The version of The Witcher 3 that exists on the Nintendo Switch works, which is a miracle in itself, but it’s far from the ideal version of the game. Those with a modded Switch console, though, can play something that looks a lot nicer.
The game by default runs at 720P and 30FPS while docked, and that’s as good as it gets. Modders have however found that the Switch version is just a port of the PC edition running at very low settings, and that by sliding in a patch file they could unlock the PC version’s graphics options.
By overclocking the system and then disabling the game’s dynamic resolution, along with increasing other settings like the foliage density and post-processing effects, you get a version of The Witcher 3 that looks a lot better, and sometimes even gets to 60FPS.
It’s also cooking a Switch alive from the inside.
Here’s some footage of a modded copy of the game in action, to give you an idea of the improvements (it gets better, but don’t expect it to magically start looking like the PC version):
The Witcher 3 comes to the Nintendo Switch this week, and Geralt is ready to go on dark RPG adventures with you on the subway, in an airplane, or even in a bathroom. What a world we live in.
I can’t imagine The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on Switch will be the best way to play the game, but I have to give credit to the developers. Being able to even get that thing running on a Switch is impressive. Sure it might look like a bit rough and blurry, but they did it. Congrats!
Beyond The Witcher 3 hitting Switch this week, some other games are releasing, too. Not a busy week, for the most part. A small break before more games hit later this month. Overwatch also makes the jump to Switch this week and The Outer Wilds heads to PS4. There’s an Ice Age game coming out that looks like something you would play on PS2 back in the early 2000s. I’m…intrigued by that game.
Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:
Monday, October 14
Golf98 | PC
>Connect | PC, Mac
Yorg.io 3 | PC
The Quarry | PC
Detective Solitaire Butler Story | PC, Mac
Tank Impact | PC
Blood Runner | PC
Tuesday, October 15
The Fisherman – Fishing Planet | PS4, Xbox One
Children Of Morta | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Earth Defense Force Iron Rain | PC
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
We have come full circle. No longer is Henry Cavill just playing Geralt in Netflix’s Witcher adaptation, but he is now replacing Geralt in The Witcher 3 itself thanks to a mod that I’m honestly surprised took this long to turn up.
Gwent’s latest expansion, Novigrad, launched on Friday, and I’ve been playing almost nonstop since. After months away from the Witcher 3-inspired card game, I’ve fallen for Gwent all over again. The Novigrad expansion adds a new theme and mechanics that draw on what I love about the source material, and it also helps the game grow in important ways.
In The Witcher 3, the free city of Novigrad is a seaside metropolis ruled by a loose confederation of shady merchants and cutthroats. The Gwent expansion draws on similar elements by introducing the game’s first ever new faction: Syndicate. Made up of smugglers, pirates, witch hunters, and various gang leaders, much of the set revolves around earning gold and spending it to assassinate your rivals. While simple in theory, this dynamic opens up exciting new possibilities.
Take the card Witch Hunter Executioner, for example. It has Profit 2, which means players earn two coins when they play it. It also has “Fee 1: Gives Bleeding to a unit for one turn,” which means once the card is on the board players can spend one coin to activate the ability. When a card suffers from Bleed, a mechanic introduced in the previous Crimson Curse expansion, it takes one damage at the end of its owner’s turn. With Witch Hunter Executioner a nice thing to be able to use bleed whenever you want.
If a card targeted by Witch Hunter Executioner’s ability has a Bounty on it, the bleed damage is done immediately, which is even better. In addition, when a card with a Bounty on it is killed, the player who killed it gets coins equal to its base power. Enter Witch Hunter, a Syndicate card that places a Bounty on another card when it’s played. Together, the two cards offer up a vicious cycle, with each Bounty paying for the next kill.
Other cards like Caleb Menge, which allows you to spend three coins to place a Bounty, push this chemistry even further when combined with Ewald Borsodi, whose ability deals two damage in exchange for two coins. There aren’t any free lunches, even in Novigrad, and the money does run out eventually, but crime cards like Swindle, which adds between four and six extra coins to your coffer, and leader cards like The King of Beggars, which grants you up to six extra coins during a match, can greatly extend the life of the party.
