A couple months ago a tech demo called Epic Citadel hit the App Store showing off Epic Games' Unreal III graphics engine on an iOS device. There wasn't much action to Epic Citadel besides walking and looking around at an intricate castle landscape, but the graphics were nothing short of jaw-dropping for the iOS. Epic promised that games were coming soon using the esteemed graphics engine, and iOS gamers everywhere waited to see what Epic could come up with that would work on a touch-screen device.
Infinity Blade, Epic's first game for the iOS, is finally here and just about any gamer will appreciate this melee combat title that's simple on its surface, but offers plenty of complexity underneath to keep you coming back for more. The graphics are out of this world, easily pushing Infinity Blade to the head of its class for complex graphics on an iOS device. The gameplay is an interesting mix of on-rails movement, cut scenes, and metal-on-metal melee action, all of which work extremely smoothly using touch screen buttons and swipe gestures.
Gameplay in Infinity Blade consists of touching onscreen navigational points to move and battling one enemy at a time as you progress through an enormous castle. There are no joysticks or gamepads to move around with, and you have no freedom to roam the landscape (a disappointment after the Epic Citadel demo), but the melee battles will quickly make up for your lack of mobility.
Fighting is usually a mix of various dodges and blocks, then an attack move to score a hit on your opponent. Your success largely depends on timing your moves based on the fighting style of a particular opponent. Use buttons on the lower left and lower right to dodge attacks, or you can hit a button in the bottom-center of the screen to block with your shield. Our favorite defensive move though, is parry, which can be done by swiping in the opposite direction of an incoming attack. Like a lot of the moves, a parry takes perfect timing, but the satisfying metal-on-metal collision sound makes learning your opponents' behaviors (crucial for consistent parries) worth the effort.
Once you've fought your way through several opponents and made it to the throne room of the castle, you'll need to face the God King, a fighter with quick moves that you won't beat the first time around. When you die, you'll move on to the next fighter in the bloodline, only to fight your way back again, but this time with better weapons, powers, and items.
Overall, Infinity Blade is easily one of the best games of 2010, and probably has the best graphics of any game in the App Store. If you want a beautiful game that's incredibly addictive and takes full advantage of the smooth graphics of today's iOS devices, check out Infinity Blade.