Remember the good ol’ days of cellphone gaming? Solitaire and Snake. Forget those, Infinity Blade is the cell gaming lobotomy the industry needed. The game marks a revolution in the limitations of technology and whats expected out of mobile game developers. The iOS platform (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) has given a stage for games like this to shine on. Graphics, mechanics, storyline, and hours of gameplay are all attainable in the mobile environment. If you don’t believe me, download Infinity Blade.
Infinity Blade is an action/adventure/fighting/rpg (yes, all those genres merged together). The story begins with a man on a quest making his way through a castle to challenge a “Deathless” antagonist called the “God King”. The “Deathless” are obviously an immortal group of powerful figures, but that is all we know. The man is brutally killed during his bout with the God King. You play the role of an endless bloodline of warriors hell bent on defeating the God King and avenging their fathers death (and grand father, and great grand father, etc…). Every bloodline is a new descendant attempting to kill the God King and regain their family’s honor. At face value the storyline seems pretty thin, and honestly it is.
What Infinity Blade loses in depth is made up in replay value. Yes the game gets repetitive, bloodline after bloodline facing the same boss. The challenge for a gamer like me is to keep me motivated to play, and the weapons and character traits system is enough to hold my interest for more than a few hours. As the player progresses from foe to foe you gain experience in the traditional RPG kinda way. You also gain gold by either picking up items or winning fights. The gold can be spent on new armor upgrades, weapons, shields, and magic rings. The quest for better gear is a great way to keep the player engaged.
Not only is the gameplay crucial to the reply value of Infinity Blade, its also the aesthetics. I keep asking myself, “This is a cellphone game?”. I’ve truly been impressed with the visuals of this game and the sheer innovation in graphics is enough to keep my thumbs swiping.
The controls are pretty simple, but varied enough to avoid monotony. You can swipe in all directions to attack or perry an enemy’s attack. You also have arrows on either side of the screen to dodge in different directions. Lastly there is a shield icon to hold up your shield and block a head on attack. There is a little “rock, paper, scissors” feel to the fighting mechanics, but on a much larger scale.
Where the game falls is its overall repetitive take on an RPG. Traditionally RPG’s have wide open scenarios to guide a journey into a huge and ever expanding world. Infinity Blade takes place in a castle and its surrounding area (immediate area, like the grass outside the front door and the stairs going up the back) and there is no free roaming of the world because the “navigation” of the game is on rails (the character moves for you, all you control is the battle phases), this limited world gets old after a couple hours. Theres also the repeated story of avenging the previous character’s death. I find myself quoting the Princess Bride “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die” over and over. There is also a few things that annoy me once you defeat the God King, but I dont want to ruin the storyline for those that haven’t played yet.
Overall this game is jaw dropping visually, incredibly deep for a mobile game, and satisfies my RPG craving. Even if you’re not an action/adventure gamer, or even remotely interested in RPGs, I’d still recommend taking a look at this game. I firmly believe Infinity Blade will be looked at as a pivotal point in gaming history—the moment mobile gaming gained a seat at the big boy table.