If there's one thing that video games have yet to actually get right, it's swordplay. Batman: Arkham City can give the cinematic feel of a one-against-many martial arts brawl, but it's a guarantee that every game you see about swordfighting will have characters practically taking turns to smack each other with weapons that are about as dangerous as pool noodles.
But if there's one thing classical Japanese martial arts have taught me, it's that the sword is a complete weapon--every part of it can be used in a fight, and that's something that video games have rarely decided to explore. Sci-fi and speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson has teamed up with budding game development studio Subutai Corp. to begin work on CLANG, a video game that aims to be more like actual sword combat than anything before it.
Gameplay in CLANG will first focus on the classic two-handed longsword, known as the Queen of Weapons. Using a still-in-development motion controller, the game will be an arena-based fighter where you'll actually have to be able to fight your way to victory.
While I think this is an awesome idea, watching people play Wii Sports Resort and Sports Champions for PlayStation Move has taught me that most people don't know the first thing about fighting with a sword, and this might be too much for them to handle.
On the other hand, it also reminds me of obscure PC dueling game Die by the Sword, which was a novel effort. What do you think? Is CLANG a step in the right direction for swordfighting in video games, or is it just too ambitious for its own good?
Thanks to Onymous for the tip!