As a professional monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia has to be ready for anything. Dragons. Nekkers. Arachna. Striga. His tool of choice is a silver sword; a sword for monsters, which slices through all of them.
Not all monsters have scales and fangs though, which is why he carries another sword as well, forged of old-fashioned steel. Geralt doesn't accept contracts on humans (or on sentient monsters, unless he determines it necessary), but that doesn't mean he isn't just as prepared to handle the humans, dwarves and elves who fear and despise his mutant nature.
With both of these swords slung across his back, Geralt's mutant strength and intensive training can handle almost any opponent. Fast strikes cut into undefended enemies like nothing else, while strong blows batter their shields or armour, getting them off-balance and ready for a finishing move. He can parry blow, and with the right talent points, counter them directly, although this drains stamina that could otherwise be used for magic. Most of the time though, his main defensive move is simply to roll out of the way of danger, keeping enemies from surrounding him and allowing his vitality and vigor reserves to recharge more quickly with the help of toxic potions taken before battle.
These aren't the only physical weapons at his disposal though. Geralt also has a taste for daggers, which he can throw during battle, and the option to learn the ability to redirect arrows fired at him, if not fire them himself. In his bag, he also carries a wide selection of traps, snares and bombs, which can be placed before battle starts. These aren't without risk though. While he's careful not to trigger them personally, he does take damage if he's too close when one of his enemies stumbles into him. They come into their own at crowd control and against particularly tough bosses though, and are well worth investing time into mastering. Any hunter will have a selection of recipes to purchase.
[caption id="attachment_55989" align="alignnone" width="610" caption="Light your enemies up with a Cat potion, indoors and outside."][/caption]
Alchemy is a core part of a witcher's life and The Witcher 2's combat . Unlike other role-playing games, victory starts before the fight even begins. Geralt has to collect alchemical components throughout his travels, each containing a selection of the nine ingredients like Fulgur and Sol and Rebis, as well as recipes for potions, bombs and oils for his sword that are capable of tipping the balance of power in his favour. One of his favourite potions, Swallow, is a must before battles, boosting Geralt's vitality while having no real downsides aside from its toxicity. Others have specific effects, like Cat, which provides night-vision and the ability to see through walls. Many though involve making some kind of trade-off, such as Gadwall, which boosts both vigor and vitality regeneration for 10 minutes, but at the expense of 40% of your damage. At the start of his latest adventure, Geralt can drink three potions at once, although this limit can be raised through the Alchemist talent tree.
[caption id="attachment_55991" align="alignnone" width="610" caption="With Igni, make your enemies burn."][/caption]