The combat works, but in small doses and groups of enemies, which rarely happens. Often Geralt is attacked by groups of enemies at a time and the limited attack options coupled with animations that last too long (and cannot be interrupted) make the game almost unnecessarily challenging on the normal difficulty. Sometimes as you are rolling to attack one person you are hit by another (and cannot break the attack to block), which ruins your momentum and you are then hit by another. Preparing yourself with the Quen (shield) spell in advance helps, but more often than not I switch to Easy mode, which is something I despise doing in games as I like a challenge. Once Geralt hits the later parts of Chapter One you build up more stamina and abilities as well as a large stock of potions/bombs/traps which makes the tactical choices more varied and allows you to power through this slightly flawed combat system.
Despite the combat system needing some work and some other minor annoyances like only being allowed to change options in a pre-game launcher, I have to say that The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is one of the best experiences I had in years. Even though I hate the combat at times, even though the alchemy system caused my head to spin as I searched for components, and even though my computer would smoke as I raised the settings, I loved every minute, till the rushed ending. But so-so ending aside, The Witcher 2 is one of the most fully realized videogame experiences I have had the joy to play. From the striking world, to the engaging characters and a deep story, I just could not stop playing this game. It is a true triumph and raises the bar for RPG’s to an extremely high level and I cannot wait to see more from this studio.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs.