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#1 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

I'm really in love with the idea of skillful sword fighting in games. It's strange to think that something so simple as this is a rarity when you consider a few prerequisites.

1. The combat has to be somewhat believable, if not necessarily realistic.

2. It needs to be occasionally empowering while still making the player feel skilled when they succeed.

3. It should have a primarily melee focus.

Now I'd like to get Mount & Blade out of the way before people share their recommendations and experiences. I don't mean to negatively criticize these M&B or Tale Worlds in any way. I love those games and have been playing them to death since the original game was in beta, but I haven't played much of the recent expansions. (Napoleonic and Fire & Sword) These games have a very fun and unique direction based melee mechanic for those who aren't familiar, my only criticism here would be the pacing and rigidity of the animations. Again this isn't a criticism against the game, but instead a reflection based on my suggested criteria.

Also I can assure you that I've played every Assassin's creed game, and I'm definitely aware that Skyrim is a thing. While both AC and TES games are awesome AC isn't very challenging, and TES is a little clunky.

Sorry if I was overly wordy with the exposition. I'd love to hear any suggestions.

P.S. If a similar topic has already been made a redirecting link would be nice.

#2 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

I always thought Dark Souls had great weapon mechanics, you can parry and block, switch between one handed or two handed stances, each weapon swings and behaves differently, you have to be careful around fighting near walls since your weapon will hit off them.

#3 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

@mscupcakes said:

I always thought Dark Souls had great weapon mechanics, you can parry and block, switch between one handed or two handed stances, each weapon swings and behaves differently, you have to be careful around fighting near walls since your weapon will hit off them.

Yup, that's the first thing that came to my mind as well. I'm not sure how "empowering" you'll find it, but it's pretty great none the less.

#4 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

Dark Souls. Parry and Riposte for the win, baby!

#5 Edited by Barrabas (325 posts) -

I'll second Dark Souls. It has some of my favorite weapon based combat in any game. And you certainly feel skilled when you succeed. Just be prepared to fail a lot too.

#6 Posted by Landon (4127 posts) -
#7 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

I feel dumb for not mentioning Dark Souls now. Demon's Souls was also great if anyone hasn't played the first game. I just wish that something similar to those mechanics existed in a different game as well, something with more humanoid enemy types. I typically play the front two thirds of those games and the bail when all the enemies start to shrug off attack interruptions. Fighting skeleton knights in the early sections of Dark Souls and the Lizard Warriors is really satisfying though.

#8 Posted by DrJota (700 posts) -

I'll vote Dark Souls as well.Also,Brad mentioned Dead Island having a similar combat mechanic to M&B,which at the least is worth looking into.Other than that...umm....maybe Vampire or Thief?

#9 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5796 posts) -
Online
#10 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

Dark Souls/Demon's Souls have very fun sword fighting mechanics. Other than those and M&B I can't remember any.

#11 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

The Witcher 2

#12 Edited by kzebski (33 posts) -

The Witcher 2 was great and I consider the combat a steep improvement over its predecessor. I'm gonna look into Die by the Sword with my research powers.

Edit: Die by the Sword on GOG makes it a possibility

#13 Posted by RubberFactory (288 posts) -

Ninja Gaiden 1 or 2.

#14 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Nostalgia's probably a factor here, but Jedi Knight II with the realistic saber combat settings on. There's some console trickery involved, and Jedi Knight II is already full of melee combat that uses a little too much circle-strafing, but it effectively turns lightsabers into one-hit-kill weapons. Which they aren't in the game. So blocking and actual finesse become pretty important.

#15 Posted by Humanity (8709 posts) -

I like Demons Souls a lot and Dark Souls was also pretty good but you guys are crazy for saying the sword/melee mechanics in that game are good. There is literally no control or combos apart from a heavy and a light attack variation. There are a few others I know, like the roll and lunge but the bread and butter here is poking with light attack and doing a heavy when the enemy is in a recovery animation or stunned. The animations are extremely stiff I can only assume to balance out the difficulty, and you are forced into particular animation sets depending on the weapon. You have this amazing rapier, well you will only thrust forward with it, you have a curved sword? Well thats just for slashing. The targetting system is still far from perfect as well as I've many times detailed my woes about using pole arms and fighting bigger enemies where your spear just wiffs between their legs. The backstab is a hit or miss and the fact that some enemies don't exhibit any feedback as you're wounding them is irritating.

Good games, great atmosphere, the fighting certainly not a high point for me.

