I played at 3:8:3 last time. If you are careful of your surroundings you can have a lot of fun picking off the enemy. Be sure you have a object you can use to keep between you and the npc. A small box or a couple of rocks will usually provide enough breathing room. If you can climb a stack of crates and shoot down that works well in most cases. I shoot at the npc until he gets close then run for my cover spot. Then lock on, shoot, strafe if needed, repeat until death occurs. Hopefully not yours.
I'll set up my inventory for a quick sword pull in case of surprise attacks. I go into the inventory and press 'square' to select and use bow xxx. Then I'll move the cursor to the sword/axe/club I want for a backup weapon. Then close the inventory. Now when you hit the R1 button you'll put the bow away, when you hit the R1 button the second time you'll get the weapon you left the cursor on. This way two quick presses on the R1 button gets you in melee mode quickly.
Try to take a long range bow and use the manual aim (circle) to get in some free shots at npcs to soften them up for a later encounter. Get used to side strafing in this mode (using the right stick) to avoid the incoming fireball attacks from the npc mages. It may take a little more planning than just run, hack, slash, but it's a blast to use some of the high level bows.
If you collect all the elemental swords and sell them in sardania, you'll be able to get mornbringer. Using timeslow before using the bow is also a good way of taking care of multiple targets before they surround you. I didn't like using fear though, just made it too easy. After a while it felt like I was just chopping wood.