I was lucky enough to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at E3 2013 and again this was one of the titles I was able to close out E3 2014 with. This time around CD Projekt Red had another year to build and expand on everything in the game. You should have seen some of it if you watched one of the press conferences online or in person. Only this demo I was shown took place minutes after that one ended and Geralt has ridden into the town with the Griffon head in tow. Here's where things picked back up.
The first thing shown for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in this demo was how vast the game's world actually is. Also that none of it is blocked off at all outside of the monster you might be facing being too powerful if you just run right in. Also noteworthy is that it would take a player upwards of 25 real-time minutes to ride a horse at full tilt to get from one side of the map to the other. This means that it is going to be much easier and fast to unlock all of the fast travel locations early on to hop from place to place. This was shown as Geralt dropped off his prize and moved on to his next larger mission.
You can see a bit of the gameplay below for this section of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt but it all started out in a swamp lands. The shining point here besides the combat we've seen over and over is how far they have progressed the physics engine for the game. Specifically the water ripples and environment reacting to the actions taken by the player. It is a downright marvel were we are currently with the technology but I am sure that this will only last for another year when they improve upon it even more.
From there we moved onto the next mission which was designed to show off the ability to go anywhere you can see in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Geralt was tasked with getting to the top of a mountain to recover someone's lost voice. There was a trail that could have been taken that would have made for an easier and slower travel but instead the driver of the demo decided to scale straight up the side and forego the dictated path. I'm assuming that had we gone down the path there would have been lesser monsters just hanging around to be killed as once at the summit Geralt made quick with dispatching the creature and the other things in its nest.
Again, in the interest of time, the driver took a different path back down that there would have been no way to climb up. So there is a way to bypass the little things in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt if we so choose too is what I was able to take away from this little section of the game. Hopefully more like bypassing the minions that would just be an annoyance instead of the true minions that should be needed to experience Geralt up but there was no direct answer to that question. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt wouldn't be much of a game if you could just bypass everything after all.
In the interest of time on my side I will skip over a vast part as it was the same description of the combat fresh from the demo last year and again shown to the public at large online recently. That is so I can get to the really cool way that the story is being told here and how interactive it really feels.
It is nothing new to gaming but the dialog options and choices that we will presented with in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt could have anything from a small impact to a world changing one. At least as it was explained in the demo. Here Geralt was given the task to let something that sounded like an evil entity free to "save" some children in an orphanage. The driver here chose that the entity didn't sound on the up and up and refused. It was then explained that later in the game we may have to go to said orphanage for a mission and this choice could fully lock out another mission or make it much more difficult. That is if we actually ended up going in the first place. Interesting stuff and it sounds like there is much in the way of replay value.
The more I see from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt makes me question why it hasn't been released yet. That is in the way of not wanting to wait until February 24th 2015 to actually play the damn game more than anything though. It looks amazing and all of the game mechanics look to be so fine tuned in the way I've been asking for in the past. Back to the long wait I guess and hopefully more footage will come between now and then.