Like many RPGs, you have the main quests and several side quests that are available. You are, however, confined to certain regions; you cannot roam around to different areas whenever you wish. The regions are fairly large, but if youíre really set on a free-roaming RPG, then you might suffer from some slight feelings of claustrophobia with this game. The areas you are confined to are fairly large, so I never really had a cramped feeling. For the most part, areas are fairly open but there are some areas where there are obstructions. Being able to walk off the sides of stairways, docks, etc. would have been better, in my opinion, and there were some areas in the swamp where you can only walk along a set path.
When the game advertises nonlinear gameplay, I donít think itís necessarily focusing on the order of the main quest, because that does follow a fairly straight order. There are, of course, side quests, but it seems to me that the nonlinearity term is focusing on Geraltís decisions along the journey. You have to make small decisions all the time, such as whether to help someone or not, to be friendly or not, to do a quest or not, etc., and these decisions seem to take on a ripple effect in that they change many things.