The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's second and final expansion is coming at the end of May, and it's going to be gorgeous.
That much has been clear from the images and trailers we've seen about Blood and Wine so far. The Witcher 3 is already an incredible-looking game, and Blood and Wine appears to look even better. Now, we know exactly why.
As it turns out, developer CD Projekt Red has been working hard to bring a number of graphical improvements to the game in Blood and Wine.
"Generally it is a graphics upgrade from the base game," senior environment artist Len de Gracia tells Eurogamer. "We have employed methods that we did not implement in the base game. You can literally bring your camera up to a wall now and the textures would be crisp — at least in most cases ... We just wanted to show that we can actually push it to the limit this time."
The vast majority of assets used in the new region of Toussaint are all new. Better yet, the game is said to run at a stable 30fps on consoles, despite the graphical improvements. That's because the team developed Blood and Wine from the ground up, using completely different optimization methods than seen in the original Witcher 3.
Since Blood and Wine is an entirely separate region cut off from the core game, it has allowed CD Projekt Red to make changes that would be challenging to implement across the entirety of The Witcher 3, says de Gracia.
"It would be very difficult," he says. "This time we went through a clean slate. If we wanted to change the base game ... we might run into a lot of problems. But maybe, perhaps, in future, they will be like, 'Maybe we could pimp up Witcher 3 base game.' We'll see."
Looks like fans have plenty to look forward to in what is supposedly going to be Geralt's last adventure. You'll be able to play Witcher 3's Blood and Wine expansion on May 31 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.