Infinity Blade II, Chair Entertainment’s follow-up to their massively popular sword-fighting adventure, is now available from the app store. While the sequel emulates the original in many ways, there is a healthy dose of new items, weapons, enemies, and locations, as well as a deeper story to boot.
Infinity Blade II Pros:
- Gorgeous visuals and smooth animations make for stunning visual experience
- Crisp, clear audio with nice voicework
- Controls are responsive and intuitive, parry system shows improvement
- Exciting battles with new enemies, attack styles, environments, weapons, and items
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
Infinity Blade II Cons:
- No multiplayer at launch
- Doesn’t appear to be a way to sell items
We begin the second phase of our adventure fighting a handful of enemies that can be dispatched fairly handily with the titular sword. These battles serve as a tutorial for new players, or a refresher for those who haven’t played in a while. You are slowly introduced to using your shield to block, your dodge skills to avoid damage, your parrying skills to deflect attacks, and your special/magic powers to gain an advantage against your foes. At the culmination of this tutorial, you place the Infinity Blade in a stone carving, at which point it disappears, the God King thanks you for falling into his trap, and you are shot in the head with a crossbow only to awake in a state of confusion before venturing out again.
The path you take allows for more choice on the player’s part, as there are often multiple paths that will lead you to your ultimate goal. In between fights, you can acquire pouches of gold to purchase new items and improve your character stats. Battle success earns XP which is used to master your items and level your character on attributes of attack, shield, health, and magic. Completing specified actions during battle can also earn bonus XP. There are a bunch of new helmets, swords, rings, and the like to equip when taking on the new baddies, who come with a variety of attach styles, including dual-wielded weaponry. The good news is that you can also dual-wield weapons, too. In fact, there are a handful of fighting styles that you can utilize, including use of a two-handed weapon. Weapons can also be improved through crafting and applying gems, allowing for further customization of the experience.
Graphically, Infinity Blade has received even greater visual improvements, which is quite impressive considering that the original is still one of the most gorgeous games available. Several enhancements are specific to the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, though older devices look darn nice, too. The cinematic camera angles, lighting/shading effects, and buttery smooth animations make for a terrific experience and one that gamers will continue to showcase. The audio continues to be crisp, clear, and fierce, adding weight to clanging swords and ground-shaking stomps. The controls remain the same, offering a central shield button, corner dodge buttons, and upper magic/special buttons, leaving the middle of the screen open for sword swipes. Specific swipe sequences allow for combos and more powerful attacks. Moving from place to place and picking up pouches requires screen taps. The parrying system seems to have been improved since the original, as we consistently struggled in this realm in the past, but have little trouble deflecting attacks this time around.
Replay value is good, as the customization options and forked paths create a greater sense of control over your fate despite its strongly linear progression. The multiplayer mode that was included as an update to the original is absent from the sequel at launch, but we hope to have a similar experience that adds it at a later date. GameCenter integration offers leaderboards and achievements, and iCloud syncs your progress across devices. A nasty crash bug that plagued many players at launch seems to have been eradicated for the most part, but there remains some issue with progress saving, which will hopefully be taken care of very soon. Once past these hurdles, Infinity Blade II should supplant the original as a must-have favorite for many. A universal app for $6.99, Infinity Blade II is a terrific, 4.5-Dimple stud.
Infinity Blade II Review,