watch the trailers, would be disappointed and get too much onto the hype train if i did.

    with ps4 and xbone though, slimming and trimming should be exptected, i mean, its not like they can keep up with PC… if thats what needed to be done to get 1080p and 30fps, then so be it.

    get rid of consoles and optimise games better for PC please.
    all theyr doing is holding us back.

    Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      May 11, 2015 at 14:39

      And what, pray tell would a decent PC to run this game on ultra set me back?

      Reply

      • Majik

        May 11, 2015 at 16:46

        Tree Fiddy 😛

        Reply

  19. Minnie

    May 11, 2015 at 11:24

    Yes gameplay & story > graphics but the problem is that this could mean false advertising. Of course I’m going to play the game (already pre-ordered it). I have been a big fan of Geralt since the books! However the notion (I avoid using the word “fact” here because we are not sure if this is true or not) that we were promised something but now we are getting something else is inexcusable. I mean just watch the Sword of Destiny trailer, the 35′ gameplay, the old screenshots etc THEN watch the new trailers and the new screenshots. If you can’t spot the difference I think you might need to get your eyes checked ;). If CDPR can provide us fans with a good explanation of why they downgraded the graphics then that is fine. Problem is that they haven’t. They said they had some “horrible Youtube compression issue”. Someone with a decent knowledge of video compression could tell straight away that this is just an excuse as video compression does not affect texture quality, draw distance etc.

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      May 11, 2015 at 11:27

      ripping these from my previous comments.
      “not really, they made videos with the builds they had at the time.
      if the build changed, then the videos changed.
      intentionally using an older build, because it looks better, that would be false advertising”

      its not like they can go back and have us unsee the previous trailers.

      as for reasons:
      “with ps4 and xbone though, slimming and trimming should be exptected, i
      mean, its not like they can keep up with PC… if thats what needed to
      be done to get 1080p and 30fps, then so be it.
      or 900p on xbone, shame.”

      Reply

      • Minnie

        May 11, 2015 at 13:40

        I don’t understand why CDPR would downgrade the game for consoles. I mean sure they can bring the game down to Medium/High settings for consoles as much as they like I really don’t care but at least leave Ultra settings alone for PC. All the Ultra settings vids I’ve seen from Youtube are just slightly better version of consoles. I remember reading from somewhere that the devs told the press the game was specifically developed for PC. Why turn on their own words now?

        As for the previous trailers, at least they could’ve said something like “Alpha build” or “Graphics may change during development” or something. NOPE! They slapped the line “IN GAME FOOTAGE”. That got people excited, got me excited, thinking that “HOLY CRAP THIS IS WHAT THE GAME WILL BE LIKE!!!”. Now look at how it turns out 🙁

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          May 11, 2015 at 14:18

          if PC was that much better, no one would buy it for console.

          which doesnt make sense, since xbox convinced them to downscale the ps4 version to make xbox look good, we can assume that theyr a fairly big investor.
          they downscaled to make more sales.

          back to the trailers, some of these are 2 years old, ofcourse they were early builds, they did point that out in the descriptions.
          aside from that, those are the visuals they wanted, but necessity dictates that its just not possible on todays consoles.

          unless they go the GTA V route and make us wait nearly 2 years to release the game on PC, the consoles are just going to hold us back.

          Reply

          • taz

            May 15, 2015 at 07:16

            So delay it 2 years on PC and make it properly. I would be on board with that.

  20. K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

    May 11, 2015 at 11:39

    Hope Ryanza is medicating himself. On a serious note though, yes it clearly doesn’t have the same visual fidelity anymore.. only question is whether this will suddenly turn into a bad game, as per how the masses treated Watch Dogs.

    Reply

    • Vulcha

      May 11, 2015 at 13:35

      Wait, what happened to that guy?

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        May 11, 2015 at 13:56

        He was banned for a week for very toxic behaviour, but he has not returned again even though the ban was lifted and the invitation to rejoin was sent

        Reply

  21. fred

    May 11, 2015 at 11:46

    PS4 version looked amazing on twitch streams last night , could be best looking game to date on the system. Nothing to worry about I say.

    Reply

  22. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    May 11, 2015 at 12:14

    I predict a free gfx upgrade in the near future. Witcher 1 had it. Wither 2 had it. Why not Witcher 3 also. 🙂

    Reply

  23. Deano

    May 11, 2015 at 12:33

    This shows that early gameplay trailers have alot in common with fast food menu’s.
    The end product looks nothing like the promo material.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      May 11, 2015 at 13:55

      LOL, very true

      Reply

  24. Ranting Raptor

    May 11, 2015 at 13:40

    If this is true, that’s a fairly significant downgrade. My question remains why. Why do publishers promise certain visuals then when it launches the visuals are not as impressive?

    Pretty scaly practice. Either way, as long as the game itself is great fun and delivers on the gameplay promises I’ll be happy

    Reply

  25. Ghost In The Rift

    May 11, 2015 at 14:07

    If its to stabilize and fix the game i don’t care, just release it already.

    Reply

  26. Dutch Matrix

    May 11, 2015 at 15:11

    Image 1: It was then that Geralt paused, turned to his party and with an annoyed face asked: “Okay. Who farted?”

    Reply

  27. Dutch Matrix

    May 11, 2015 at 15:13

    CDPR should be hating Rockstar about now. The way that Rockstar scaled GTA V to run on almost anything short of a jam tin should make any high specced game blush with shame

    Reply

    • Korgarath

      May 12, 2015 at 22:33

      Yup, I agree. I was amazed to find I can actually run GTAV in 4K 60fps with textures set to Very High, MSAA off and couple of other settings dialed back a bit.. on a single old GTX 780 and it looks absolutely freaking beautiful.

      Reply

  28. Lynley

    May 11, 2015 at 16:03

    I can understand why people are getting upset as it is analagous, some would say exactly like, false advertising. Just like that picture of the burger on the Wimpy menu looks nothing like the one that they put in front of you, some people will be enticed, in part, to buy the game based on the early videos we saw.

    Me, I love the series and am willing to “suffer” lower fidelity visuals if the game is as good as 1 and 2.

    Reply

  29. Lynley

    May 11, 2015 at 16:03

    I can understand why people are getting upset as it is analagous, some would say exactly like, false advertising. Just like that picture of the burger on the Wimpy menu looks nothing like the one that they put in front of you, some people will be enticed, in part, to buy the game based on the early videos we saw.

    Me, I love the series and am willing to “suffer” lower fidelity visuals if the game is as good as 1 and 2.

    Reply

  30. Gerard Matthews

    May 11, 2015 at 18:46

    In the official screenshot on the left, is that a Geralt clone fighting Geralt? Is this a star wars reference? Is he being attacked by a clone?

    Reply

  31. Necromonger

    May 11, 2015 at 22:04

    May 20th the shitstorm will begin.

    Stacked up my closet with popcorn.

    Reply

  32. Spy Master Tokashi

    May 12, 2015 at 06:47

    Gamers will always find something to bitch about. These guys that complain about graphics and downgrading should really get a life.

    Reply

  33. Vogiir

    May 12, 2015 at 11:28

    People need to get over their shit. Those that complain should go and make a game of this callibre (which they mostlikely cant) and then come and complain about it. (so basically they shud just shut up)

    Even if they did downgrade, it stil looks awesome imo

    Reply

  34. Adam Acuo

    May 12, 2015 at 14:20

    A bit of a lazy response (pun intended). Nobody forced CDPR to put out promo material that it turns out was bullshit. Why not hold them accountable? Not just these bullshiters Noe, but all bullshiters always.

    Reply

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