Personally, I really like the combat. I play a lot of For Honor so I already managed to get integrated into it really easily. There are issues with the combat that I just want to address.
AI Difficulty. - While this is not an option in game it is a feature that is in the game. It is all dependent on area. Rattay has easier bandits while Skalitz has the hardest. I do not have an issue with this system. The problem I have is some of these things do not make sense. For instance, the bandits that attack you that are just peasants. What? They have war-hammers? Well, alright sure. Then they go and riposte every single attack. A peasant who by all accounts is just sick of all the shit going on, and now suddenly has the skills of a master warrior? Okay fine, what about this one with just a wood-cutter ax? Nothing special right? Wrong. Nothing but Riposte. It is very jarring. I can expect that out of bandits that are well armed, for instance, the Skalitz bandits. But these random peasants near Rattay? I don’t think so. How riposte works is so broken in favor of the AI that it makes the combat repetitive, and boring.
Melee Combat. - Like I said. I play For Honor and like the combat, I actually do like the combat in this game and have had fun. That was until you reached the end game. It becomes wait and riposte, wait and riposte every damn time. It is so damn passive. The only exception is when you are in the tournament, but even then you can cheese it by clinching him into a corner than just repeat ‘clinch then attack’ and you’ll win. What is the point of learning all these combo moves and not attacking in the same direction if I can not even get them off? You’ll be lucky to even get the 3 hit combo. I can understand if the AI could sometimes get a riposte but the sheer amount they are able to get off is insane. I am not expecting easy fights, I like how hard it is, but it has gotten to a point where it is no longer fun because all this stuff I had to memorize and learn is now pointless.
Range Combat. I love this, I love how it is done, I love how it is handled. I wouldn’t have won half of my earlier fights if I didn’t have this. All in all, you can ignore most of the melee combat in this game and focus on archery. You are only forced into 1 melee fight anyway and you can still do it with archery. Full plated archer and I can take 5 bandits face to face easier than if I had to melee fight them. It is almost broken how powerful it is. I love this, but it is way too powerful in my mind, almost to the level Skyrim puts it.
While I am grumbling and complaining, I can honestly say I do love this game. They got so many things right and so many interesting things going on and even the sheer amount of Easter eggs were fun. The Witcher ones were my favorite. Even the combat itself is fun in till you reach a point where the AI will just riposte you no matter what you do. This 1 thing is holding me back from making it my favorite game overall. I love how difficult the combat is but it gets TOO difficult by the end. Where every damn person is now a master warrior. I know there are some bandits that are not and some are easily killable, that goes without saying, but it is annoying how often you come across simple peasants or even ‘low-level’ bandits that are capable of this “high-level” move-set as Bernard puts it. I don’t think it would be hard to fix this, but I do hope they do something about it.