IB3Chicklet_FLooking back, the notion that we would one day have the Unreal Engine on the iPhone seemed, well, unreal. Epic teased us with the Epic Citadel [Free] tech demo, and left the whole internet wondering what playing a game inside of the beautiful little universes that now were now able to be rendered on the device in our pocket would be like. Infinity Blade [$5.99] was the answer we were all hoping for and Chair not only managed to release a game that outclassed everything else on the App Store in the graphical department, but they also came up with their often imitated but never duplicated swipe-based combat system.

The original Infinity Blade was highly cyclical, almost to a fault. Gameplay involved little more than fighting an array of dudes, inevitably being slain by the God King, and starting over until you were strong enough to win the final encounter. The premise was silly, and, at least to me, seemed like a weird framework to add longevity to what would've been a super short game. I mean, can you imagine if you got to the God King for the first time, killed him, and the credits rolled?

IB3_Screen13_iPad

Infinity Blade II [$6.99] came out a year later and fleshed out this story further, applying canonical band aids to squeeze a sensible sequel and reasonable plot line to follow the first game with. Swipe-based combat mechanics largely stayed the same, with a few additions to add a shocking amount of depth, customization, and complexity to the game.

While Infinity Blade II was a refinement of the original, Infinity Blade III takes the familiar Infinity Blade formula and tweaks it to the point of perfection. There's far more content, even more customization, additional systems to delve in to, and best of all, huge dragons.

The core of the game remains the same in that you play through a chain of swipe-based combat encounters with massive enemies before reaching the final boss. Die to that boss, and you start over from the beginning of that particular area. The cyclical nature of the game plays well with how the experience system works, which has the player constantly upgrading items, filling their subsequent experience bars to the point of mastery, leveling up, and generally getting stronger.

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Gear can be purchased for gold via the ever-present in-game shop, looted from chests, or dropped from vanquished enemies- Just like you've grown used to in previous Infinity Blade iterations. A new merchant system has been added to the game via a woman who randomly appears at your hideout who will sell you random rare loot for discount prices. She'll often have seriously awesome items, but more often than not seems like a tease of what you could have, if only you had the gold to buy it.

The hideout I mentioned is basically the hub for all of your adventures inside of Infinity Blade III. It's where you'll find the merchant, brew potions, and eventually combine gems and forge new weapons once you're found the subsequent NPC's in game to do so. Fiddling with potions, gems, and weapon upgrades all invoke a timer system, which raised some concerns in our community once people saw those stereotypical dreaded timer bars in their beloved Infinity Blade.

The thing is, you never feel like you need any of these things right now. Instead, it seems like the routine you fall in to is to start a potion or a gem, and then go off and fight through an area. Typically, things will be done by the time you make it back to your hideout. The single exception to this seems to be if you're combining some particularly powerful reagents to make a really awesome item. The longest I've seen so far is a 24 hour potion timer, but that was the result of me throwing all of my best ingredients into the kettle. Low-level potions brew in a matter of minutes, and the other NPC services at your hideout largely work the same way.

fusion

Infinity Blade III has a weird "premium" (using some very large air quotes there) dual currency system that might send up some red flags initially, but the game seems to just barf the "premium" secondary currency at you at every turn. Completing secondary objectives will get you loads of it, and most of the time you're earning these special coins left and right without even particularly trying to. Aside from speeding up potion brewing, gem combining, and blacksmithing this funny money is also used to buy keys, prize wheels, and other things that you don't really need unless you insist on opening every chest you come across. Keys drop by themselves, but, not with enough regularity to open everything.

Of course you can also buy kinds of currency via IAP, but, I'm not sure why you would as it seems like the best way to just break the game and take all the fun out of it would be by just instantly gearing your dude up with the best items in the game. Additionally, because of how the experience system works, you'd buy the best stuff, fill it with experience, then not be able to level up anymore without downgrading your load out. In other words, this is just one more thing that's similar to previous Infinity Blade games.

The hideout is also home to the game's world map, which gives players way more flexibility in where to go in game. You'll often have the ability to visit multiple locales, ranging from areas to advance the story, gather loot, or earn gold through completing challenges like seeing how many combos you can string together. This variety goes a long way, particularly when you're stuck on a boss and just want to do something else to level up before revisiting that level to try again.

hideout

When you go out adventuring, you'll be able to play as one of two characters. Some levels give you a choice, while others that have to do with plot development are typically only playable by one. Siris plays like the Infinity Blade fighter you're used to, with heavy armor, big shields, huge weapons, and more. Isa has totally different combat styles, which makes alternating between characters feel like a totally fresh experience. The best way to describe their differences would be to think of Siris as your typical RPG trope warrior, while Isa falls in line with a thief or rogue class.

