Infinity Blade gets even bigger, more awesome Thursday

by Phil Hornshaw

Big games tend to launch in the iTunes App Store on Thursday to correspond with Apple’s updates for its sales charts and “New and Noteworthy” features on the store’s front page. Arguably one of the biggest games in the App Store in terms of popularity will get bigger in terms of size on Thursday.

Infinity Blade, the first game to enter the App Store using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 to render its awesome graphics, will add a host of new content this week, including more weapons and items for players to earn through the course of battling the God King and his minions.

The game will also pack something new and infinitely cooler: a player-vs.-player online mode called “Infinity Blade: Arena.”

The premise of Infinity Blade is simple; in the single-player campaign, users take the role of a lone warrior determined to kill an immortal known as the God King and avenge his father. The God King sits in the top of a tower that’s filled with champions the warrior must battle to make his way to the top. All the motion between fights is done in a point-and-click manner, with the one-on-one sword battles themselves using a combination of swipe controls to mimic sword strikes and touch buttons for actions such as dodging enemy attacks and blocking.

Multiplayer in Infinity Blade will adopt a similar one-on-one stance, in which one player will take on the role of the hero protagonist character, and the other will try to stop him using a monster character from the God King’s tower. Fighting will be a lot like it is in the single-player game depending on your role. While hero characters will know what to expect, villain characters will have additional capabilities like the ability to speed or slow attacks using a slider. In between matches, you’ll be able to spend gold earned through the game to upgrade your characters and buy them new items.

Players will be able to join the fray online for the multiplayer mode, but there’s also additional content for the single-player campaign, as well. The free update coming Thursday includes new items and weapons and a new game mode called “Survival.” Instead of playing through the full game, this mode lets you fight the enemies in the game, one at a time, in rapid succession. The idea is, as you might guess, to see how long you can last against a slew of monsters with little respite in between fights.

Developer ChAIR has been teasing a multiplayer mode for Infinity Blade ever since the game came out back in December. ChAIR Creative Director, Donald Mustard, said at Game Developers Conference 2011 that the company was “very interested” in continuing working with the Infinity Blade franchise, and with good reason: the game has raked-in at least a couple million dollars since it was released, with a lot of that money coming from in-app purchases.

If I had to bet at Infinity Blade’s continued success and appeal, I’d say it has been fueled by ChAIR’s willingness to keep creating and distributing free updates and additional content. This will be yet another huge content update for Infinity Blade, and players respond to developers continuing to support their games. ChAIR keeps showing Infinity Blade players plenty of love and a lot of things to do in their game, and it continues to be highly popular, critically acclaimed and well-received among the mobile gaming community.