The Witcher III: Wild Hunt takes the world of Geralt, the titular witcher of the title, and breathes life into its nooks and crannies, bringing to life an open world that's bigger than that offered up in the first two games.
The Northern Kingdoms are suffering. The Nilfgaardian Empire has struck again and the smoke of burning villages chokes the air. A greater danger even than this lurks just out of sight, however, and an otherworldly force threatens to consume the kingdoms. Despite all this, Geralt has a much more personal goal than in previous games - to save his daughter.
It's this that gives Wild Hunt the room it needs to breathe. As an established character with a grave threat looming, players might have felt compelled to rush around this open world and not take it in. As it is, Geralt is almost as much in the dark as the player. Finding your daughter means chasing down clues and following leads. Hunting, in other words. This structure lets the game breathe and gives the player chance to explore the world's nooks and crannies. Players progress at their own pace, in whatever order they see fit, and the narrative develops with them.
There are, of course, still monsters to be hunted. As in the previous games, this might mean crafting poisons or laying traps. It might also mean entering into the kind of combat made popular by the Batman: Arkham games, which is all about timing and fluidly stringing together counter moves and combos.
The Witcher III offers players a dark, morally ambiguous tale full of tough decisions and even tougher confrontations.