Fight is right
If you haven’t played the original game then Infinity Blade II offers you an introductory tutorial that shows you how to string together chains of attacks by flicking your finger back and forth across the screen, as well as other techniques such as dodging, parrying and blocking.
This is where the main changes in the game appear, as you now have a choice of three different types of weapon. You can stick with the standard sword and shield combo, play a nimble rogue type with a pair of daggers, or weigh in with a massive two-handed weapon for extra damage.
Score points, find gold, buy more kit
Your choice of weapon affects other aspects of combat too. Bulky two-handed weapons are useful for blocking your opponent’s blows, but you can’t block with little daggers so dual-wielding warriors will have to move more quickly and dodge from side to side.
You can also customise weapons with gems that do more damage, or add elemental effects such as fire injuries.
On the level
But while the combat mechanics are more varied and challenging, I simply didn’t find the storyline particularly engaging. The game essentially boils down to killing a bunch of bad guys then getting a cut-scene that tells you where to go in order to kill the next bunch of bad guys.
As a result, Infinity Blade II is a great game for playing in short bursts when you’re sitting on the tube or in your doctor’s waiting room, but it lacks the depth that would allow you to immerse yourself in it for a long stretch of time.
Armour gonner here...
There is, however, one new option looming on the horizon that could take Infinity Blade II into a whole new dimension. The developer is planning to use Apple’s iCloud tech to add a feature called ‘clashmobs’ – large-scale online battles involving groups of players battling against powerful new enemies.
This would allow Infinity Blade II to combine its single-player storyline with an engaging multiplayer element. That could be a really potent combination, but no definite release date for this feature has been announced as yet. So for now you’ll just have to stick with the pretty-yet-one-dimensional charms of Infinity Blade II’s single-player game. ®
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Infinity Blade II
In-app cash purchases
I disagree that it was not necessary to buy cash in IB 1. It becomes increasingly necessary, if you actually want to make any progression, the further you get into the game. Your character only increases in XP if he hasn't mastered all the items he's currently using. The more mastered items you carry the less XP you get. I'm currently around level 50 and I spend half my grind-time without a single item to level meaning that I'm getting no XP per kill. The other half of the time I usually have only 1 item to level meaning that I get a fifth of the maximum XP. This is all because the cash drops don't scale up at the same rate the item prices do. Levelling becomes increasingly arduous teh further into the game you get unless you actually pay for some extra gold with your real hard-earned.
They sucker you in with several hours of easy levelling with no cash issues and then hit you with an increasing need to spend real cash in order to progress further.
gameplay is everything
This review is completely misses the point of the game which is not in exploration or event fancy visuals. It is the first game since prince of persia 1 with credible and entertaining sword fighting mechanics. While swords appear in many games, it's mainly dull hack'n'slash. Here parrying actually works and you have to master it in order to win.
And by the way, I spent countless hours on Infinity Blade 1 and 2 without ever making an in app purchase. You can regard in-app purchased in this game as a "please donate" button, nothing more.
Well, sort of.
But it still boils down to an endless repetition of one on one combat with enemies that are almost identical to fight against. Not exactly God Of War. Or Street Fighter for that matter. Or Skyrim.
Really, complaining about having to shell out a whole fiver? It's a proper game, not Angry Birds.
I know I'm old...
...but I still don't 'get' paying real money for imaginary stuff.
The one with pockets bulging with real stuff...