Ryu can wield a tremendous variety of weapons, from the kusari-gama to massive war hammers, a bo, a sword almost as big as he is, claws, and oversized tonfa. His iconic weapon, though, is the Dragon Sword, with which he deals lightning-fast death to his foes, including soldiers, fiends, and lesser ninja than he. Through it all, though, and reflected in the controls, Ryu is an incredibly precise and measured swordsman, able to present power and flash alike as appropriate, but capable of reining it in for a more restrained attack. He can also read his opponents and counter before they know what's hit them. In all, Ryu Hayabusa is a consummate killer and a tremendously effective swordsman.
Where Ryu wields his blade with precision and focus, Dante is all about passion and power. He swings his large, two-handed blade in wide, sweeping arcs, depending on his strength as a half-demon hybrid to make up for his less-than-perfect technique. That said, he has also demonstrated greater restraint, particularly in his battles with his similarly gifted brother, Virgil, who wields Yamato with cold, calculated precision that mirrors Dante's fiery passion. Despite this, they fight on even ground. Dante has further demonstrated powerful technique when he's given the chance to wield Yamato, using it to split distant objects the size of buildings in a single blow. There is little doubt that Dante's ability goes well beyond brute force.
Over the course of the Dark Forces sub-series, Kyle Katarn evolved as a character from a somewhat generic mercenary, almost a Han Solo rip-off, to a take-no-nonsense Jedi. Kyle is not your standard Jedi, willing to use abilities normally associated with the dark side of the Force, but he is also masterful with a lightsaber, earning a place as the foremost battlemaster at Luke's Jedi academy. He is credited with the invention of the "light," "medium," and "heavy" styles of lightsaber combat that Jedi are subsequently taught there, codifying them into a formal system. For that, he earns a place as one of the greatest swordsmen in gaming.
Still, if we're talking about swords in games, which has been deadlier than that of the Cyborg Ninja of Metal Gear Solid fame? Regardless of incarnation, the ninja of each game is a powerful, stealthy, lightning-quick killer capable of massacring even genetically superior soldiers en masse. The upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance allows players to step into the boots of one such Cyborg Ninja (Raiden, as seen in Metal Gear Solid 4) and feel just how hectic and powerful his sword can be. Though this is more a role than an individual character, the Cyborg Ninja is a recurring reminder that, with proper preparation, sometimes a sword can beat a gun.
Date: September 4, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*