I downloaded the demo way back when, fought to get it running with Power VR, the only Open-GL capable card besides 3dfx and DOS CAD workstations with industrial strength Open GL graphics.
...and fought frogs. Sorry, that just killed my interest in actual fact. And no, back then people weren't yet sick of military shooters. This was the second generation of FPS, consisting of six "Quake killers", of which this, Sin, and the apparently destined-to-be terrible Half Life that stunned the shit out of everyone when it came out.
No, the sword wasn't the problem, or even the frogs per se. It was shoving the opposite of cool, frogs, in your face as the loss leader demo that was supposed to attract you.
I was there. I lived it.