The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview

GameSpot has published a new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt preview, which includes most of the usual information on CD Projekt RED's open-world threequel, and a few new snippets, like this one on the game's "police system":

"We want to attract gamers, to keep them entertained by the story, not the fact that maybe this super good sword will drop," Platkow-Gilewski adds.

This speaks to the specific kind of open world CD Projekt Red is attempting to craft--one that is less of a sandbox and more story-driven. "There will always be some kind of compromise when we want to have a story and an open world in one," says Platkow-Gilewski. "But I think, from the story point of view, it makes sense. You just can't do whatever you want, like something stupid which could destroy the fun."

For this reason, you shouldn't expect the breadth of freedom of a game like Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V. You can't, for example, run around town killing random non-player characters. "For me, that would be an immersion and story breaker," Platkow-Gilewski continues. "Here, we are playing the role of Geralt, of a Witcher, which is a predefined character. We know that he's not a serial killer going frenzy somewhere in the middle of a small, peaceful village."

Despite this restriction, a police system has been implemented to respond to players who push Geralt too far from his nature. If Geralt is acting unnaturally aggressive, guards will accost him and ask him to calm down. Or, if he has acted particularly violently, he may find himself in a combat encounter.

"Besides the police system, we have a reaction system," adds Babiel. "For example, if you draw your sword in a crowded place, NPCs will see that and react, shouting or running away." The result is an open world that does not offer complete sandbox freedom, but freedom within a specific narrative context.