Each character is geared and leveled up independently, and tricking out both of your guys serves as one more carrot on a stick for the whole game. Additionally, they have unique abilities that you can level up, my favorite of which is Isa's utility when it comes to looting, as she can eventually lock pick both small and medium chests without requiring a key as it really bugs me to pass up chests I can't open due to lack of keys.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise by now, but the graphics in Infinity Blade III on my iPad 4 are absolutely out of this world. For review purposes, I've been playing an early copy of the game on two super long flights to and from GDC China and it was almost obnoxious having an aisle seat and having people stop to watch me play. Paired with the Retina Display, Infinity Blade III looks too good to be true, and it's mind blowing to think that it's going to look even better on the iPhone 5s thanks to its OpenGL ES 3.0 capabilities.

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Like previous games, the controls of Infinity Blade III are flawless. You feel like you have an ultra-direct connection to the action, and through various gestures for special combos for each type of weapon, all of them manage to feel distinctly different while playing. My personal favorite is Isa's dual wielding, as combos for her involve tapping in a ton of different hot areas that pop up to unleash a flurry of piercing attacks.

One really has to reach to even come up with anything bad to say about Infinity Blade III. You could argue that it's not enough of a departure from the previous games, but when we're looking at the conclusion of a trilogy I think it's totally appropriate to take what the last two games were about and tighten that up in any small way you can. You also still don't have any kind of free roaming ability, if there's anyone out there who is still worked up about that.

The one drawback, if you'd even call this that, is that you'll find yourself so interested in the plot development of Infinity Blade III that dying to a boss and needing to start that area over instead of seeing what happens next is actually a total bummer at times. It's a weird sensation, as we sort of just accept that this is the sort of thing you do in Infinity Blade games, and actually feeling disappointed that I need to wait to see what happens next is an odd feeling for a game series that traditionally has been (for me, anyway) so combat-focused.

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Infinity Blade III is launching this week, and I feel like at some point we've called each subsequent Infinity Blade game the best game on the App Store, at least in some regard. Infinity Blade III follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, and everyone with an iOS device capable of running it needs to download Infinity Blade III. From a gameplay perspective it's super fun, the plot has me totally sucked in, and calling Infinity Blade III a technical masterpiece is an understatement.

Infinity Blade titles are the gold standard for iOS gaming, so, whatever you do, don't miss this one. Keep an eye on TouchArcade, as we'll post the second the game is available for download.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • mako9227

    Wait when is this game releasing?

    • mako9227

      Oh oops haha it says "this week"

      • OStors1935

        мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт...­ ­
        http://cort&#46­as/5m3N

        At the beginning of the review, he talked about what would happen in infinity blade II if you beat the boss the first time around. I actually did that...and I beat the game in 20 minutes. I had mixed feelings lol

      • yaboyrasp

        Never played ib1 for that main reason. It was a short game that u just played over and over...passed on ib2 since I never played the first one. Happened to pick it up when it went free and now ib3 is a instabuy for me.

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        You lie. You lie real bad. And stop spamming this site with BS.

        Although i'm probably talking to a bot...

      • cozmic0

        It's a bot... Other than the spam message it also copy a random legit comment and auto-append it at the bottom of the message.

        Pretty sneaky eh?

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        Yes super sneaky! Can't fool us though!

      • VirtualBoyFreak

        Hey dude, why do you have a "my cousin is making..." Spam message on every comment you post? It's as if you only made comments to add that spam paragraph, which I've seen in other posts recently...

      • cozmic0

        It's a bot... Other than the spam message it also copy a random legit comment and auto-append it at the bottom of the message.

    • Pocketnova

      Tomorrow

    • InkyTheGhost

      Infinity Blade twitter says tonight.
      Tonight!!!

      • Pocketnova

        Oh wow. Never mind

      • Jake7905

        Are you sure about this? I thought it was tomorrow night.

    • mako9227

      Oh awesome! Instabuy!!!

    • alui777

      In a couple hours

    • toxiccheese

      I hope it isn't tonight or this week because I'm too busy with GTA5!

    • VinitJasoliya

      Game released now and get it free here:
      (remove the spaces)
      www . is . gd / infinityblade3

  • hourglass

    Is it any surprise? IB 1 and 2 raised the graphical bar to the sky, and IB 3 continues that. Instabuy.

    • Adams Immersive

      My desktop gaming system WISHES it could handle 2048x1536 with that kind of detail!

      • Snipyro12

        Must be fairly old and not much of a "gaming" PC if your iPhone can beat it!
        To be fair, most PC games don't run at that kind of resolution because it's MUCH harder processing free movement and the more intensive things in their games. If you played an on-rails game on PC it would easily way better than your iPhone.

