When the original Infinity Blade [$5.99] was released, it set a new standard in what we could expect out of 3D iOS games. Sure, we were wowed by Epic Citadel [Free], but Infinity Blade was a real game, and a good one too. The sequel, Infinity Blade II [$6.99] had some massive shoes to fill, which it did admirably by improving on the Infinity Blade formula in numerous ways.
We've been playing a preview build of Infinity Blade III, and it's safe to say the bar has been raised once again. Chair has asked us to avoid story discussion, as even the opening cut scenes have some major revelations for fans of the series, so instead, we'll stick to gameplay. Back from previous installments is the whole item-based experience system, magic system, in-game store, and all the other little systems that have added depth to the game.
Similar to the other two titles, Infinity Blade III features the same best-in-class swipe-based controls. I'm not sure what it is about the Infinity Blade games specifically, but your swipes feel infinitely more connected to the actual action in the game compared to others. There's some kind of magic here that Chair manages to harness that's often imitated, but never duplicated.
As far as the actual combat itself is concerned, at least with what I've played so far it seems like business as usual. Dodge and block positions are in familiar places, and doing well in fights often seems to depend on precise parrying. Like the previous two, swiping in alternate directions multiple times in a row results in a parry break (or block/dodge break if you're doing that instead) and then you go nuts swiping.
Oh, and if you were hoping for free roaming control, you're out of luck. The game is entirely combat focused, with the exact same kind of stopping, searching for sacks of gold, and moving forward via defeating increasingly difficult enemies. You know, like we've been doing for two games now.
Without getting deeper into review-y sorts of stuff which we're saving until after the game is actually available, I'd say the best way to describe Infinity Blade III is that it's just more Infinity Blade. There's not even a tinge of free to play to it, it looks better than any game I've ever seen on the App Store, and I'm not sure it gets much more must-have than this.
Stay tuned for next week, when we can post more than vague teasers, as Infinity Blade III has a lot of awesome stuff I can't wait to see how everyone reacts to.
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