We're only just over a week away from the launch of The Witcher 3 Next-Gen for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and Digital Foundry has had a chance to go hands-on with the free update prior to its December 14th release date.

Basically, it's good news! The outlet says that the new version "impressed hugely in the four hours we played it" across Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, stating that "the game truly looks and plays better than ever before".

"Not just in the visual upgrades, which include reworked foliage, 4K textures and higher-quality models throughout. There are also significant quality of live improvements, like a revised camera and faster controls for using signs, the magic spells of the Witcher universe."

In terms of the two performance modes in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen, the 30FPS quality mode is said to boast "substantial differences" in graphical quality due to its implementation of global illumination and ambient occlusion ray tracing, although the 60FPS performance mode is also an "excellent alternative" that benefits from most of the same improvements aside from the ray tracing features.

And as for actual FPS performance, the frame rate apparently "looked good" during testing — with just a handful of confirmed dips below 60FPS in some hands-off gameplay footage that was provided to Digital Foundry — although the team noticed by eye that the Novigrad city centre "did appear to be dropping frames more heavily".

Ultimately, these are very positive first impressions for the most part, and although the outlet wasn't able to test the Xbox Series S version, it's been confirmed that we'll be getting two performance modes on Microsoft's mini console as well. We're now just a few days away from the launch, and we absolutely can't wait!

"The next-gen Update is certainly shaping up to be one of the most comprehensive free game upgrades in recent memory.... All told, the game truly looks and plays better than ever before."

How excited are you for the Witcher 3 update next week? Tell us down in the comments below.

[source eurogamer.net]