Ambition isn't even the word. This is obsession.
It's funny, but considering the Gamescom demo of The Witcher 3 ends up with a necklace of actual ears, a magic tapestry and gratuitous glimpses of hag-nipples, I am still telling you right now to take this game very seriously.
What would once have filled an entire game concept is now just a necessity brought on by ambition. For instance, the combat is brutal, with the kind of slice tech offered by Metal Gear Rising allowing you to lop off enemy arms. And torsos. There are spells to cast too, from the magical trap of Yrden through to the Igni fire spell, which can also ignite natural gases in areas like the swamp, adding a further tactical slant. Sure, they're returning spells, but they work perfectly in Wild Hunt's ever-more-vicious combat.
But combat's just something that happens on your way. The story is deeper. The deliberate and thorough exposition in dialogue scenes never rushes unduly. And yet, somehow, these plotlines are set to branch with your decisions. Plus, this is all going to happen in a game world HOW big?
Extremely big. The demo mission requires Geralt to travel quite some distance from the city to a place called Velen. CD Projeckt reckon the journey would take about 20 minutes full-speed on horseback but, to save time, a quick-travel was used. Signposts act as quick travel beacons. Read one and you can visit anywhere you have traveled before. It wasn't even one side of the map to another. It's just a massive place.
It's not like the landscape is barren either. It's packed with detail everywhere you look, whether it's the vertical clifftop paths that you can now navigate by climbing, or the packed towns bristling with activity (that alters its behaviour based on the time of day and weather conditions).
Oh, you can swim, too. And dive below the surface, where there's more stuff to find. Did I mention it's beautiful? It is. Dynamic water ripples, gorgeous rock textures, massive draw-distances. Seriously, this is threatening to swallow your entire life. Or at least cut off your ear and use it as a pendant.