Strategy Informer is next in line with a hands-on preview of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and once again it's based on the press build that CD Projekt sent out to a handful of sites over the past couple of weeks. The usual excerpt:
Combat is a bit troublesome at the moment admittedly and currently isn't as smooth or refined as Batman's, but I'm sure CD Projekt will be tweaking it a lot between now and the game's release next month. Even if it stayed the same I wouldn't have a problem with it. It's just a matter of getting used to it. I'd have to agree that the combat needs a little bit of work, but as the author states, I wouldn't necessarily take issue with it if it remains as-is at release. There are just so many other things this game has going for it (insanely detailed environments, rich characters, a large variety of skills, and an addictive crafting system that will have you rummaging through every container you find for components), that I can overlook a few flaws along the way. Hopefully I'll have my own preview ready within the next week or so.
The new quick menu certainly helps though, allowing you to easily switch swords, Sign spells, and other things beginning with '˜s'. This is also where you can Meditate to move time forward, upgrade your character, and mix and take potions. Like in the first game The Witcher 2 generally doesn't allow you to heal during combat, you just have to take potions to boost your health regeneration rate and try not to get killed.
While not being able to heal during combat is still an unusual idea for RPGs, once you're aware of it you learn to be more cautious and tactical during fights instead of just hammering the Left Mouse Button for quick attack. RMB's a strong but slow swing, and there's also Block, Roll and Geralt's Sign spells to help you. Learn to use them all and think strategically during combat and you should come out fine.
The level of detail CD Projekt have brought to this game is impressive. Every single person you encounter in the game has their own unique name for example ((Baffy the Prick) is my personal favourite), and you'll meet hundreds. Then there's the choices and consequences that made The Witcher so loved. A throwaway dialogue choice early on yielded me an ally a few hours later, and my lack of subtlety during a prison break will have ramifications over the entire game I suspect.