If you’re one of the rare gamers who hasn’t bought Infinity Blade yet, today is your lucky day: the game is currently available for free. Read our review, then download the game here. And if you enjoy it, you’ll probably want to read our review of the sequel and buy it, because it takes everything that’s good about the original and turns it up to 11.
Hot on the heels of the announcement of Infinity Blade 2, Epic has released an update to the original Infinity Blade that introduces new items and a new enemy to the game. It’s not much, but it does drum up excitement for the sequel.
There’s nothing big or flashy about this update– you get new equipment to buy and a new enemy called the Rookbane– but what people really want are new environments and areas to explore. We’d love to see them add some more substantial content to the game for free, but in all likelihood we’ll just have to wait for Infinity Blade 2 for that.
They’ve also added two new links to the menu screen. One brings you to the Infinity Blade 2 website, while the other takes you to the iBookstore, where you can buy or download a sample of Brandon Sanderson’s “Infinity Blade: Awakening” novella, which continues the story from the original game. We read the sample, and it seems like a fun and bloody tale that fleshes out the barebones story of the game.
We just got word that Infinity Blade is set to receive a major update on Thursday that will bring multiplayer and survival modes to the game, along with a slew of new gear, leaderboards, and achievements.
Multiplayer mode will be handled by Game Center. In it, you’ll be able to play as a titan or a knight and go one-on-one against your buddies. Survival mode will pit you against as many titans as you can handle, one after another, until your thumbs give out and you’re hacked to pieces.
Check out screenshots of multiplayer mode below, or click the thumbnails to the right to see them in high resolution.
Also, the head guys behind Infinity Blade will be doing an interview today at 4:30 EST on the game’s Facebook page.
The people have spoken! Our readers’ favorite game this year, according to our poll on Twitter, was Infinity Blade from Chair Entertainment.
Infinity Blade marks what we think is a dramatic new season for iPhone games. With the Unreal Engine, the graphical capabilities of iOS devices have leaped from PSP and DS-quality to Xbox and Playstation-quality. Infinity Blade is the best looking iPhone game this year, and that’s certainly part of its popular appeal.
But the game is also original in a lot of ways. You’re expected to replay it over and over, becoming more powerful each time. You’ll have to use nearly every item in the game’s expansive arsenal to level up to the max. And we never get tired of knocking that one bad guy off the bridge with our shield.
If there’s one downside to this award, it’s that the expectations are sky-high for Chair and Epic to create yet another masterpiece in 2011. We can’t wait to see what they come up with.
In the best month ever for iPhone gaming, we awarded 15 iPhone games our coveted Must Have rating. And while we think there’s no shortage of quality, cutting-edge entertainment available for your iOS device, one game makes us even more excited for 2011: Infinity Blade.
Infinity Blade is easily the best-looking mobile game ever made. Using the Unreal Engine, Infinity Blade realistically renders an epic citadel and a cast of vicious-looking knights and monsters. The game plays great, too: it’s what our reviewer Chris called a combination of Punch-Out and Shadow of the Colossus.
Infinity Blade also has a unique gameplay mechanic. Players are expected to die the first time they come across the castle’s big, bad boss, and then they can pass on their armor and gear to subsequent “generations” of knights. We also enjoyed the way you can only gain experience by using new gear– once it’s mastered, you might as well scrap it and start over with something else.
Our runner-up this month is Aralon: Sword and Shadow. Aralon is a much, much deeper game than Infinity Blade, and it’s a proper open-world RPG instead of just an action game with RPG elements. While Aralon has a few too many bugs for our liking, it’s still amazing, with a huge game world and a jaw-dropping amount of sidequests.
Congratulations to Chair Entertainment and Crescent Moon Games for making this month’s two best games– which are also two of the year’s best games. The other top-scoring, Must Have iPhone games this month were Real Racing 2, NOVA 2, Secret of Mana, Tron Legacy, Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, Riven: The Sequel to Myst, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Max Adventure, Dungeon Hunter 2, Puzzle Quest 2, Illusia, Sentinel 3: Homeworld, and Kosmo Spin. Like we said, best month ever.
We just received word that one of the biggest and best games this month, Infinity Blade, will be receiving its first substantial content update since it launched two weeks ago. The update will include a higher level cap, more gear, and a new enemy called the Marrow Fiend.
The Marrow Fiend is an orc-like monster with a sword and shield made of bones. We’re hoping that this intimidating-looking sword and shield set are going to be among the five new swords, shields, helmets, and single new ring that will be arriving in the update as well.
Another, goofier update is the antler-like Holiday Helm, adding Infinity Blade to the long list of App Store games that throw in a little Christmas cheer this time every year.
