Chair Entertainment’s Infinity Blade is already recognized as one of the most gorgeously rendered games on the iOS platform. Infinity Blade 2 takes it to the next level. Mashable got an early preview of the first-person action/castle quest game and, after playing it on the Apple iPhone 4S, found it just as fun and thrilling as ever, but with a level of graphics detail rarely seen in a mobile game.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S in October, it not only promised a more powerful A5-driven phone, but one that would support impressive graphic feats. The company even used Infinity Blade 2 to show off the new graphics chops. Sadly, when we got the phone, there were exactly zero games and apps that could actually demonstrate this new graphics prowess. We resorted to running the original Infinity Blade on the mobile device. It looked good, but was not demonstrably better than on the original iPhone 4.
Infinity Blade 2 is another story.
Before we dive into what the game looked like, a little background on the game itself. Infinity Blade 1 was an action game where you battle successive enemies to reach the Deathless God King. There are swords, armor, shields, booty, leveling up, hidden treasures and more. You battle and dodge by swiping and tapping your finger on the screen. Different moves require different kinds of swipes and combos. There are magic rings and magic gestures. Health is depleted and then returned with a magic elixir that you find throughout the game. You build up experience on a vast array of weaponry and equipment–which increases your chances of winning battles. It’s a fairly controlled universe in that you cannot move on without battling each successive opponent. The free roaming is confined to looking around and, perhaps, choosing one or two alternate paths (all end up in the same place, though). The battle with the God King invariably ends in your defeat and then your children are left to carry on the battle–by starting from the beginning but with everything you accumulated before.
Infinity Blade 2 picks up with you in possession of the Infinity Blade. Don’t get too excited, though, you lose that weapon in short order and then assume a game path quite similar to the original game. There are new weapons, more intense opponents and even a place where you forge your own weapons–mostly with gems you acquire along the way. The branching is more extensive and this version even leverages iCloud and adds new multi-player modes like a “massively social” group-based challenges (not available yet for testing). The big — and we mean big — difference, though, is the game graphics. They are, in a word, spectacular.
Scenes in Infinity Blade 1, which uses the Unreal game engine, were always cinematic, but now they have a startling realism that makes you think you’re watching a movie — we only played on the small, though high-resolution, iPhone 4S screen, but it was still impressive. Light plays in real time with the buildings and objects, leaves cascade gently from sun-dappled trees and the characters are more smoothly — and realistically — rendered. The stuttering that occasionally accompanied gameplay on Infinity Blade 1 on the iPhone 4 is gone — even with all this graphics intensity.
In short, Infinity Blade 2 finally puts on display the Apple iPhone 4S’s impressive graphics capabilities and only leaves us yearning for more games that allow for this level of immersive gameplay.
We’ve collected a number of images from the game to give you a sense of what it looks like, but you really can’t tell until you play for yourself when the game ships on Dec. 1. It’s usually $6.99 for the universal app (iPhone, iPad and iPod), but Chair Entertainment is offering it at a special promotional price of $2.99.