Comedy option is of course Die by the Sword, but I can't think of any recent titles that have indepth sword fighting. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has a pretty fun melee combat system and if you like dark souls then you'll enjoy this one as well as it's basically evasive rolls, light/heavy and riposte - as well as some interesting magic abilities.

#16 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

I think I need to repurchase Ninja Gaiden 2. And Ubersmake I liked Jedi Academy and Outcast a lot.

#17 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

I think the stiff animation of DS has a lot to do with its production values. Both Dark Souls and Demon's Souls have this interesting quality of being what I consider "accidentally good."

#18 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
#19 Posted by MegaLombax (384 posts) -

Wii Sports Resort. The minigame which had you wielding a bamboo sword.

#20 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

I think Metal Gear Rising might do great things if it ever comes out.

#21 Posted by Rastopher (34 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan: Beat me to it. :P

#22 Posted by Cubidog1 (211 posts) -

The Witcher 2, Dark Soulds, and the Assassin's Creed games have pretty good swordfighting.

#23 Posted by Wertt (46 posts) -

@Landon said:

Bushido Blade?

BB has amazing sword combat. Tatsumi was the best :D

#24 Posted by BionicMonster (1032 posts) -

The Mount & Blade series has a pretty unique and challenging/realistic way of doing melee combat. Your sword swing/thrust depends on how you move your mouse. Blocking is also controlled in the same way.

#25 Posted by emem (1959 posts) -
@Landon said:

Bushido Blade?

Yeah, it still feels like the best swordplay in any game. Versus mode was so damn good... 
#26 Posted by LastNinja (281 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

@FancySoapsMan said:
Die by the Sword
This, this is sword play heaven.

Indeed, and not a "comedy option" as someone mentioned.

#27 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -
@Landon said:

Bushido Blade?

Totally forgot about that game until this thread.
#28 Edited by benspyda (2014 posts) -

@Humanity said:

I like Demons Souls a lot and Dark Souls was also pretty good but you guys are crazy for saying the sword/melee mechanics in that game are good. There is literally no control or combos apart from a heavy and a light attack variation. There are a few others I know, like the roll and lunge but the bread and butter here is poking with light attack and doing a heavy when the enemy is in a recovery animation or stunned. The animations are extremely stiff I can only assume to balance out the difficulty, and you are forced into particular animation sets depending on the weapon. You have this amazing rapier, well you will only thrust forward with it, you have a curved sword? Well thats just for slashing. The targetting system is still far from perfect as well as I've many times detailed my woes about using pole arms and fighting bigger enemies where your spear just wiffs between their legs. The backstab is a hit or miss and the fact that some enemies don't exhibit any feedback as you're wounding them is irritating.

Good games, great atmosphere, the fighting certainly not a high point for me.

Comedy option is of course Die by the Sword, but I can't think of any recent titles that have indepth sword fighting. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has a pretty fun melee combat system and if you like dark souls then you'll enjoy this one as well as it's basically evasive rolls, light/heavy and riposte - as well as some interesting magic abilities.

Dark Souls is probably my favorite combat system in any action RPG, so I disagree with you somewhat. It's less about depth and more about feel to me. A game like Bayonetta with combos and complex mechanics feels more like a fighting game to play and you lose a lot of the tension. Dark Souls feels more like it would in real life, you play very conservatively knowing that if you time it wrong or not act defensively the enemy will destroy you fast. Also I found combining magic and bows with the melee combat was satisfying and fairly intricate.

#29 Posted by RedRavN (397 posts) -

I think Kingdom's of amalaur has some satisfying sword combat if you are looking for something a bit more high fantasy orientated.

#30 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1374 posts) -

Bushido Blade. One or two strikes, and someone is a goner.

#31 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

@RedRavN said:

I think Kingdom's of amalaur has some satisfying sword combat if you are looking for something a bit more high fantasy orientated.

If you like pushing the same button over and over again.

#32 Posted by RedRavN (397 posts) -

@BrockNRolla:

I think about KOA as a diablo like Arpg but in a 3d world. I don't disagree that the game is somewhat limited and repetative but the combat is certainly visceral and heavy hitting. It satisfied my desire to kill lots of things with a greatsword and massive hammer.

Another game that might be a better fit is ninja gaiden 2.

#33 Posted by Zelyre (1101 posts) -

Mount and Blade

Bushido Blade

Die by the Sword

Jedi Knight 2 with no force powers.

