The Witcher Hands-on Previews

GameSpot and WorthPlaying have both put together new hands-on previews of The Witcher, after playing a near final build of CD Projekt's RPG. An excerpt from GameSpot's article:
The opening level is about defending the castle, which introduces you to The Witcher's combat system. The Witcher isn't like a lot of RPGs where combat is a fairly passive affair and you tell your character to attack an opponent then sit back, waiting for the battle to end. You have an active role during each and every swordfight in the game. When in combat, Geralt draws his sword and you can use double-clicks to make him leap forward or do acrobatic maneuvers, such as flips to the side. You click on opponents to initiate attacks, and then click again if the icon turns into a fiery sword, which indicates that you can chain combo attacks together to inflict even greater damage. However, you have to be quick because the moment of opportunity closes quickly. At the same time, you simply can't mash the mouse button frantically, because clicking too quickly can throw off Geralt's timing. Combat basically becomes a rhythm. If an enemy is stunned, then you can execute a perfect finishing move by clicking once more on the target. Finishing moves that we saw included Geralt leaping atop a foe and driving his sword into his chest, as well as cutting an enemy's legs out from under him then slitting his throat when he fell to his knees.

And an excerpt from WorthPlaying's article:
In all, the game offers 250 different skills to players, grouped along various skill trees. An especially useful ability Red Studio demonstrated was making potions that could enhance Geralt's stats. Consuming too many at once would poison the body, but being able to brew strong potions and then quickly consume them before entering a boss fight was a crucial component of success. While fighting ordinary enemies is relatively simple, combat grows more difficult (and even more console-like) when fighting bosses. Boss enemies, rather than being focused around given strategies, usually have certain patterns that must be disrupted or weak points that must be struck in order to deal damage to them. Sometimes Geralt also has an AI-controlled partner who fights with him, although what little was demonstrated of this didn't give a clear idea of when or how you'd want to use these assistant characters. They appear to appear naturally as following part of certain storylines.

You can expect our own preview later this week.