The brand new 1.07 patch for the massively-popular The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the biggest update the game has ever received. The patch demands a hefty 7.3GB of space on your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, and comes with a host of features and new additions to augment the overall experience.
As far as the new features are concerned, there's a new stash system for the player's inventory, alongside an alternative animation system designed to make control of Geralt more responsive. But while all that sounds fancy and promising, how exactly does the patch work out when applied to the game? Let's take a look.
Apparently, going by the reports, the patch may not be all fun when it comes to real-life implementation. In fact, it has also been reported that there's a drastic shift in frame-rates for certain in-game areas that lower down from the usual, irrespective of the platform it has been implemented upon.
However, taking one console version of the game at a time, it seems like the version for the Xbox One has a slight advantage in the frame-rates compared to the PS4 version, although both of them have the same downgrading effect that has arrived with 1.07 patch.
However, the changes or the affects of the new patch aren't that evident when you are just going through the motions of the game, taking care of the story missions. But you will see the shift in frame-rates as soon as the gamescreen has too much to deal with – like a rainy day horseback ride for Geralt.
"Essentially, gameplay on Xbox One now appears to rely on a similar double-buffer v-sync set-up to the PS4 game, locking its frame-rate to 20fps during these lulls in performance," a Eurogamer report stated.
What this means is that the reading on the graph is consistently lower on patch 1.07 as compared to 1.05, "where it was free to waver between 20-30fps freely." So as far as the aforementioned gamescreen conditions are involved, it seems like frame-rate can be up to 8fps slower on the latest version of the game.
However, this is a set-up that's more prone to the PlayStation 4, which also locks at 20fps for these sections of gameplay. "Ultimately we're still getting a very choppy experience with both platforms, but it's surprising to see a noticeable degradation in performance on the updated Xbox One release."
That being said, with the patch 1.07 in place, effects-heavy cut-scenes still show the same pattern of drops as before, while frame-rates during a griffin encounter remains open to fall when using the Igni fire spell. So there are not many changes to the in-game structuring, moving ahead of the previous 1.05 patch.
"Compared side-by-side, the gap has narrowed between PS4 and Xbox One, but only due to the latter's apparent degradation in performance, forcing the two to run at a matching 20fps in challenging areas," the report said.
"Otherwise, PS4's performance profile on patch 1.07 doesn't give us much to celebrate - it still stutters in places where Xbox One runs at a perfectly smooth 30fps, and in cut-scenes, Sony's console produces the lower readings overall," it added.
While the new patch 1.07 for The Witcher 3 has its own downside, there's still a silver lining to the otherwise dark cloud. For instance, with the new patch, the control response of Geralt has improved. There's now an 'alternative' option added in the gameplay options, allowing players to experience movements with less delay.
"For full 180 degree about-turns, this effectively cuts out the deceleration in his movement, meaning his momentum carries straight over to a new direction. With this, it's now possible to walk in smooth figure-eights that were not possible using the original mode," the report further said.
But even if that may sound good, it seems like the realism of it all has received quite a blow to make way for playability. That being said, Geralt would often prove annoying to control prior to patch 1.07, but this newer, nimble animation offers more direct feedback from the analogue stick.
So should you, or should you not install patch 1.07 for The Witcher 3? Well, even though there are several aspects attached to it, it still remains an integral installation due to the kind of positive changes the patch offers in terms of overall and augmented gameplay experience.
To recap on the patch, there are now rebalanced weapon stats, more direct and streamlined inventory system and a plethora of bug fixes across the title. The new movement system makes everything crispier and it's much easier to navigate crowded areas. On an overall, it's better if you install the patch.