The new Toussaint region of The Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine expansion looks stunning on PC, but its delivery on console has – until now – been a mystery. To benefit the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One delivery of this new area, developer CD Projekt Red states a more to streaming in assets is in effect here – in theory helping to improve frame-rates over the base game. But how does either stack up to the PC release, and are there any lingering performance troubles?
The basic setup remains from the original The Witcher 3 content, in certain respects. We get a full native 1920×1080 on PS4, while Xbox One typically runs at 1600×900. For the most part this defines the rift in visual quality between the two; an upscaled image causing details to blur on Xbox One – while texture quality is identical when viewing the console outputs up-close. Each also matches PC’s best quality texture maps, and thankfully the layout of geometry across Toussaint is unchanged, meaning consoles get this beautiful new area in all its glory.
There is a visual advantage on PC, and the differences between the three versions of Blood and Wine largely come down to draw distances. For example, PC’s overview of Toussaint’s main city reveals a broader draw distance for shadow detail, while more trees also render in across its far hillsides. This only occurs at extreme range however, and PS4 and Xbox One tend to produce the same density of foliage and NPCs while in the city’s main plaza. Each is rife with detail, but it’s only in moving to PC that we realise what the ultra setting for terrain brings to the table.