Thursday, 21 May 2015

Witcher 3 Devs On "Graphics Downgrade"

Well in this run up to E3 everything has gotten a bit quiet with not a lot of news. But now it seems we have something to talk about. Every game gets an CGI trailer, then a developer lead gameplay trailer and then 3rd party demo footage from expos, then finally the game releases and it doesn't look exactly like the first two trailers and the internet explodes with rage.


It seems every game gets the graphics downgrade claims and publishers tend to ignore them or claim the scene looked better due to a "perfect storm" of lighting and effects during a particular scene in the demos. Ubisoft claimed this was the case before players discovered Watch_Dogs E3 graphics effects in the game's files.

The rather brilliant Witcher 3 is currently facing similar claims from the PC players (console players generally expect their games not to look like the trailers), who are claiming the console versions "dragged" the PC version down. CD Projekts Red's co-founder Marcin Iwinski has decided to head to those concerns.

"Developing only for the PC: yes, probably we could get more [in terms of graphics] as there would be nothing else - they would be so focused, like if we would develop only on Xbox One or PlayStation 4. But then we cannot afford such a game."

Iwinski (by the way my new favourite surname, goes on to defend why they was a console version of a series where the original game and the first run at it's sequel was PC exclusive (Witcher 2 later got an enhanced version across PC, 360 & PS3).

"If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is, We can lay it out that simply. We just cannot afford it, because consoles allow us to go higher in terms of the possible or achievable sales; have a higher budget for the game, and invest it all into developing this huge, gigantic world."

Iwinski goes on to say the early gameplay footage of the game from the various expos and E3 are all from "vertical slices"  a subsection of the game running in the full games specifications without the games open world or a lot of it's underpinnings. As the rest of the game is added it places more stress on the engine so graphical quality drops. Iwinski says his team didn't intent to "deceive" anyone with the early footage and says they can never really promise what a game will look like at launch because they simply don't know what problems will arise in development.

"Maybe we shouldn't have shown that [trailer], I don't know, but we didn't know that it wasn't going to work, so it's not a lie or a bad will - that's why we didn't comment actively. We don't agree there is a downgrade but it's our opinion, and gamers' feeling can be different. If they made their purchasing decision based on the 2013 materials, I'm deeply sorry for that, and we are discussing how we can make it up to them because that's not fair."

Abe's Take
Obviously there are times that this isn't true such as Alien: Colonial Marines where the vertical slice was far superior to the retail game but the game was largely a corridor shooter but I believe this is one of those times.
Between the retail copies of the game came with a thank you note, 16 free DLC's regardless of platform, pre-owned/new, or version (standard, collectors, digital), and CD Projekt Red's store;'s treatment of customers and fans I am prepared to accept Iwinski's words at face value, after all Witcher 3 is amazing

1 comment:

  1. Been playing it for about 12 hours on Xbox One and it looks AMAZING so far.