*According to the comments section, there are apparently some concerns when running the game on an 8GB ipod touch or using the British English setting. So you’ll want to be mindful of that.
Listen. Hear that? It’s the sound of every slow-witted crank who thinks iPhone gaming is still nothing but Bejeweled knock-offs and crappy ports of free PC shovelware shutting the hell up once and for all. Infinity Blade is here. Infinity Blade is great. And Infinity Blade is proof that hardcore gamers need to start paying attention to iPhone or be left behind.
You already know Infinity Blade is gorgeous, with incredibly detailed knights and monsters who move with the same mass and fluidity of the characters in full-sized games like Xbox 360’s Gears of War 2 (which is powered by a very similar back-end engine). What you may not know is how it feels and plays – which is, remarkably, really well.
At its heart, Infinity Blade is an up-close sword fighting game with a melancholy atmosphere and visual style strongly reminiscent of deliberately-paced dungeon carver Demon’s Souls on PS3. You are a lone knight attempting to fight your way through the castle of an immortal, corrupt god king (technically, you’re several generations of lone knight – every time you die, the game fast-forwards 20 years or so and your son takes up the family quest with all your gear and experience. It’s cool). Every time you encounter an enemy, a tactical, one-on-one melee ensues.
You can swing your weapon at will by swiping across the screen in the direction you want to slice, but your target will usually block. Instead, you’ll want to wait for them to attack and then either block with your shield, dodge left or right, of slash in the opposite direction to parry their attack. If you succeed enough times, you’ll open up a gap in your foe’s defense, which gives you a few scant seconds to slash away before they recover their defenses. It’s almost like Stone, Paper, Scissors, but with upgradeable swords, axes and armor. And, if you fight well enough to build up the meters, magic spells and special attacks.
Infinity Blade is not a sprawling RPG with a huge map and reams of story and character development. It’s not a hack-and-slasher with split-second reflexive action and a deep pool of moves. But it’s a solid game with an amazing, next-level visual style, coming from a legit developer who clearly wanted to make something suited to the platform. It’s a must-play and the new benchmark in iPhone/iPod graphics. Play this. It will absolutely impress you.
Dec 13, 2010