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The Witcher 3 'downgraded' - Does it matter?

Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.jpg

In less than ten days, the Wild Hunt will begin. There's hardly any surprises left as the media and developer CD Projekt Red already revealed a ton of info and more than enough gameplay videos for The Witcher 3. There is, however, one final question that seems to haunt gamers, will the final build look as good as the initial reveal, or did the developers downgrade the game? Each year at E3 developers showcase their upcoming games; fans get to see something spectacular, expectations boom, and usually the media runs away with the hype. Remember the Watch_Dogs E3 downgrade dilemma? What gamers and media forget is that with E3 developers are either showcasing a render or an incomplete product, and they'll use the most powerful machine available to showcase the game. Most of the time, it's not even close to the actual in-game footage. At E3 we see unfinished products, games in development, so hold that expectation in check. Unless, of course, when a developer clearly states, you see footage that resembles the final product. Another reason gamers are so concerned about what they'll find when they play the game is the difference between the game quality on each platform. Ubisoft tried to level the playing field when they locked Assassin's Creed: Unity's graphics for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we all know how that turned out.

The recent Grand Theft Auto V downgrade controversy is still fuming in the hearts of many PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, and so it's expected that all eyes now turn to 2015's next super game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Microsoft already came under the spotlight for posting Witcher 3 gameplay footage on the official Xbox YouTube channel without indicating that it's from the PC version.

The latest Witcher 3 graphics quality issue was posted by Reddit user "kergeten." The screenshots and explanations show that CD Projekt Red downgraded the game from what we first saw at E3 2013. But here's the thing, was it really downgraded, or are the changes just part of the development process. Here's two of the comparison images, I suggest you look at the source here for more detail.

Witcher 3 1.jpg

Witcher 3 2.jpg

Did CD Projekt deliberately deceive, or are the downgrades something we should expect from a massive game like The Witcher 3? What you also have to take into consideration when you look at the comparison is the platforms and versions used. Are we comparing apples to apples? I am not sure. Personally I think we should wait and play the final product before we make "downgraded" accusations. A lot of time passed between the E3 reveal and its final release. Changes to quality, gameplay and visuals are inevitable. On the other hand, doesn't game developers have a responsibility to portray the most realistic version of a game? Should gamers wise up and stop buying the hype?

To answer my initial question, does it matter if CD Project Red downgraded The Witcher 3? It will matter if the final product shows a distinct difference between what they revealed over the past few months - NOT when compared to what they revealed almost two years ago at E3.

What do you think? If we take the track record of previous Witcher games into consideration, then we at least know Witcher 3 will look amazing.

The Wither 3: Wild Hunt will release on 19 May 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

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