#34 Posted by squidlauncherOHYEAHH (14 posts) -

Elveon?..... oh :(

Although it's not exactly what you are asking for, Bayonetta easily has one of the best combat systems I have played.

#35 Posted by Humanity (8709 posts) -

@benspyda: If you enjoy it then I think thats great, because thats what games are all about. I have fun in the Souls games, although I didn't finish Dark Souls because I just think some of the levels were a little too annoying. In Demons Souls you only had the Valley of Defilement to deal with and the rest of the "levels" were actually pretty enjoyable for me, Boleteria being my favorite(but I digress). To me the games have a stiff and cumbersome combat system that mainly revolves around stamina. If you have a 100% block shield and beefy stamina then tactics aren't really necessary. You can play without a shield and roll a lot, but thats a less than ideal combat style and frankly I just don't think the game was made for it. I think Bayonetta is one of my favorite beat-em-up game of all time, but it's not really fair to compare the combat there to an RPG. Currently in terms of medival/sword based RPG combat mechanics I think Witcher 2 is my favorite. It's not too clunky, your character is agile and theres an emphasis on body placement and crowd control. The magic is also very well implemented. There are some small things I don't like about it like the lack of backstab animations despite backstab damage playing a big role in combat - or that you don't have direct control over some of the animations and instead of doing a quick slash your character does his much lengthier running leap attack. If you haven't played that game I highly recommend it - since you like Souls so much that means you enjoy a challenge and Witcher 2 certainly has some challenging combat even on the regular difficulty.

#36 Posted by Galiant (2175 posts) -
#37 Posted by Murdouken (709 posts) -
#38 Posted by Willin (1277 posts) -

Not really a 'sword' game (though there are swords in it) but Condemned 1 and 2 are almost completely melee focused. The best homeless beater on the market

Online
#39 Posted by Salarn (463 posts) -

I'm pretty sure "The Secret of Monkey Island" had the version of sword fighting that was the most fun.

#40 Posted by JasonR86 (9578 posts) -

Zelda.

#41 Edited by BonOrbitz (2134 posts) -

@MegaLombax said:

Wii Sports Resort. The minigame which had you wielding a bamboo sword.

Yes! That was a lot of fun and made me wonder why it didn't inspire Lucasarts to make a good motion controlled lightsaber game. Oh yeah! It's because their current president is a dumb shit and does such things as cancel Battlefront III and focus on Star Wars Kinect.

#42 Posted by therabidfrog (349 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

Die by the Sword

Yep. And you can get it on GOG.com with all expansions for 4.99.

#43 Posted by Jimbo (9767 posts) -

The Jedi Knight games?
 
War of the Roses looks neat, which should be out later this year.
 

#44 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -

Nobody mentioned Skyward Sword. I'm proud of you guys. The combat in that game sucks.

Dark Souls, all the way. All about feel and timing.

#45 Posted by GODWASP (41 posts) -

No love for God of war & DMC?

#46 Posted by TobbRobb (4549 posts) -

All I could thik of have been said. But I'll just give some confirmation for Bushido Blade, Dark Souls, M&B and Jedi Knight with cheats.

Actually, I kind of want to play Jedi Knight MP now, I wonder if anyone is still playing that.

#47 Posted by RVonE (4601 posts) -

Assassin's Creed.

#48 Posted by kzebski (33 posts) -

@Jimbo: I want War of the Roses so bad. That looks amazing.

#49 Posted by ashleychittock (136 posts) -
#50 Posted by Inada (1 posts) -

I realize this is an old topic last reply was around 7 months ago and i just happened upon it while looking for a new sword game that i could download before going to sleep but i noticed that no one mentioned Afro Samurai i also realize not a whole lot of people enjoyed this game but for me it was simply amazing it had good combos and an ability to control your katana by entering a focus mode where you chose to swing vertically or horizontally then also getting to move it around before swinging you had to watch your opponent for openings in a way that made it feel like you where actually in a sword fight although not all the time for example one or two of the bosses were considered impossible to hit with the focus mode although if you got creative you could find a way to land a hit in the game isnt realistic in too many ways but it does good in making you feel like Afro from the show such as cutting a bullet in mid air and having the shards fly around you killing enemies that were behind you or even catching the bullet and throwing it back at the gunner the graphics had a comic book feel although this may have just been so they could be lazy the major downside though is the game is very short and after you beat the story all you have to do after that is beat it again on the harder difficulty (which i enjoyed alot) dont know if you will ever see this but since this post is top search on google perhaps someone will and try the game i highly recommend it even though the game is pretty short