Finally, Infinity Blade’s level cap has been raised from 40 to 45, you can now purchase virtual gold with real-world money, and the game now supports playing your own music. Chair and Epic also tell us that next year’s will include multiplayer, more gear, and new areas to explore and monsters to fight. We think Infinity Blade can only get better with more content, so let us know what you want to see in the next update.
Infinity Blade is not a role-playing game. Role-playing games generally have deep storylines, large casts of characters, and game worlds you can explore at your leisure. Infinity Blade has none of those things. Instead, it has some of the most visceral action we’ve experience on the platform, a well-tuned equipment system, and a gorgeous and immersive atmosphere. There’s nothing else quite like it on the App Store.
Your hero in Infinity Blade is part of a bloodline that has sworn to take down the God King, a powerful, near-immortal creature that despises humankind. Your job is to make your way through his castle, sword-fighting his minions one by one on your way to the throne room. The enemies come in all shapes and sizes, from human swordsmen to colossal mechanical giants. As you take these enemies down, you attain better equipment and gain levels, all in preparation for your fight with the God King.
When you arrive in the throne room and challenge the overlord, you’ll find him to be much quicker and more powerful than any of his cohort. When he kills you– and he will kill you– the game flashes forward several years and starts over, only this time you play as your hero’s son. The son retains all of the experience and equipment that you earned as his father, but the monsters keep pace, leveling up and using new attacks as you progress. This cycle continues until one generation of your hero’s bloodline finally defeats the God King.
A big enemy calls for a big sword.
It would be better to call Infinity Blade an action game with RPG elements. But it’s not a traditional action game, either, because you can only walk to certain spots in the game world. These spots are indicated by glowing blue circles, and they lead you on a mostly linear path to the throne room. When you tap a circle, you see a cut scene of your character walking to that location. Once you reach it, you can move the camera to look around, but your feet are rooted to that spot until you tap another blue circle to move on. Admittedly, this sounds like it would sap the fun right out of the game; but it doesn’t, largely because the sword fights provide all the action you could ever want.
There’s no way to avoid fighting the God King’s minions: They block your path and won’t budge until one of you slaughters the other. When you engage in a fight, the camera swoops in cinematically and finds a view that both looks great and gives you a perfect angle on the action. Because of many of the monsters’ sheer size, we were often reminded during the fights of PlayStation 2’s Shadow of the Colossus.
Another game it’s like is Punch-Out. Generally when facing off against an opponent, you wait for him to attack, then dodge, parry, or block it, and look for an opening in his defenses. When you see one, you swipe at the screen and your hero slashes accordingly. Swipe up, for instance, and your character slashes upward. You can also execute combos, but since there’s no combo list it’s hard to tell when you’ve done one.
Yeah, my dad gave me this armor.
At your disposal you also have special attacks and magic spells. A special attack simply lowers your opponent’s defenses, letting you hack away at him for a brief period of time– something that comes in very handy when you’re running out of health. The magic spells available include fire, ice, shock, poison, heal, and shield boost. To cast a spell, you tap the magic button and then draw a shape on the screen that corresponds to the spell you want to use. It’s simple and intuitive.
Much about the fights depends on what items you have equipped. You can get new items by finding them in treasure chests, picking up loot drops, or purchasing them from the store. What’s interesting is that every item has an experience meter, and when you kill an enemy you’ll receive experience points through your equipped items. All of these points count toward your character leveling up, but when an item’s experience meter fills up, you no longer receive points through it. This encourages you to keep trying new equipment as you play. Also cool is that your hero’s look changes drastically depending on what items you have equipped.
Although the fighting and equipment systems are completely separate, they feel like alternate sides of a single coin. The experience points you get from winning battles feeds into your equipped items and bolsters your stats, which in turn makes you a stronger fighter. When you max out your equipment, you equip new items that grant you different fighting abilities, which encourages you to adjust your fighting style. The way it all falls together is brilliant and highly addictive. It makes the gameplay feel fresh despite that you’re going through the same castle over and over again.
Well this doesn’t seem fair…
And while we had a blast playing through Infinity Blade, we couldn’t help but wish for more. The castle is surprisingly small, so it doesn’t take long to see every nook and cranny of it. Once you beat the God King, there’s not much reason to keep playing as the next hero in the bloodline, or to start a new character from scratch. Also, one save file is all you get, so you can’t have two bloodlines going at once.
Those issues aside, we had a blast with Infinity Blade. Every inch of the game is drop-dead gorgeous: You’ve never seen character models with this level of detail move so realistically on the iPhone or iPad. And the music is sparse, creating the perfect melancholy atmosphere for your lonely hero. The silence also makes way for the sounds of battle: The clashing of swords and the grunts of the fighters makes for a realistic and intimate audio backdrop.
Infinity Blade represents a milestone for how good games can look on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Although the gameplay is limited, Infinity Blade is extremely fun and masterfully assembled. Any serious iOS gamer should grab this one up.