As a professional courtesy, developers often don't point out the wrongdoings of games they didn't make. They really should though, because when they do, it's incredibly insightful. In an interview with Game Informer, two devs from CD Projekt (The Witcher) take a critical eye to the likes of Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas.
In the QA, a video of which is available on Game Informer, The Witcher 3 game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz and lead quest designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz talk about what they felt was The Witcher 2's main shortcoming — no "freedom of exploration".
"I remember talks during the production of The Witcher 2 about 'Why not implement a horse?'," reveals Mateusz. "But the landscapes were not big enough to really experience the horse. We thought for the next game it would be very cool to have those mechanisms."
He goes on to mention that fans pointed out that protagonist Geralt's horse was an "important element of the books".
Thanks to work done on the streaming technology in CD Projekt's "RED" engine, an open world is very possible in the series' third instalment, though the Tomaszkiewicz brothers want to make sure they get it right. The best way to do that? Analyse the heck out of your competitors. Here's what Konrad had to say about Bethesda's Skyrim:
We are players also and we love open world games ... thinking of the lesson were learned on Skyrim is that you need to care about immersion with the game all the time. You can't show that you got some generic solutions or generic stuff in the game and Skyrim — it was generic. You could make the same quest a few times, and every time, an NPC didn't spot that you made it for him previously. In my opinion to make the simulation, every quest needs to be designed [so] that the NPC reacts to what you're doing.
It doesn't stop with Skyrim — they also take a look at New Vegas and Assassin's Creed III. I won't spoil it here, so head on over to Game Informer to hear the rest of CD Projekt's observations.
Comparing the open world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Game Informer]