App review: Infinity Blade
App type: Videogame
Operating system: iOS
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Infinity Blade has been turning heads ever since it was announced back in November and it’s not hard to see why. The game boasts the most detailed and sumptuous graphics ever seen on an iPhone (even Apple CEO Steve Jobs was amazed). But good looks will only get you so far. So how does Infinity Blade’s gameplay stack up?
Live by the sword…
Well if you prefer your iPhone games to be casual relaxing affairs, then Infinity Blade probably isn’t for you. The gameplay is based around a series of fixed sword duels, where success boils down to quick reaction skills and careful memorisation of your adversary’s attack patterns.
Swiping the screen at just the right moment allows you to parry or dodge your armour-clad opponent’s strikes, creating a window of time to execute your own attacks. Perform a successful dodge, followed by a parry, and you’ll create an even bigger window of time, allowing you to cast a healing spell, or get in a few extra stabs.
It’s repetitive and rather demanding system, but also incredibly engaging one, which works beautifully with the iPhone’s touch controls. Battles turn into tense, reflexive, games of Simon Says, as you try to predict your opponent’s next move.
It’s a family affair
Each time you defeat an adversary you’re rewarded with experience points, which you spend on either Health, Attack, Shield or Magic attributes, allowing you to customise your character’s combat skills.
Now here’s where Infinity Blade gets interesting. Once you fight your way through the entire bastion of baddies (which takes around 40 minutes), you’ll be confronted by the God King – an end of game boss who is initially impossible to defeat.
After you die (and you will die), you’ll start back at the beginning, only its 22 years later, you’re the son of the previous protagonist, and you have all the benefit of your dad’s upgraded attributes. Rinse and repeat, until you have a bloodline descendent powerful enough to defeat the God King.
Infinity Blade may divide gamers, as you have to essentially replay the game several times in order to complete it. But it isn’t designed to be played in two hour-long sittings. Despite its hardcore gamer appeal, it is still something you can pick-up and play in 10 minute spurts. So if you’re looking for a challenging iPhone game that offers deeper-than-average gameplay, then Infinity Blade comes highly recommended.
Tough but rewarding combat system
Gameplay can get repetitive
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