  • worldcitizen1919

    I wish they'd bring something new into this franchise apart from graphics. Still I might get it.

    • Lazyninja7

      The whole post was about the story and new gameplay mechanics. I'm guessing you were too lazy too read it

      • themostunclean

        Lazyninja calling someone lazy. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere, I'm just too lazy to look for it.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Or you're just too stanky funky dirty?

    • Derprozess

      You are 100% right. This game is borring as hell. A lot of people says that this is the best week for gaming, because of this and GTA 5. Well, that game it really is beautiful, when in this game you have a nice game-book with cool graphics and no control at all.

  • dan68k

    Yeah, I still have Epic Citadel on my iPhone. I boot it up every once in a while for kicks. I love Infinity Blade as much as the next guy, but for me, that free roaming, epic, mobile RPG experience was never realized. I like the additions in this third game, though.

    • curtisrshideler

      I totally have Epic Citadel on all of my devices! (Well, those that can run it, that is. Why do I even still own a 3G?!) anyway, as far as free roam RPGs go, I think Ravensword 2 and Aralon hit the nail on the head. Their graphics aren't as good as Infinity Blade, but you can walk, run, ride, swim, or fly anywhere throughout the world in first or third person. And after the main quest is complete there is still a ton to do. I still haven't fully furnished my house yet in Ravensword 2. Give it a try. Most like Skyrim on the App Store.

  • Matthew Rossman

    Mmm, timers - the only thing missing from the franchise!

    • Schutzenegger

      They were there in the second one. Or did you not do any gem combining?

    • Zepfhyr

      The timers in Infinity Blade are based on in-game time. It moves at the same rate as real time unless you start a new Awakening (Rebirth in IB2, Bloodline in IB1). When that happens, text pops up to tell you how much time has passed, which takes that amount of time off the timers, as well.

      So a 24 hour potion timer can be finished in 10-30 minutes if you get to a boss and let him kill you.

  • TheMountain

    At the beginning of the review, he talked about what would happen in infinity blade II if you beat the boss the first time around. I actually did that...and I beat the game in 20 minutes. I had mixed feelings lol

  • RelientKSoCal

    Excellent review, I can't wait!

  • Jazzpha

    The first thing I thought after finishing the article was (after seeing the last picture), "The !~*^ Thark Armor is back!" Man, that thing made me ragequit more often than The Blocks Cometh.

    Think about that.

    • mako9227

      Nooooooooo

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      Dark Souls.

  • Gucciipad

    I cant wait

  • CzechCongo

    I feel so bad for Eli that people were watching him play a game that hasn't been released yet on a sweet piece of hardware. Sucks to be you, dude.

  • Devok

    The games gonna look exactly the same on either iphone 5, C and the S.

    • lilneo

      Really!? :)

    • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

      That's strange because I remember them saying at the keynote it will not look the same. Something about added effects on the S. Load times on the S will also be improved.

      We'll see soon enough.

    • darkcheetah

      The 5c doesn't support OpenGL ES 3.0 so I'm pretty sure they will not look the same.

    • one.sixty.four

      As the other posters said, the OpenGL ES 3.0 support on the iPhone 5S will allow the graphics to be greatly improved on the 5S. On The 5 and the 5C the graphics will run at a slightly lower quality.

      • curtisrshideler

        Yeah I remember him pointing out these awesome lens flares... But I also see awesome lens flares every time I play Infinity Blade I on my iPhone 4. So, I am excited to see it running on new devices, but I hope there's more than just lens flares.

  • Scape3d

    Graphically, I'm sure this game is outstanding. I just can't get that excited about swiping combat for an entire game though. Because, that's what Infinity Blade is.

    • Morgan01

      I have to agree with you. I tried both Infinity Blade I and II, found them both repetitive and boring. I never finished either. Maybe the formula for number III will break up that monotony.

  • Sylars

    Hell Take me! The Soundtrack for IB3 is out in Itunes. Can't wait until IB3 gets released.

    • curtisrshideler

      Man, I was still hoping for a full IB2 soundtrack release. There are bits of music and ambience that they just didn't put on that first soundtrack release. Hope they release extended versions. And I can't wait to hear this new one!

  • Reignmaker

    How many people here actually finished one of the earlier installments?

    • Sylars

      finished both with high number of rebirths. :P Still some equipment in IB2 to unlock. Are there still price wheels in IB3?

    • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

      I only bought 2 but I didn't finish it. 3 though...it's looking like I won't finish 2 before I start on 3. The biggest problem I had with finishing 2 was the huge size of the app on my 6GB phone.

      • Sylars

        Mhmh but IB3 will probably take a bit more place than IB2. I deleted some App on my Iphone in advance.

