Application Review: Infinity Blade II

Infinity Blade II is an expansion on the thrilling story of Siris, detailing his exploits after his defeat of the God King. Now in search of the “Worker of Secrets”, Siris storms a powerful Immortal’s castle to free his ally. New monsters and champions stand in Siris’s way, guarding their sovereign lord from harm. Within his castle walls he has chained the Worker of Secrets–and it’s your job to find him.  Read on for the full review:

Gameplay

Infinity Blade II uses a real-time fighting system, allowing an experienced player to quickly and efficiently end a fight. Controls on the bottom half of the screen allow for dodging to the left, blocking, and dodging to the right, respectively. In the top corners of the screen are two special abilities: a quick stun, and a magical ability dependent on your ring selection (special items used to facilitate spells).


Infinity Blade II’s control scheme.

Ingrained within Infinity Blade are three different weapon classes: dual, normal, and heavy. Equipping a dual weapon removes your blocking ability, replacing it with another dodge. A normal weapon gives the full range of capabilities. A heavy weapon removes all forms of dodge, giving blocks instead. In essence a dual weapon gives you three dodges, a normal weapon gives you a standard skillset, and a heavy weapon gives you three blocks.

But with the loss of blocking and dodging for dual and heavy weapons, respectively, powerful bonuses are conferred. In the case of a dual weapon, combos (a series of attacks in a particular order that deal additional damage) can be chained one after another after one full combo. In other words, after a single combo, every attack after it will deal bonus damage. In the case of heavy weapons, they simply deal massive damage and allow a pseudo-combo with the right combination of attacks.

The standard RPG currency, gold, is used in Infinity blade II to purchase weapons, rings, armor, shields, gems, and other miscallaneous items. Gold can be obtained from battles, treasure chests, and randomly generated bags lying around the castle. In the store, gold can be purchased for money, ranging from $4.99 to $49.99.

Upon earning enough experience to level up, stat points are granted and can be used at your discretion to increasing health, attack power, shield strength, or magic. “Mastering” a weapon, or gaining enough experience points to statisfy a certain threshold, grants a stat point, offering an incentive to diversify your item choices. Gems are another way to increase overall power; they contain various bonuses to increase attack, deal more magic damage, etc. and are overall a fantastic way of gaining battle strength.


Stat screen!

Enjoyable as Infinity Blade is, the lack of free roam is a crippling defect. Conforming to the rather trite storyline becomes exceedingly wearisome after a while; once the initial wonderment wears off, there’s little motivation to keep playing.

Gameplay: ★★★★

Graphics

Infinity Blade II has been blessed with absolutely breathtaking graphics, bringing out the finest detail in the smallest of objects. Scenery and movement are brought to life with the Unreal Engine, creating a game of superb graphical quality. The strongest aspect of this game its connection to reality: perfect synergy of action and surroundings create a completely believeable world.


Fantastic graphics.

Menus are arranged in a simple, aesthetically pleasing fashion, completely devoid of heavily embellished ornaments and garish colors. Elegance is key in this well-wrought set of menus, and Chair Entertainment has succeeded in capturing that elusive creature, elegance.


Simple menus.

Graphics: ★★★★★

Audio

Music is crisp and clear in Infinity Blade II’s well-composed music soundtrack, always eerily reflective of the situation at hand. Whether journeying through the ominous castle setting or preparing for an adrenaline-charged fighting scene, ambient sounds are absolutely phenomenal. Sadly, this near-perfect achievement is marred by one flaw: excessive grunting. It’s exceptionally frustrating to hear this sound in an unceasing, ever-continuing repetition. It’s a small quirk, but an exceedingly irritating one.

Audio: ★★★★½

Replay

Infinity Blade II is an intrinsically replay-centered game. Its gameplay is based on cycles of the same environment and monsters, offering little variation as a whole. The game functions fairly well in this current play-style, but quickly becomes trite as a result of it. Achievements add a bit of flavor to Infinity Blade II, but it the end, a sense of ennui pervades throughout this game. With few structured goals, it’s entirely a user’s choice to play beyond the storyline–and there are few incentives to: only unlocking items and playing against indefinitely stronger forms of a boss remain. (This is where a lack of free roam really hurts the game.) Very little is left to accomplish after the initial deluge of goals, meaning Infinity Blade II offers little by way of replay value.

Replay: ★★★½

Value

Coming in at $6.99, Infinity Blade II lies among the most expensive apps in the App Store. It becomes dry after a bit of playing time, but offers absolutely spectacular graphics and an expansive virtual world. With Chair’s promised online gameplay, Infinity Blade has the potential to become an App Store powerhouse. A complex, well-thought expansion to the original Infinity Blade, this sequel is a worthy successor to the throne. Its price is assuredly justified by its overall fantastic gameplay.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

A beautifully crafted game, Infinity Blade II is a powerful contender in the App Store. Magnificent graphics, and perfect interweaving of movement create lifelike reality; a difficult feat to achieve for any gaming platform, let alone iOS. Its lack of replay value and repetition, though, bring down it’s overall value to some degree. Infinity Blade II is a fantastic game, but has a few defects that mar its otherwise perfect entirety.

Overall Score:

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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