The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview and Interview

To accompany a demo-based preview of the game, the editors over at EL33TONLINE have also cranked out the results of an interview they conducted with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt producer Mikołaj Szwed, presumably during the recent Gamescom event. First, a snip from the preview:
Most of the demo playthrough we witnessed took place in Skellige where Geralt was tasked with hunting a spirit in the forest. It seems that monster hunting will be a greater point of focus than it was in The Witcher 2, and these segments of the game will require you to interact with nearby villagers as you learn more details about the beast, its whereabouts and habits. For example, in the demo the monster Geralt was hunting could be weakened by killing one of the villagers who it had possessed, and you could tell who this person was by the cloud of bats which swarmed around her location. In this instance you could encourage her lover to kill her for you, or perform the deed yourself.

The Witcher 3'²s setting is beautiful to behold and fluid to traverse thanks to the REDengine 3 which streams the game's open world without any loading screens. Trees bend in the breeze and shadows lengthen as the game's day-night cycle takes effect, and even the open ocean is a hive of activity as hunting parties and fishermen row past you singing mirthful tunes. All these details really pull you into The Witcher 3'²s world and immerse you in its atmosphere, and when the consequences of players' actions become apparent in their surroundings I think it's going to make the experience even richer.

And then a little something from the interview:
Tom: I noticed just from the presentation that it seems like there's a greater focus now on hunting beasts?

Mikołaj: Monster hunting was always a very important element of the Witcher games it was already present in the Witcher 1 in The Witcher 2 not so much but there were still side quests where you had to hunt the Endregas or the Nekkers or the Harpies. So basically we wanted to give it a more prominent place in The Witcher 3, so basically now that we have an open-world game there will be far more places to put all this stuff there. We also have this new system like these Witcher senses which will be used to investigate both cases connected with monsters as well as not. So basically you'll be able to track the tracks of the monsters in the forest not only visual tracks but also you'll be able to listen to sounds. And there will be different types of monster hunting for example, sometimes you'll be able to come across a monster yourself without even knowing that there's a side quest for this monster you can kill it and then take the trophy and then it turns out that someone will pay for your trophy. In other situations you'll have to, for example, gather information from witnesses about the monsters, so actually you'll get to know what monster type it is and ferret it out just like the Leshen. So basically you have to know what the monster is in order to lure it out because some of the monsters it won't be possible to find them until you get to know how to lure them out from their lairs.