Infinity Blade 2 is the reason your iOS device exists (other than all of that non-gaming stuff, of course). It's the deep, compelling, great-looking release that melds the casual and the mainstream gaming ideals together. It seamlessly incorporates a strong fantasy story with role playing elements, upgrades, exploration, and even a hint of hidden objects along with fast-reflexes action that will make you sit up straight to play.
Things start out innocently enough, picking up where the original Infinity Blade left off. Now, after defeating the God-King, you're on a quest to discover the origin of the immensely powerful Infinity Blade. First, you'll battle a few tutorial-style enemies where the game holds your hand and teaches you how to attack, block, parry and dodge. After that, the real game begins, and boy is it a doozy.
Gameplay in Infinity Blade 2 is centered around face-to-face combat. It's very visceral and shoves you right in the action, facing off against some truly nasty creatures both big and small. Every move you make will be accomplished by swiping your screen or tapping on-screen buttons. You can employ slashes in just about any direction, dodge left or right, block, and unleash power attacks or magic spells, the latter of which are used by drawing shapes on the screen. After battle, you get to manage your inventory and search for more gold to add to your stash!
Upgrading and equipping items is half the fun of Infinity Blade 2, and there are plenty of weapons and pieces of armor to locate. Add to your inventory and keep special pieces worn for as long as you can, as they gain experience each time you battle and will become more powerful with use. You can find gems to add to your weapons, imbuing them with magical properties, or dual wield weapons to turn you into a no-blocking war machine! You can even find bonus items such as gold, potions, keys and more by looking around the environment before each battle. Simply drag the screen around to look for pouches or chests and tap them to collect them!
Analysis: The original Infinity Blade was described as a fantasy-themed Punch-Out!! with swords. Infinity Blade 2 has grown well beyond that and is now something monstrous to behold. With branching paths to explore, tons of things to find, equip, level-up and manage, and combat that is as intricate and intense as any fighting game out there, this game plays like a grown up and filled-out version of the original, which is exactly what we wanted!
You'll be happy to know Infinity Blade 2 supports just about any combat strategy you can conjure. Depending on the items you equip, you can turn yourself into a heavy powerhouse, a quick and nimble stabber, a spells master, a dual wielder, or anything in-between. Allowing for player styles makes the experience so much more fun, and you'll find yourself switching back and forth between sets of weapons just to experience the massive variety of combat styles.
With all its visual and strategic perfection, there's very little to harp on with this game's release. Acclimating to the split-second timing of some attacks takes some practice, but frustration never really occurs thanks to the game's forgiving design. The branching paths and emphasis on story add a lot to the experience, but sometimes it comes across as a bit cheesy, like something from a made for TV fantasy movie.
If you own an iOS device, you want to play this game. It doesn't have the universally-friendly face of cuteness all over it, but the game is surprisingly playable for just about everyone. Even better, new features and more combat are planned for future updates, including multiplayer arena battles! Hone your reflexes, equip yourself to suit your needs, and get ready for some extremely epic rounds of combat!