The Witcher 3’s Sound Mix is Now Broken on Nintendo Switch
UPDATE 9/14/23: A number of days after this story went live, they finally fixed this in a patch. I would have written this update sooner, but I’ve been busy playing things like Starfield.
The original article text follows, and I’m leaving it up for posterity. I still can’t believe that CD Projekt allowed the original broken patch to ship in the first place, especially since they’ve only just recovered from the whole Cyberpunk bug debacle.
A little over a month ago, the Nintendo Switch version of The Witcher 3 got the “next gen” patch. It didn’t bring over the advanced visual features from the PS5/Xbox Series versions like ray tracing, but it did add a bunch of free new content and small quality of life tweaks.
Unfortunately, it also totally messed up the game’s lush soundscape.
The Witcher 3 is an audiovisual masterpiece, even on the Nintendo Switch. On a platform famous for its “impossible ports,” it’s easy to argue that CD Projekt Red’s seminal fantasy RPG is the most impressive one. Or at least, it was easy until a month ago.
With the new patch applied, the Witcher 3 loses all of its ambient environmental sounds on the Switch. It’s immediately apparent and affects nearly every non-cutscene moment in the game. All of the famous howling wind, tree, and animal sounds in the forests? Gone. Town murmurs that made the world feel more alive? Gone. Background sounds during dialog sequences that keep the world established even when you’re paused for some exposition? Gone.
It’s an immersion nightmare. And there’s no real reason for it to have happened. As I said, it’s instantly noticeable the second you boot it up, and it makes it seem like this new Switch patch went through exactly zero QA testing. Or, perhaps when the test team noticed this and wrote it up, they were ignored in favor of the patch releasing anyway.
Now, the game is still technically playable, but it feels soulless and stupid. It’s still gorgeous, and the control tweaks and fun new TV-show related content are nice to have on the Switch. But without all the cool environmental sounds, every single moment feels suddenly inferior and lame.