Infinity Blade Dungeons preview
There’s no question that Infinity Blade has been remarkably profitable for Chair Entertainment. To date, the two games and all their spin-offs, including an arcade unit and various other advertisements, have pulled in $30 million — a huge feat for a series that isn’t even on a console. Now, the company is looking to expand upon it with an all new chapter, one specifically made — at first — for Apple’s New iPad.
Revealed during last week’s iPad-specific press conference, Infinity Blade Dungeons looks to expand the series in a whole new direction. You’ll still be pummeling enemies in the name of seeking out the Deathless, but this time around, you won't be going through a series of timed battles. Instead, you'll do it old-school style, from a top-down perspective, using a number of attacks and defensive maneuvers to get through each fight. It’ll have the same sort of Infinity Blade logic, but will go for a more mainstream action approach, rather than relying so heavily on timing. While that may be a negative for hardcore fans of the series, it’s an interesting new direction for the series.
Infinity Blades Dungeons acts as a prequel of sorts. You’re an apprentice weaponsmith serving the Master of the Forge, who sends you on a trouble-filled quest to forge a weapon that even the Deathless fears — and that, of course, is the Infinity Blade. Various enemies stand in your way and vow to shut you down. Regardless, you’re just the person for the job, and so your quest begins.
The game has a dungeon-style approach, similar to what Microsoft offered with its Torchlight games and Blizzard with its Diablo offerings. You’ll fight from a top-down perspective, moving from dungeon to dungeon and fighting various key enemies in each area, and you'll be gaining experience and picking up new weapons as you go. If you prefer, you can also power-up using in-game monetary purchases, though that does add a bit of cost to the app price. No matter which way you go, you’ll find your warrior becoming more powerful over the course of the game — a good thing considering the opposition that’s stacked against you.
From what we’ve seen thus far, Infinity Blade Dungeons is a smashing effort and a great debut piece for the new iPad 3. The visuals, while maybe not as extraordinary as up-close fights in Infinity Blade II, really stand out; the combat moves at a very rapid pace with lots of cool lighting effects and collapsing enemies in your wake. You’ll also notice the smaller touches thanks to the new retina display set-up, as well as great sound — especially if you’re sporting a pair of headphones.
Best of all, Dungeons won’t just be limited to iPad 3 users. Chair Entertainment is currently planning the game across all iOS platforms. Granted, the newest tablet will be the best one for the job, but those who can’t immediately afford an upgrade won’t be out of luck.
Infinity Blade: Dungeons should be available shortly after the release of the new iPad later this week. We’ll let you know if this new approach holds up in a forthcoming review.