Games Meet Metal: GAMES THAT ARE METAL: Infinity Blade may make you a Socially Inept Bastard

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Friday, December 10, 2010

GAMES THAT ARE METAL: Infinity Blade may make you a Socially Inept Bastard

Infinity Blade was released yesterday for the iphone and has already been certified (by myself) as piece of gaming badassery. Using the Unreal Engine 3 to render its epic fantasy visuals makes for one of the best looking portable games ever. For technophiles the visual novelty alone would be worth the six dollar price tag. But BEHOLD! Infinity blade manages to bring your favorite hardcore gaming tropes like looting, leveling, managing character stats, a huge arsenal of weapons, combine it with a Punch-Out!-like fighting system, and package it all in easily digestible chunks.

Gameplay is streamlined to walking short distances, seeing if you can spot loot and getting into fights. Rather than complicate things with free-roaming sections, you just touch the direction you want to proceed, the enemy you want to engage or the item you want to grab. Once you begin a battle you’ll be swiping and poking your touch screen in every conceivable way to parry, dodge, slice and block. The battle system (as previously mentioned) can be equated to Punch-Out! with swords. Since the action is more based on reading your enemy’s ‘tell’ than pulling off complicated combos, the touch controls are a great fit.

Infinity Blade’s depth is reinforced by a Rogue-like influence. Try as you may, you are not going to take down the big boss, the ‘God King’ (best name ever) on your first journey through his castle. Your inevitable failure means that in 20 years time your son will return to avenge your death. During this second “bloodline” you’ll fight different, more challenging enemies and get new items, but retain the level, gear and money from your previous play-through. To some this design choice may seem cheap, but I’ve been sucked into PSO and Diablo enough times to know that it works for me.

If you have a newer generation iphone, ipod touch or ipad, and six bucks to burn, you may neglect your friends to sneak in little battles with massive adversaries. God King!

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