Heya I thought I'd transfer over a couple of points that I posted on the same topic at Eurogamer.
Well unlike the majority of posters here I'm a fencer (sabre mainly) i.e. I actually have some idea of what a swordfight entails so for those who've never tried it I'll explain a bit.
In Real Life when you attack someone for example a high blow to the head and they bring their sword up to parry (horizontal) then you get a block and your sword, if following physics :P, will either stay there with the blades engaged until you or your opponent moves position or your sword will 'bounce' off your opponents and you can try for another attack or return to parry yourself.
Now this relies heavily on real life force feedback, you feel the vibration in your hand as the blade strikes but you also have the tactile sensation of pushing against an object that exists. Now in Red Steel when you attack and the opponent parries you you may feel a vibration but if you lock swords then you'll have no real feeling of whats happening or how much strength is behind it, all the controller could do is increase vibration.
Again in real life when someone blocks your sword your hand had better damn well stay where it is or somethings wrong with you :P You cannot continue to swing your hand when your sword is not moving simply because you're holding it and it itself is not moving.
In Red Steel there is nothing stopping you from continuing your movement meaning that you could very well end up with your character looking like an ass when your opponent disengages you and your character ends up with his sword pointing at the ground because that's where your controller happens to be pointing.
Besides, do you know how to swordfight ^_^? If an opponent attacks you on screen do you know how to hold the sword to block his attack? How to keep an En Guarde position with your sword so you're not defenceless? How to counterattack? Riposte? Engage swords? Disengage? No? Then how do you expect to win a fully free moving sword fight against a programmed opponent when you yourself have no idea how to use a sword o.O?
While not true freedom of control I believe and expansive gesture system can steel feel quite immersive. It's just a pity I can't put my Real Life experience into the game and own it :P
And the next one
Heh I didnt mean to come off sounding all elitist or something like that I just meant to highlight that some people think Ubisoft should make it completely freeform. You can't do that and still have a convincing AI opponent. I don't want to be figuring out how to attack and have a stupid AI stood there letting me attack it because if it behaved without set restraint movements it would annihilate me, that would be even more unrealistic than expanded motion gestures.
People want to feel like they're in control of the battle but I want to feel that I'm actually fighting something worthwhile.