I think the set pices in ME2 hurt the combat. It was rather boring sit behind boxes most of the time. I still prefer the combat from original over the others even if it wasn't as polished.
Just completed original Witcher few months ago. It is even better now when you know characters from all the games and and how there was already hints in first game about events that happened in third. And that plot twist in the end! Awesome game that still looks pretty enough.
CD Projekt Red realized early on that they weren't going to be able to animate all of the dialogue well enough, they wrote software that created most of the facial animations. Then animators would smooth over the rough spots. It worked brilliantly.
It is so much easier to create bonds with characters when their faces animate realistically.