One of the most popular deck archetypes at the moment is based around precisely this strategy, with The King of Beggars bankrolling the removal of just about whatever an opponent can throw at you. I’ve been playing with a version put together by professional Gwent player FreddyBabes, and it’s taken me on a dozen game winning streak. The synergies are so strong at the moment that CD Projeckt Red has already announced a hotfix to address balance issues coming later this week. Ten Syndicate cards will be affected, though the studio hasn’t yet revealed which ones will take the hit.
Even if their potency is reduced, the underlying strategies at play are still fun to navigate. When Gwent’s open beta began in early 2017, it felt like a fantasy version of a traditional playing card game, with lots of bluffing and passive watching as effects resolved automatically based on the order you put your cards down in. When Gwent left beta last fall, it dramatically changed, simplifying the game board and adding animated characters while also introducing new card mechanics. It wasn’t the game I’d grown to love anymore, and as a result I fell off it for a while.
Several months later, it feels like Gwent has finally grown into its new identity as a more interactive card game like Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering. Though its rules and layout still distinguish it from those games, the Novigrad expansion adds a new layer of strategy that lives up to all of the other business going on on screen. Individual cards feel more like their source material namesakes rather than just tokens passively representing them, while the interplay between the game’s new mechanics offers as much lively complexity as the fictional city they draw from.
Monster Hunter: World’s latest crossover event combines dangerous monster fights with the in-depth roleplaying of The Witcher 3 for a special quest that perfectly captures the tough work of a Witcher.
The story, which went live yesterday, begins with a mysterious creature stumbling into the Monster Hunter universe. The creature, a grimy little nekker from The Witcher 3, is shortly followed by the arrival of series protagonist Geralt of Rivia. Geralt jumps through a portal and finds himself face to face with your monster hunter. After reports of bloody monster killings in the Ancient Forest, Geralt sets off to investigate the cause. In a move somewhat unusual for the series, you take direct control over Geralt during his investigation. Armed with his signature swords and magic, you go on a quest full of intense boss fighting and bite-sized RPG sleuthing.
There’s a lot of detail in this crossover event. You don’t just control Geralt and fight some monsters. You also search for clues and talk with characters in a dialogue style entirely lifted from The Witcher 3. These moments are some of the best in the entire quest. Monster Hunter: World doesn’t really give its characters time to shine and rarely even gives them names. Watching Geralt interact with some of the item givers and researchers that I’ve come to rely on during my hundreds of hours of Monster Hunter: World is a welcome chance for them to receive genuine characterization. It’s even better if you play with English language settings. Doug Cockle, who voices Geralt in the Witcher games, returns with his signature mixture of world-weariness and snark.
The cause of all the strange happenings in the Ancient Forest is a leshen, a sort of primal woodland beast from The Witcher. This boss battle is both a perfect recreation of The Witcher 3’s intense combat and also one of the most frustrating fights I’ve had in Monster Hunter: World. The leshen has a variety of tricky attacks that require intense dodging, from summoning a swarm of crows to sending writhing plant roots through the ground. The idea is to dodge around, sneaking in attacks until you can use Geralt’s Agni rune, which unleashes a fire spell that stuns the beast. When you find your rhythm and manage this, the leshen fight is incredibly rewarding. It’s not quite as fast-paced as The Witcher but Geralt moves and fights nearly identically to how he does in his own games.
In practice, this happens less than it should. Many of the leshen’s attacks can knock Geralt flat on his ass, and they all come fast. In smaller areas, they can be difficult to dodge. The leshen can also cause the bleeding status effect, which can sap your health quickly and it can even summon a small horde of tiny lizard-like jagras as flunkies. As a result, there are portion of the fight where Geralt goes from badass witcher to absolute chump getting smacked around by birds and dinosaurs. You can block, as Geralt’s weapon functions as a sword and shield, but it doesn’t always work out. The leshen’s high health pool means that the fight lasts long and alternates between exciting highs and very frustrating lows, even by Monster Hunter standards. Many Monster Hunter fights are exhausting but few bat you around as much as battling the leshen. For the moment, this quest is single player only but a more difficult multiplayer-focused version of the leshen is coming at a later date.
At the end of the day, that is a small issue given how much this crossover event feels like a proper Witcher quest. If you grind out fights against the leshen, you can craft Geralt’s sword and even get a costume that allows your normal protagonist to dress up at him. Those are nice, but the real joy is playing an event that fits so perfectly into the Monster Hunter mold. A second part, which involves Geralt’s companion Ciri, is coming soon as well and will run from February 15th to March 1st.