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        Yes this is probably true. But this time, I'll be sporting a 5s with much more space than my 4 with a whole 6GB worth of space. That sucked, and still does - at least for another few weeks.

    • VirtualBoyFreak

      I finished both IB1 and IB2. I've played those games to exhaustion (if the expression exists), I've read the 1st book and I'm 2/3 into the 2nd book.

      The games are all fantastic if you are into endless swipe games, but if you consider the experience as a whole (3 games + 2 books) and do things in order (play IB1, read 1st book, play IB2, read 2nd book, play IB3) then the experience is extremely more satisfying and you get a background of why things are happening in the games. One of the best game ideas of all time IMO.

    • curtisrshideler

      Played them both multiple times through. Probably still will. I put a different one on each device and just keep leveling up on each depending on which device I have in my hands at the moment.

  • jody2004

    It's going to be an epic infinity blade

    • Jake7905

      It'll have me glued to my 'Chair'.

  • hourglass

    IT'S OUT!

    • hourglass

      I had to go to the 'Related' tab to find it, though. Go to the original Infinity Blade and you'll find it easily.

      • Jake7905

        Yup, just bought it, thanks.

  • Ramaz1234

    It's out!:0 but I don't have enough money to buy it :( I guess I'll just have to play Infinity Blade 2 for now :/

  • hourglass

    It's been out for like twenty minutes. Come on, TouchArcade, say something about it.

    • hourglass

      It's installing! It's taking forever, but it will be worth it.

  • charlymoss4

    IT IS OUT PEOPLE :'D

  • RelientKSoCal

    Bogus, I have 3.3 GB available and it's telling me there's not enough space to install it. Deleting more stuff...

    • Jake7905

      It's 2.1 installed, so probably need twice that free. I downloaded to my computer first, it's the best way to avoid that problem.

      • RelientKSoCal

        Thanks for the tip, worked like a charm!

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Only 3.3 gb available & it won't install?!?!

      Sorry, but for my packed-full iPhone 4 w/16gb, that's both AMAZING and stunningly sad.

      Mobile games should be quite simple to install w/ 3.3gb free!

  • wigzisonfire

    Meh.

  • hourglass

    So, TA, whatever happened to posting 'the instant it came out'?

  • araczynski

    Im an eye candy whore, but could never stand the swiping mechanic, to me it's a stupid/annoying as gyro controls and console controllers. Passing.

    • hourglass

      Yeah, it would be better as a dungeon crawler or even an FPS RPG.

      • yaboyrasp

        Fps rpg wouldn't be as good IMO...I look at it like this...either they continue to up the graphics or lower them and add free roaming.

      • hourglass

        It would be best if they lowered the graphics and added free roaming.

        It would still be a hell of a lot better as an Elder Scrolls-like game.

      • yaboyrasp

        Ya maybe a third person but man some of these fights you really get into. If they went free roaming they would have to add a lot of other things like sidequests which means less focus on the combat and even tho its just swipe based some of these fights get intense. Just imagine them keep the game the way it is...making it free roaming and combat is you just tapping an attack button. That doesn't sound very fun.

  • tehvar

    Currently dloading. Freaking stoked!

  • Bliquid

    It's out!!!!
    ...oh, you knew that.
    Well, IT'S OUT!!!!

  • Jake7905

    The number one reason to not worry about the timers: they keep running even when the app is closed.

  • cozmic0

    IB 3 also has a very non essential IAP in the same vein as PvZ2, but here we don't have anyone whining or threatening boycott over it unlike PvZ2, why?

    Double standard much or just blind nerd hate to EA?

    • darkcheetah

      Chair didn't hold down Sim City and force itself on it like a drunken frat guy. Did they?

      Though I didn't see any intrusiveness with the iap in PvZ.

  • ArthynX9

    I played Infinity Blade II a ton! When I bought the first one I beat the king on the first try

  • bigE1669

    My review of the game. Graphics - 5 stars. Gameplay - 3, tops. More of the same with timers.

    • Morgan01

      Times on a premium title is just plain ridiculous or greedy if they are trying to coerce people into spending more money for IAP.

      • curtisrshideler

        IB2 had timers too. But if you grind enough you can pay to skip them or bypass them at the next rebirth.

  • SomethingSomethingDarkSide

    Can the article talk about how they weren't brave enough to do this F2P and have a lot more downloads? All the usual systems of F2P are there but it is still a paid app :/

  • mzinn

    I am obsessed. I played this one forts & loved it so much i got I & II & played them. I hope they do have another one in them. Very cool game. You DO NOT need IAP to play & win. So tired of IAP so i was concerned but i was happy to realize you do not need to spend money. Super cool game & amazing graphics.

Infinity Blade III Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 5