The Witcher Preview

The editors at IGN have written up an informative three-page preview of The Witcher, based on their time with a recent press build of CD Projekt's RPG.
One of the most important aspects of the game that's always actively used in combat is potions. These can be found around the world but will mostly be acquired through alchemy. Throughout the world are recipes for various potions and the ingredients needed to create them. Most ingredients can be found on monsters or plants, but these can only be harvested if you've found and read the correct books. Once you have the ingredients, which include base alcohols, potions can be created using the formulas. They're especially important as the monsters become more difficult. Some of these potions will increase Geralt's regenerative powers of health and endurance while others will increase the ability to dodge attacks and deal more damage while others still allow you to see in the dark. Whenever a potion is consumed, players will see the effects on screen (sometimes a little obtrusively) so they know how long the potion lasts as well as seeing the symbol for the effect near their health bar. While potions can definitely be taken in the middle of battle (especially when using a defensive shield) it's probably better to plan ahead, especially for health potions, which don't suddenly add an amount of life back but merely improve regeneration.

There's also a new official trailer for the game at GameSpot, in case you're interested.