The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview

There's a new preview for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt over at GamingIllustrated, though I'm not sure whether it was based on a presentation from CD Projekt or the writer just rounded up info that was already available. Either way, here's a snippet:
It seems that CD Projekt Red has been keeping an ear to the ground for what gamers want out of their fantasy RPGs. The world of the Witcher 3 is reportedly 30 times larger than the Witcher 2 (or roughly 20% larger than Skyrim). It is focused on giving the game a more open feel, as opposed to the Witcher 2, which many fans believe was too restrictive. Trailers of the game showing Geralt riding a horse as well as sailing a small boat to reach destinations and the cities and towns are no longer blocked off from the wilderness outside by gates and a loading screen, adding to an already highly immersive experience. Creatures both mundane and magical freely roam the wilderness, as well as soldiers patrolling the roads and ships cruising the freezing oceans.


The gameplay is also seeing an update; Geralt will have substantially more combat animations than in the Witcher 2 and will take different stances depending on how he is faring in a fight. The QTEs that were nearly constant throughout the previous title will be gone from the Witcher 3, making events such as fistfights more proactive for the player. Geralt will also no longer roll everywhere to dodge attacks, instead pirouetting out of harm's way. The number of magical signs has also increased, with old favorites such as Ignii having more than one use in combat with them accessible through the skills tree. Other new features include Geralt's (Witcher's Sense), an ability that helps Geralt hunt monsters and look for clues to lifting curses or to further a mission, combat skills that change Geralt's fighting style and a more user-friendly controller scheme for the console versions. Alchemy will make a return, although Geralt can now down a potion during combat, and crafting and upgrading equipment will also come back to devour our time with lists of stats and effects. CD Projekt Red says that the Witcher 3 will be more accessible for new players while still retaining the hardcore RPG elements that longtime fans know and love. With the additions of an extra, extremely hard difficulty in the Enhanced Edition of the Witcher 2, it is likely that we'll see more forms of difficulties in the Witcher 3, similar to the Story mode in Mass Effect 3.