that is definitely not the case in TW3: your choices affect a moderate amount, and lots of stuff will get closed down depending on what happens. There’s a particular set of choices that massively effect the ending of the main narrative… and they are not telegraphed in any way. I can recommend not spoiling yourself as to what they are. When I worked out what they were, I almost clapped.
Whilst there’s some continuity from previous games, it’s easy enough to work out (or I can fill you in); it stands alone fairly nicely.
It’s a big game, and it will take a while to get into it. The opening section is a nice tutorial, tho, and when you realise how big the map is after you complete the first area… that’s a great moment. I reckon I did the main game in about 40 hours with, I dunno, about half the optional stuff? It is also, on PC, stupidly beautiful (yes, artistic takes, but still, all in-game to begin with). God, I love that world.