I never used it before, didnt even know they had that feature. but i only have about 2 hours into the game.. I am not a fan of any locked animation melee, the idea of getting close enough to a person and then hitting a button that allows the game to take over just always seemed cheap to me. If i notice someone sneaking up on me at the last minute i should have the option to get away even if they hit the melee button. i liked how it was done in con, 2 hits to the front or one from the back, plus it still gave you the same options as you described, it just added another option into the mix.