previews\ Oct 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

First Look: Infinity Blade II


It's pure and simple, if you own an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone 4, you must own Infinity Blade.  That’s it.  Cut and dry.  You can complain about how limited the combat is; you can complain that you suck at sword play--whatever.  The fact of the matter is, it’s an impressive technical feat for the platforms and available for a meager few dollars, just the right price for those looking for quality efforts without the wallet-killing price that comes with it.

You best get your skills up now.  At yesterday’s iPhone 4S press conference, Epic Games made a surprise announcement concerning the sequel, Infinity Blade II.  Once again, it is being handled by Chair Entertainment (the developers of the original Infinity, along with Undertow and Shadow Complex), and it will feature more hacky-slashy than you can wag a finger at.

Chair makes the most use out of its 3D game engine for the iPad.  The first one was known for its jaw-dropping locales and incredibly smooth animation, especially when it came to the battles themselves.  They’re upping the ante for the sequel, adding even more locations than ever before, including more indoor and outdoor locales to mix things up.  What’s more, the characters are bigger and badder, including beasts that intend to do a lot more damage than any given swordsman ever could.  You’ll also have a much deeper story to delve through this time around--one that goes beyond your lineage into something much greater.  What is it, we don’t quite know yet (Chair’s not spilling too many beans), but you can guess it will be epic.

Gameplay will also see a huge push in Infinity Blade II.  The hack-and-slash action we’ve come to recognize and appreciate returns, letting you gesture certain strikes and dodge incoming attacks.  This gives you the ample opportunity to hit your opponent hard and eventually finish them off.  The sequel will feature a new set of rewards and treasures to unearth, new fighting styles to adapt to, greater enemies, and a variety of new weapon classes.  Now you don’t have to stick to the same old sword if you prefer something different.  The role-playing elements will also have a bigger part in Infinity Blade II, probably when it comes to leveling up your character--to the point that they become the best knight in the realm.  Expect hours of additional gameplay here.

Infinity Blade II will also have additional online features.  Not all of them have been revealed yet, but one in particular that stands out is Clash Mob, letting you work alongside your friends and fellow gamers as you take on “massively social” (their words) challenges in order to earn new weapons and exclusive items not available in the single player mode.  While we haven’t heard about a versus mode as of yet (that would really be something spectacular), this is definitely the next best thing.

And, of course, the graphics look stunning.  The trailer for the game, which we’ve included below, gives you an idea what to expect, as brief as it is.  Chair hasn’t slouched when it comes to giving the iPad and iPhone 4 versions of the game a high-definition sheen, and this game will continue to mark high standards for the series as a whole.  We have high hopes.

Best of all, we only have about less than two months to wait for its release, as it’s dropping into the App store on December 1.  We’re getting mobile addiction as a Christmas/Hannukah gift.  Huzzah!  Be sure to check back for the full review around that time.

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