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ChAIR’s Infinity Blade II is getting a huge content update this week, bringing new enemies, new items, new areas and most of all, new gameplay features to one of the most popular games in the iTunes App Store.
It’s called the Vault of Tears update, and it adds a huge amount of new content to the game. We were lucky enough to go hands-on with the new version of the game, and to check out the gameplay additions that continue to expand on what the Infinity Blade experience has to offer.
Like it did with updates to the original Infinity Blade, ChAIR has taken the opportunity with the Vault of Tears expansion to add quite a lot of real estate to an already expansive game. By now, Infinity Blade II fans will have worked through the game’s Titan-filled tower plenty of times, and this update adds lots of new content in the form of more enemies to battle. Those new enemies are more than just aesthetic – they also throw in new moves and new patterns that help to break up combat and keep players on their toes.
Adding on to the Tower
The tower itself is bigger now. Already the place was pretty sprawling, with multiple paths through it that required players to explore and re-explore in order to find everything Infinity Blade II had to offer. New paths have been added – one within the first few moments of a fresh play-through. A new Treasure Map system challenges players to find certain locations in the game by only giving them an image as a hint; it’s another cool way of making everything old new again, because it requires players to try to remember where a certain broken column or unique object is located within the game, and then discover the secrets it holds.
ChAIR has also expanded on the story of the game, which has really been growing and becoming very interesting. Originally, the story of Infinity Blade was pretty sparse, although ChAIR hinted at deeper sci-fi elements in that original release. Since then, a novella called Infinity Blade: Awakening was released through iTunes that characterizes Siris, the game’s (previously unnamed) protagonist, and explains a little more about the world. Infinity Blade II goes even further with the story and includes a lot more dialog and characters than the first game.
With the new update, there’s even more to learn, with the game explaining some of the secrets behind Siris’ resurrection capabilities and showing more of his backstory. Without giving too much away, it’s immediately apparent that there are more secrets and more intrigue worked in, which will give fans more reasons to fire up the game, especially if they’ve put it away for a while.
Infinity Blade II fans will be familiar with ClashMobs. They’re Infinity Blade’s recently-added social feature, in which players can group up to take on different challenges and earn rewards. It’s played by recruiting Facebook friends who also play Infinity Blade II, and then fighting off different enemies and accomplishing different goals. Players can also join larger global groups and take on bigger challenges.
The new content pack adds to the ClashMob feature by allowing people to participate even if they’re unable to play. It allows players to fire off Facebook or Twitter status updates that actually can influence what’s happening in the game – specifically to deal damage to enemies. It’s a fun way to make the game more interactive and social. I doubt that sending updates to Facebook in order to help out your pals in Infinity Blade II is going to set the gaming world on fire (remember all those FarmVille updates and how irritating they were?), but at the same time, it’s nice to see ChAIR trying out different ways of keeping the game relevant. ClashMobs are already cool, and undoubtedly some players are going to have a good time with the new social features.
The best thing about the Vault of Tears update is that it’s allowing ChAIR to continue to add more to the original Infinity Blade concept of sword-fighting. The first game was a pretty simple affair, but as time goes on, Infinity Blade II is becoming more and more robust. What’s cool about Vault of Tears is that it’s expanding on the features of the core experience with little things, like Treasure Maps, that deepen the overall experience. Throw in improvements to the social ClashMob system and other cool additions like Gem Crafting, and Infinity Blade II is starting to develop into a fairly expansive mobile title.
The Vault of Tears update will be available for free to Infinity Blade II owners Thursday in the iTunes App Store, and if you haven’t already downloaded the game, it’ll definitely be worth your $6.99 later this week.