Game Review: Infinity Blade
Release: December 9, 2010
Developer: Chair Entertainment/Epic Games
Size: 330 MB
It’s been a long time coming, but I think the App Store finally has a true hardcore original title. Sure, we’ve seen some major releases from familiar franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even Final Fantasy tossed onto the iOS devices, but none of them come close to the polish, originality, and control that Infinity Blade offers. Where a lot of games go wrong on the iOS platform that are aimed for the hardcore crowd, is they attempt to almost “port” over existing titles and force them into the iPod/iPad/iPhone. While that sometimes works, and we’ve seen a few success stories for sure; one thing that typically lacks however is in how it controls. It’s too hard to take a console game which was created for a controller with a dozen buttons onto a single touch display with very limited room. Luckily, the brainiacs at Chair Entertainment (responsible for such former hits as XBLA’s Undertow, and the hit Shadow Complex) were keen enough to build a stunning looking title and utilize the touch controls rather than make the touch screen fit their agenda.
Using simple touch commands like swiping left or right/up and down to swing your sword, you’ll traverse through a deadly castle making your way to the top to kill the being responsible for your fathers death. While you never actually take control of your characters movements, the game focuses on the battle sequences. First you’ll use the camera to look around your environment and pick different paths, or to find bags of money, potions, and treasure chests. You’ll frequently see enemies in the distance, and a simple tap will let you view their stats and go into battle with them. It is here you’ll take control by dodging left or right, blocking, or using your weapons and magic to bring each foe down. At first it seems all to simple and repetitive, but something happens along the way that will hook you. I’ve never been the type to get hooked on games like Diablo, where looting and leveling seem to be the main draw, but this game really spoke to me.
The unique twist to the game is that getting to the end is fairly easy, but finishing the game completely is another story. You can get to the final fight in 5 or 10 minutes, but he will most likely kill you, and once he does – that’s it. Game over. You’re dead. No saves, or retrying. Rather you start as your character’s son (keeping the entirety of your inventory, stats/experience, and gold) 20 odd years later and try again as another “bloodline.” You may go generations, upon generations before finally slaying the evil boss, but every loss just makes you want to kill him even more… you know, to avenge your great, great, great, great, great grandfather. Truth be told I actually finished the game on my second attempt but that didn’t stop me from wanting to go back. There’s multiple endings, and already an update to the game (which is why I waited to review it) and more updates coming. There’s plenty of upgrades and things to buy and keep you coming back for more.
– Stunning graphics.
– Very polished (Sound, visuals, gameplay).
– Free updates.
– Encourages multiple play-throughs.
Personally, after being addicted to it for far longer than I ever thought I would, I still don’t know if it’s worth the full $6 price tag. There’s a huge amount of polish to it, and a high level of addictive gameplay and charm, but after about a week or so of successful attempts, you may find yourself getting bored and wanting new content. I’d love to see some new routes added to make for a bigger area, and more variety of enemies to spice things up. As it is right now though, Infinity Blade is one of the best Apps you can download, and one of the best experiences you can have on your iOS device – it just comes at a steep price. If $6 for an app doesn’t scare you at all, then buy it immediately.