Rating: 5 out of 5
Infinity Blade is a glorified sword fighting fantasy game, executed with excellent touch controls and incredible visual detail. It is a showcase of what the Unreal Engine 3 does on the iOS platform. Equipment, inventory management and character stats incorporate role-playing game elements, which make make the action combat deeper. A bit of exploration is also in the game, with gold, potions and treasure chests strewn throughout the castle’s environments. Game Center compatibility, Achievements and a never-ending challenge of combatants demand a mastery of swords and sorcery. Once you start your battle against the God-King and his minions, you won’t be able to put it down. Infinity Blade is a must play.
Infinity Blade review
On a jagged cliff, perched high atop a castle, sits the God-King. The ruler of this apparently dark kingdom challenges anyone who dares defy him and his soul-sucking Infinity Blade. To ascend to this otherworldly foe, our hero must first cut down all of the God-King’s champions. So the brave hero (and soon after, his kin) sets forth in a series of combat challenges. The powerful God-King is no pushover and will claim the bloodlines of many champions. Formidable he may be, but with a bit of persistence, mastery of combat and some sorcery, this tide of darkness can be stopped.
Infinity Blade is an action sword fighting game from ChAIR Entertainment. Each screen the player ventures through is an amazingly detailed environment. The player has limited control and camera rotation in each environment, which takes place along the outer perimeter and inside of a castle. From the visuals, you wouldn’t think this is a mobile game. It is a rich fantasy landscape, powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3. Each scene the player steps through contains either a path to select from or a titan to challenge. By touching and holding the screen, the player can scan the view for treasures, potions and gold. If there is a titan challenger in the way, an exclamation button appears, which shows the titan type and its level. Tapping on a challenger commences an action combat sequence.
When the combat sequence begins, the player is thrown into the touch-swiping action. The controls are transparent, which is a great thing. ChAIR Entertainment has developed a control method built specifically for the touch platform, and won’t take more than calculated strikes of the index finger (or thumb on the iPhone/iPod touch). Sword attacks can be executed through left, right and horizontal movements. Players can parry enemy sword attacks, if timed right. Sometimes there is an opportunity to take a stab at an enemy or furiously tap to break free from interlocked blades. At the left and right side of the screen are arrows, which can be touched to dodge left or right. In the middle of the screen is a shield, with a number of limited hit points available for the round. Pressing the shield icon enables blocking. Successfully chain a series of blocks or dodges to slow down the enemy and get in a few more hits.
At the top of the screen are the hero’s and adversaries’ hit points, as commonly found in fighting games. Just beneath those meters are two buttons; one allows for Super Attack moves, and the other for execution of magic spells. Magic spells could incorporate fireballs, healing, shield repair, poison, and lighting. Spell casting abilities vary according to the ring the hero is equipped with. Spells are cast use a simple pattern of swipe commands (somewhat like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow‘s spell commands). An opening tutorial eases you into all these controls. The actions will come as second nature eventually and make for a fluid blend of action combat. Combat definitely gets intense, but it can be mastered.
At the conclusion of each battle, the player’s experience points add up for level increases. Sometimes gold and/or inventory items will be awarded. Not only is the player’s overall level increased, but the player’s equipped weapons, armor and magic gain experience as well. Mastering an item results in skill point awards. Every time a character advances a level, more adjustments can be made by distributing skill points. Skill points increase health, attack strength, shield power, magic ability and some bonus effects (like additional experience or gold gain). All of this adds to a fine level of character customization for preferred combat play style and other advancement.
In between each battle sequence, the player can change up inventory or purchase new equipment. The variety of gear available for purchase includes weapons, shields, helmets, armor, and magic rings. Each item has their strengths and special skill abilities. Managing all of this through a touch control menu is simple and quick. Again, this adds to plenty of fine tuning for combat and defensive effects in battle. Reaching the higher priced items is going to take a lot of loot and cutting through many titans. The visuals for the items in the store and inventory screens spare no expense in the level of graphical detail. Items look richly detailed and original. From serpentine magical rings to ornate helms. Infinity Blade is backed by a foreboding soundtrack and unique dialect that compliment the fantasy setting. The creative enemy design and detail along with the customizable appearance of the hero are just as impressive as the rich fantasy environments. This is hands down one of the best looking and performing iOS games and really raises the level of expectation for games on the platform. If you don’t think iPhone or iPad games offer a visually stimulating presentation and challenging gameplay for the hardcore, witness Infinity Blade.
Infinity Blade will take a few hours to “complete,” but many more hours to master. Game Center support increases gameplay thanks to the Achievements and Leaderboard rankings. Leaderboards track the Total Victories, Level, and Total Gold. Infinity Blade also can be played on multiple devices. So if you own an iPad and iPhone, you get access to both platforms with one purchase. Some games on the iOS charge you for an “HD” version, which Epic Games does not do. Kudos to them for that. A future update promises more inventory items, enemies, multiplayer gameplay and new environments. It is not clear how much the downloadable content will be.
At $5.99 for Infinity Blade, I highly recommend it. I had a hard time putting Infinity Blade down, setting aside gameplay time from my home consoles. The gameplay controls and enemy challenges only increased the further I progressed. After many hours of play, there was still much gold to gain for higher level items and experience leveling to do. ChAIR Entertainment once again delivers an addictive and highly action-packed game experience, crystallized with the power of the Unreal Engine 3. If you enjoy fantasy action-RPGs, Infinity Blade is a must. Go forth and show the God-King your masterful touch.
Infinity Blade trailer: