fwiw i feel like witcher 1 is really the only one where this is a serious problem—witcher 2 is guilty to some extent, but it's much more focused to be point i don't even really think of it as open world so much as a narrative choice/consequence game with some side content. and 3 so far has done perhaps the best job i've ever seen of giving you a world that feels sprawling while resisting the urge to fill it with cruft and busywork like the ubisofts and the dragon age inquisitions of the world. it might be the first time i've indulged in open world side content feeling like i'm still only doing stuff that genuinely interests me, rather than feeling like i'm checking tasks off a list.
while gordon's right in that the landmass is impressive, it reminds me much more of a souls game where almost everything in it feels thoughtfully crafted and meaningful than a skyrim which is mostly dead air & content for the sake of content. of course it's big in a way no souls game is, but it uses its large distances to convey scale for the things within it rather than as an excuse to just cram in a shitload of filler.
while i obviously disagree about W1 vs W2 in general, i'm with you on this point. W2's depiction of witcher-work feels more fantasy-quest-y and less like witchers are just professionals with a particular set of skills. i have good news! Witcher 3 sells the concept of witcher-work with panache. it absolutely nails the workmanlike way Geralt goes about his business, to the point that it feels like this is what they've been going for the entire time but just couldn't quite figure out how to express it in game form until now.Gordon Frohman wrote:The problem I had with TW2 was Geralt didn't feel like a Witcher.