First Impressions of Infinity Blade 2 from the Gear Diary Team

While my personal preference of games released this week is the port of 2004’s ‘The Bard’s Tale’, there is no doubt that the big release of the week is Infinity Blade 2. Doug has been beside himself waiting for the game to arrive, Dan started the ball rolling with his thoughts on the graphics, and me being me I grabbed it immediately upon release. So what do we think after a short time playing? Read on and see!

In case you missed out, here is the description of Infinity Blade 2 from the iTunes App Store:

The God King has been defeated, an unlikely hero has emerged and now you must discover the truth behind the secrets of the Infinity Blade. The continuing journey of young Siris unfolds as you delve deeper into the world of the Deathless tyrants and their legion of Titans. Can you unlock all the mysteries and successfully wield the power of the Infinity Blade in this timeless swordplay adventure of champions and villains?

A Robust & Dynamic 3D World:
Explore beautiful and immersive environments that dynamically change over time during your travels and venture to exotic locations such as the Asian themed Saydhi’s Estate or the medieval inspired Vault of Tears featuring multiple paths to explore.

Featuring 3 All-New Styles of Combat:
Now you can choose from multiple classes of weapons, armor and spells, each with specialized capabilities such as Dual Wielding, Two-Handed and the standard Weapon & Shield class. Learn each discipline by using Infinity Blade II’s intuitive pick-up and play game play style that is easy to use, yet difficult to master!

Infinity Blade’s Trademark Character Customization Evolved:
Create and forge even more powerful weapons with mystical objects you discover and collect along your journey, expanding your overall arsenal with all-new elemental powers & capabilities!

The Secrets of Your Past Revealed:
Delve deeper into the fantastical story of Infinity Blade as your journey leads you to the realm of the mysterious Deathless Saydhi and discover the truth about the Worker of Secrets and the powers he holds.

The Latest in iOS features Powered by Unreal Technology:
The definitive visual experience in mobile gaming, complete with all-new iCloud support and HDMI output.

As mentioned, Dan started the ball rolling with this stament:

Omg the graphics on Infinity Blade 2 are outrageous.

He later came back and noted:

Kills my battery but the graphics are amazing.

Doug had been hotly anticipating the release of Infinity Blade 2, to the point of saying “Why do you think I got a 4S? (Yes, I am that pathetic.)” He and his son both love the original and were excited to share the new game. So Doug has the iPhone 4S and his son has a iPhone 4. Doug said:

First impressions: it’s really beautiful. The animation is superb. I like the features that they’ve added. I found it hilarious that one of the bad dudes had a history channel emblem on his loincloth.

I have reached the point on the original where I wasn’t listening to the sound. But I felt with this one, I should at least respect the game makers enough so that I listen to the sound for a while the first time through.

After a while he had a bit more feedback:

First impressions: you can’t sell weapons after you’ve mastered them and moved on to a new weapon, like you could in IB1. This is kind of bogus, as that was a good way to earn some gold without having to do an in-app purchase. Don’t like this change, me.

As for his son’s experience on the iPhone 4:

Joseph is playing it on his iPhone 4. It’s not running as well as on the 4S, obviously, but it *is* running. A little choppy, but not too bad.

Finally he echoed what Dan said when he tweeted:

iPhone 4S + Infinity Blade II = Thank God (& Amazon & UPS) for the Mophie Juice Pack.

Last night we got the first update, which included:

What’s New in Version 1.0.1
Balance tweaks, optimizations, and bug fixes.

For myself, I have played a bit on the iPod Touch 4th gen and the iPad 2 (my kids have been too busy to try on the original iPad yet). This is even a more stark difference than with the iPhone 4 since the iPod Touch has less memory!

On the iPod Touch, my first experience was the game not allowing me to change volume or get past the starting screen. After a reboot it crashed to desktop. After the new update I was able to play successfully – but as Doug noted it is definitely pushing the capabilities of the system, and the performance is sometimes stuttery and unresponsive. It is still fun to play, but the iPod Touch is definitely not the optimal play experience.

On the iPad 2 everything works perfectly. Load times are long, there is some noticeable lag-time as cutscenes load and new areas/battles load, but the graphics are flawless and the action is non-stop. Technically I have yet to have an issue with the game … but as for the gameplay I have to admit that I would be hard pressed to name more than a couple things that are different. Part of that is for me this is just a ‘distraction game’, I seek deeper adventures and RPGs for more of my gaming time (as mentioned before). The other part is that much of what was changed is stuff that benefits those who pile on the hours (like Doug!). But again, that is as intended, and for most more of a great game is … still a great game.

Reviews for Infinity Blade 2 have been extremely positive so far, and we all agree – this is a wonderful looking game that offers ton of replayability, progression, customization and just plain fun!

So head to the iTunes App Store and check out Infinity Blade 2

What about you? Have you played yet, and if so what are YOUR experiences – let us know what hardware you’re running and what experiences you have had.

Categories: Gaming, Reviews