The Witcher 3: GDC 2016 Game of the Year
At the Game Developers Choice Awards 2016, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won the Game of the Year award. Following Geralt of Rivia, the supernatural role-playing game was listed as one of the must-play titles of 2015, and topped Skyrim as one of the best role-playing games of all time.
The developer behind the game, CD Projekt RED, used the REDengine 3 to run the game, which allowed more realism to be added, as well as the smoke and fog you see as you traverse the world. The engine is the reason why the game itself could have a complex, nonlinear storyline that other engines would suffer to produce.
For example, if player A were to make a choice, then it would be a linear path from point A to point C with event B in the middle. While some games would emphasize the illusion of choice, and elaborate on it for an amazing game experience (BioShock for instance), the REDengine allows you to skip point B entirely in your journey from A to C. Rather than being forced to go through something, you can continue building the character without breaking the open world.
But apart from the beast of the engine behind the game, which won the Best Technology award, this open world role-playing game is one of the largest to date, with its map sitting at 135 km². That's 3.5 times bigger than Skyrim (which was already at a massive estimate of 37 km²). It's 30 times larger than the previous Witcher games, and CD Projekt RED put around 100 hours of questing into that world. Combat has evolved, whether fighting on horseback or underwater. The day and night cycles also influence monsters and what abilities they have.
If you throw in the gorgeous graphics, it can be seen why the award is well deserved. Read our review of the game if you want to know more.