The Witcher 2 comes across as slow and sticky most of the time. Geralt is controlled through a combination of the mouse and WASD keys. While the mouse buttons control Geraltís attacks with whatever weapon he has equipped, his magical attacks and combat maneuvers are bound to the keyboard. Given the importance that The Witcher 2 places on dodging and parrying in combat, itís a surprise that neither mechanic functions very well. I found that most of the time in order to get Geralt to actually raise his sword up into a defensive position I had to repeatedly spam the block key, and even then he did so with a slowness that often allowed an enemyís attack to slip through.
In contrast, the magic system is interesting and can be included in the flow of battle with ease. Geraltís five spells (with a sixth added later on) include the ability to stun opponents with a telekinetic wave, burn them with a burst of flame, set traps on the ground that freeze them in place, charm them to his side for short periods of time, and create a protective shield around himself.
Depending on what players choose, The Witcher 2ís story will twist and turn leading players to any of the gameís 16 different endings. For instance, in the beginning of the game when faced with a rebellious nobleman on the battle field, Geralt has the opportunity to convince him to either surrender or face him in honorable combat. The option players choose will decide the fate of the noblemanís family and which NPCs Geralt will be able to interact with later on in the game.
The Witcher 2 is an interesting and refreshing RPG and despite my frustration with the combat system, it was actually a rather fun and engaging game. Balancing somewhere between Baldurís Gate and Dragon Age, The Witcher 2 does risk pushing away fans of easier, more approachable games who may find the combat system and the ease with which Geralt dies to be too frustrating.