The Witcher 3 Switch Edition: A Solid Port

The Witcher 3 title has seen many incarnations on numerous modern consoles since its initial release.  The complete experience is back for another sword-swinging open-world experience on Nintendo’s current console, with the inclusion of all the DLC from previous editions and handheld portability. A solid experience throughout even with some minor issues, the game as a whole plays wonderfully on the Switch and it is a worthy entry in any gamer’s collection. 

The Pros
Included in this complete edition are all the DLC including new weapon armor sets and side missions that add hours of gameplay to an already expansive RPG experience. 

Geralt’s journey takes him from the frosts islands of Skellige to the vast oceans of the Southern border. The side content alone gives players more than 50 hours of open-world adventure that fits unbelievably on the Switch in both handheld and dock mode. Both Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine expansions are included on the Switch version, each adding more to Geralt’s journey without requiring a download neither. 

The packaging is stellar, with the Switch edition coming with a world map, stickers, and a full-color manual which are now unseen in most other releases. What is more amazing is that this massive game fits entirely on a 32gb cartridge without any downloading required. Everything is on the tiny cartridge. Developer CD Project Red did an outstanding job of bringing this game to life on the Switch without losing much of its PS4 and Xbox counterparts. 

The load times are almost nonexistent, due much to the cartridge format of the Switch. During gameplay, for example, Geralt can enter new parts of the world map and cut scene transitions without seeing the loading screen take up unnecessary time. The PS4 version of this game suffered greatly from this and that truly hampered the seem less gameplay experience it’s developers were trying to achieve. The Switch port only suffers from some minor load times that rarely interrupt the player’s engagement with the world of the story. 

The Cons
One of the fundamental issues one can have with the Witcher 3 Switch edition is its constant frame drops. Gone are the 60FPS that are in the Xbox and PS4’s powerful game engines. This is deeply troubling at times, especially during key battle sequences when Geralt is facing numerous enemies on screen at just 30 FPS.  Draw distances are superficial and vacant, with the world in the background appearing barren during frames of animation. The cut scenes to are choppy, with character models appearing outdated and choppy. This is due mostly to the developers having to cram a 100 plus hour game into a small cartridge which is understandable when taken into context. But besides these production flaws the game is still a very solid adaptation that feels right at home on the Switch.

The Verdict
In the end, The Witcher 3 on the Switch is a golden opportunity for players to experience Geralt’s journey all over again whether at home or on the go. With an endless amount of story, great packaging, and some fantastic armor sets, the developers did a marvelous job of bringing new life to this work on a meager cartridge. With little load times and no downloading, the game never feels subpar in any even with its frame rate issues and occasional animation flaws. Even with its full price tag, The Witcher 3 is a brilliant RPG experience on a Nintendo platform that never looses its shine after dozens of hours of gameplay. 

About Anthony Frisina 83 Articles
Anthony Frisina is a graduate of the City University of New York-Brooklyn College with a BA in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Anthony went on to attend Brooklyn College's Film Academy and Writer's workshop program, achieving an interdisciplinary degree in Screenwriting and Film theory in the Fine Arts. Transforming his love for classic American cinema, Anthony went on to adapt a number of his own works into different mediums, including his well-received Western novel The Regulator. Anthony likes to spend his free time writing articles for magazines and periodicals that cover a wide range of topics, from science fiction to popular culture. As a screenwriter, Anthony has had his screenplays featured at numerous spec script writing competitions across the country where he one day hopes to write the next great American film.

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