Eh, I actually kind of like the fact that hitting shields didn't disrupt the combo. That's what Beserkers are for. I actually feel cheated more often than not be the system. Archers and enemies who use throwing spears aren't well accounted for. You can slow time and shoot them, but that's not much consolation if they break your streak. Beserkers are annoying since the game's targetting can be off, and you'll take a swing at the wrong guy, and they're hard to identify amidst crowds. Spear attacks that have to be dodged are terrible, because it seems there's always too much of a delay in changing animation and you end up taking a hit from an annoying spammy cue, if you don't take them out first. I don't usually go into fights with beserkers or shielded enemies in mobs, because it's far less stress to shoot them. Often dying in the game is more frustrating than anything else, because it means after a couple of hours play, you take a dodgy hit, get bitten by a caragor, and then some Orc puts a throwing spear through you.
Oddly enough, that's one of my biggest disappointments with the Nemesis system. Most of the combat and gameplay breeze by and don't take much effort, whether you're using stealth (Made ridiculously easy with arrows and branding), abusing archery, or just bludgeoning in, until eventually you die in a frustrating way, and a new Captain is created, usually from some cheap-shotting spearman. They're not particularly memorable deaths. Most of the Captains end up invulnerable to stealth or arrows, so it's always combat finishers, even the ones who can block can't face that. Since it's combat finishers, good luck getting those interesting injuries and stories, since a bunch of them will be decapitations. It doesn't feel like the approach matters, you can even screw up stealth, disappear for a moment, then stealth kill a captain with the weakness while he searches. Even when it's a Warchief with bodyguards and other Captains in the area, they're not much of a problem. So long as they don't have the blocking ability, it's easy, and blockers just get saved for finishers built off the others. Then you end up killing the Warchief because he runs, and because it's so easy to do, then everyone else runs, and you're back to square one. It doesn't feel like making a proper plan, or taking the time to take into account enemies weaknesses, really makes a difference. I need intel to know that this one is afraid of Caragors or that he's vulnerable to bees, but now that I've gotten close to him, I can't get that, or mark him with a death threat. And I'm hardly going to leave him. Getting intel turns into an annoying farming exercise where you have to interrogate an orc for every new captain, and they go fast. And it's hard to get the chance to interrogate more than one orc to a group, so that makes that even longer.
The most fun I had with it was a bit of metagame where I set a new orc of mine up as a bodyguard to a Warchief, and then had one of my Warchiefs instigate a riot against him, just so I could have a big fight. But it was a complete mess, the enemy Warchief fled early, and the other bodyguards were butchered. I ended up chasing down the Warchief and stabbing him, hardly the epic finish.
It is disappointing the game doesn't reward successful combat against groups. I think the controls and difficulty are a bit floaty too, they need to be pinned down, and there could be more interesting difficulty options (Playing without health upgrades works for a while, but leaves you vulnerable to Caragor strikes and spears). The combat style is about perfection and flow, but that doesn't work the way it does in say, Arkham.