Retrospective: Infinity Blade
You begin this adventure of swords and sorcery by getting killed straight away by the immortal God King atop his decrepit castle. Okay, not a great start you may think but this is just setting the scene for what’s to come. You then start the quest as your own son, swearing vengeance for your recently deceased father, who just happens to have left you all his gold, armour, weapons and XP. Off you then set, through some fantastic looking environments and locales, battling ogres, sorcerers and knights in one-on-one duels to the death.
The actual combat is meaty and satisfying. Swipe across the screen and your character slashes or bludgeons with your weapon of choice. Inevitably your opponent won’t just stand there to be made mince-meat of, he’s going to come right back at you. When he does you need to look sharp, with a tap to the left or right our intrepid warrior deftly evades incoming attacks. Stand-firm though and you can tap the shield icon to block or, with some good timing, you can swipe in the direction of the incoming attack to parry the move to the satisfying ‘clang’ of steel on steel. This stuns the enemy, opening them up for a stabbing strike to further deplete their health bar.
Filling up the sword icon and magic icon during battles gives you the oppourtunity to unleash further misery on your enemey with special moves and devastating magic. Once your opponents health is depleted he will hit the deck, usually after having your sword unceremoniously embedded in his mid-riff.
The deep and well-rounded combat is somewhat hamstrung though by the complete lack of blood issuing forth from said vanquished foe. Bringing the game to a larger audience with its ‘9+’ age rating no doubt necessitates the need to tone down the violence, but when our hero jumps on to the head of a Titan, sword first to land the killing blow, we’d expect to see some damage. Even if it was the loss of limbs during combat, a trickle of blood down the arm or grazed knees even! Give us something! Alas, no. Our warrior trudges off to the next area leaving behind a bloodless, intact corpse.
To sum up
But don’t let the lack of viscera put you off. This is a great game, complete with; RPG elements allowing you to level up your character, a wealth of weapons, armour and magic imbued rings that can all be purchased or scavenged. The moody Dark Souls-esque atmosphere leaves you with a feeling of loneliness but also a sense of achievement once you’ve scaled the Dark Citadel and taken on the God King himself. If the God King prevails and you die, you happily re-spawn ironically as your own spawn, and set out again on the path of vengeance, a little tougher and a little more knowledgeable than your ancestors.
At the current price of £3.99 this is well worth a look. There’s also the obligatory in-app purchases if you’re feeling flush, which will boost your coffers enabling you to splash out on new armour and weapons, as well as the hallowed Infinity Blade itself should you so choose.
Reviewed on iPad. Available on most iOS devices and optimised for iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with high-resolution graphics.