"For one thing, the opening Act is nowhere near as powerful as in Assassin of Kings. From that game’s powerful opening cinematic (perhaps the best in any video game) through its cleverly-directed opening segments, to the arrival at Flotsam, The Witcher 2 is simply breathtaking. It also introduces you to a world that’s steeped in lore and history, that feels real and inhabited. The small hamlet of Flotsam feels like a real and distinct and unique place. The forests around it remain quite possibly my favorite environment in any video game.
There’s a sense of place—grounded in history and conflict—to Flotsam and the surrounding area that I have yet to discover in The Witcher 3. "