Behold the new iPhone and iPad blockbuster from Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment: Infinity Blade II. Back in October when Apple announced the new iPhone 4S, most of the media attention surrounded the new device, and for good reason. With a new processor and all sorts of improved internals, it was hard not to be excited about the new member of the iPhone family. But there was another announcement at that event that made me almost as excited: the official unveiling of Infinity Blade II by Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment.
In case you missed the original, Infinity Blade was one of the original “killer apps” available on iOS. While the gameplay looked beautiful and was a whole lot of fun, gameplay began to wear a little old when facing battle after battle with nearly identical bosses. Infinity Blade II started with the gameplay and visuals of the original, then made both so much better.
The first thing you’ll notice upon launching Infinity Blade II is the incredibly detailed environment and camera system. I was blown away by the 3D rendering of all the buildings and characters, the shadows, and even the lens flares as the camera rotated in relation to the sun. There are so many subtleties in just the visuals alone, its a pure joy to look at, and to show off to others.
But of course, iOS has lots of great looking titles (though again, Infinity Blade is quite possibly the best looking of all of them). As with any game, the quality of the gameplay is ultimately the most important feature. Infinity Blade II has taken what was fun about the original Infinity Blade and built upon that to create the most addicting fighting mechanics available on iOS. Among the great features in Infinity Blade II is the ability to use three different weapon configurations. By default, you are equipped with the standard shield and weapon combination from the original game, but you also have the option to wield larger weapons with two hands, or wielding two smaller weapons — one in each hand. These three combinations create fresh gameplay if one weapon setup begins feeling stale or boring. And you can always change your weapon setup after every battle.
Speaking of the battles, Infinity Blade II has introduced a number of new wrinkles to the combat system to improve gameplay as well. Gone is the ability to simply dodge your way through a fight. Now too much dodging will wear you out, and you’ll have to rely on parrying or using your shield to survive. In addition, each fight offers a specific challenge like “parry five times” or “don’t use your shield”, and will reward you with additional XP for completing the challenge. These challenges force you to mix up your strategy, and ultimately serve to improve your skills as the game goes on.
Postscript: On March 15th Infinity Blade updated the app to version 1.0.3 to app support for the New iPad. The app’s download size has been reduced from over 900MB to less than 800MB which is a great achievement, considering the graphics look beautiful on the hi res display of the 3rd generation iPad. If you haven’t bought this game yet and have the new iPad, time grab it now.
Infinity Blade II is everything an iOS game should be. It’s beautiful, it’s addicting, and it’s quite possibly the most fun you can have playing an iOS game. This is one game that belongs in every iPhone and iPad owner’s library. Infinity Blade II is a universal app that is available now in the App Store for $6.99.
Here is a video demo of the Infinity Blade II app on the iPhone
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