I played the first 5 hours of Horizon with my family over the winter holiday that just passed and that game really feels like the open world serves gameplay with the varied and often aggressive enemeies as opposed an open world that serves the story and using the world to tell a compelling story.
Right out the gate, I just felt no connection to the game and especially the world of Horizon so I put it down really quickly relative to the length of the game. I'm sure the world is more justified because Horizon is gameplay first from what I can tell.
Something I thought of regarding TW3 or other games like it where they could use an "open world" as the backdrop to tell the story like they do in Yakuza. I felt that after playing Yakuza 0 for the first time that they really nailed the open world where it is relatively small but there are a million and one places to hold scenes within that world which then unfold a story. By the end of the game, the power struggle for Kamurocho is very intense and it is because you spent so much time in every nook and cranny within this city while being supported by a narrative that exposes you to the city and the city is central to the plot.
You can compare Yakuza's semi-open world to the chapter system in TW1 and TW2. What comes to mind immediately is investigating the Salamandra inside of Vizima in The Witcher 1. There are two chapters within one city and you grow very intimate with the people who live within the city as well as the city itself. Then as your decisions change the narrative, the city changing has a lot more impact. Those semi-open worlds need to be embraced more because I barely connected with any city or location in TW3. You spend a lot of time in the land where The Baron lives but I always felt like I was just running up a hill to start a quest instead of really being close to the village.