Infinity Blade was a title that caught my eye quite some time ago. As soon as trailers for it started to come out, I was smitten with the graphics and the reviews did not do much to discourage me from wanting to try it. They were generally ranging from pretty good to amazing depending on the reviewer. I picked this title up some time ago on sale, and with the recent release of Infinity Blade II, I figured this would be a good time to take a look at the original.
Graphics - 10:
This is a gorgeous game. Easily the prettiest I had seen on the iPad when I first got it. A couple of rivaled it since, but the fluid animations, lens flare effects and detailed environments really stand out and changed how a lot of people viewed iPad games.
Sound & Music - 6:
The sound effects are decent, and the music is pretty good - though it lacks much variety. I did run into a few quirks though, where once in awhile the sound would not play in my session until I closed the game out and restarted it.
Gameplay - 7:
More good than bad to be here. The swiping gestures work well most of the time, and I liked drawing out the magic sigils during combat. I felt like the menu was a bit clunky to get around in at times, and there were definitely times in combat where defensive gestures seemed to go wrong - especially dodging. Also, while the concept was interesting, more variety in the environment would have been greatly appreciated.
Intangibles - 7:
Fights don't take long, giving the game a nice quick-fix pick up and play feel. The progression system is pretty cool - I liked how maxing out gear increases value and gives you levels as it, like you, gains experience. I found myself using every single piece of gear along the way, even if it wasn't the best available, simply to take full advantage of the leveling system. Unfortunately, it does not take long to beat the God King, there is not a lot of variety in the enemies you fight, none of them are particularly difficult and the limited number of environments mean you will see and do it all pretty quickly. Another complaint? The game seems to crash somewhat frequently on my wife's iPad, requiring complete system reboots. Not every time, not even close - maybe 10% of the time, but that still seems too much.
Overall - 7.5:
In some ways, I would like to rank this game higher. I really enjoyed it quite a bit - it's one of my most heavily played iPad titles to date. But, it is not without some flaws - such as the crashing or the limited number of creatures and environs. Considering how cheaply the game can be acquired now, it's hard for me to suggest not acquiring it - though I have not yet played the sequel, which I have read is superior in almost every way and might prove a better investment.