The issue is available to digital subscribers now, ahead of the expected February 5 announcement CD Projekt RED teased in mid-January.
According to Game Informer the open world in The Witcher 3 is 30 times larger than the previous game, which will make it even bigger than Skyrim.
Free expansion packs will release after the launch of Wild Hunt next year, akin to The Witcher 2's continuous, free post-release support.
Wild Hunt isn't broken up into acts, as the REDengine 3 permits the exploration of a vast, open-world without loading screen interruptions. Enemies won't scale to Geralt's level, though, so you can wander into territory filled with too-tough monsters who will wreck our intrepid hero. Along the way, you can expect to encounter friendlies and enemies in a dynamic world affected by unpredictable weather, including randomly generated storms, and water physics while sailing.
Fast travel is a go, and Geralt can mount horses for both transportation and combat.
Geralt will play the part of monster-hunter and detective throughout his quests, which developer CDP claims will occupy more than 100 hours of players' time. He'll have almost five times the amount of unique character animations, too.
Each new area of the game – Skellige, the metropolis of Novigrad, and "No Man's Land" – has its own story. Non-linear storytelling with branching paths dictates that avoiding the central plot of seeking out Geralt's lost love, Triss Merigold, will have ramifications.
In combat, you can interrupt attack animations to dodge or block, which depletes stamina. Dodging isn't a big somersault anymore, however – Geralt pivots to evade attacks while maintaining the momentum of a fight. Enemy AI has been retooled as well, and quick-time events are out entirely.