I started the game on Normal difficulty.
The manual says:
Easy – perfect for novice players (not only of The Witcher). At this level, game elements are introduced gradually. Opponents cause less damage and Geralt gains experience more quickly. During combat, additional signals help you click your way through fluid attack sequences.
Medium – recommended for experienced gamers who are new to The Witcher. Attack sequences are not assisted and click intervals are shorter. Opponents have standard attributes and Geralt gains experience at a standard rate.
Hard – for highly experienced players. Monsters and other opponents are significantly more powerful, click intervals are brief, and Geralt gains experience more slowly. At this level, selected opponents cannot be defeated without resorting to alchemy.
But I still get those red sword icons on my cursor to show me when to attack. How do I turn that off? :/