Although the it is a beautifully vast open world game with very demanding specs, I was still one of the (admittedly small) majority of individuals who looked at the Witcher 3 and thought that it would be much more graphically impressive.
Over the years we have seen huge differences between what we are promised to what we have delivered with these huge AAA games. Just look at the backlash Watch Dog’s received after the E3 2012 presentation compared to the actual released version. And surely enough, we have seen the same result here.
But, at least we have some honesty about why the Witcher 3 was downgraded and why they could not reach the desired goals due to lack of funding and time, which is completely understandable. A developer first spoke out on twitter about why the Witcher was downgraded in the final release.
I don’t mind if these sacrifices are needed to be made, but it’s a shame that we only see a higher quality version as unplayable demo. I can also understand why developers and publishers do this: sales, hype, uncertainty of end result…etc. Plus we have such a vast majority of the audience who can’t understand how something looked better a year or two ago compared to today…it should look better in their opinion, but unfortunately it’s just not that cut and dry.
Sure we have “in-game engine” footage and CGI trailers representing the idea or the capabilities of the game, but it’s not true to life and, as stated earlier, most people don’t look that deep into the end result on release.
It’s good to see some honesty about the whole “downgraded” debate and shining some light from behind the scenes.
I would dig deeper into the actual comparisons, but eurogamer have an article explaining everything here with the a developer and why the devs just could not keep the promises made with previous builds.