After finally besting the God King and discovering a few unexpected surprises that I won’t spoil here, Siris heads to the Vault of Tears in an effort to learn the secrets of the mystical blade he now possesses. The story in Infinity Blade 2 is more front-and-center than it was in the original, and it’s difficult not to get drawn into the intrigue surrounding the Worker of Secrets and the world of the Deathless. Of course Siris’ quest to free the Worker is fraught with peril and conflict at every turn, and it’s these fights where the game truly shines.
Stripping away the dark fantasy visuals, Infinity Blade 2 is essentially a game about one-on-one combat, loot gathering, and a bit of exploration. Some elements – such as the treasure maps and online clashmobs – are relatively new, but the core elements of finding treasure chests and unlocking paths to hidden areas has been an ongoing and much appreciated theme that makes the action-less segments far more interesting. Then there’s the action itself, which supports three (now up to four after a recent update) fighting styles and subsequent weapon classes: the sword and shield, two-handed swords, and dual swords (and now Solar Transport Energy Blades). And it’s all rounded out by tons and tons of loot.
How does it Compare?
While the loot does slightly call to mind games like the reigning loot-drop champ Diablo, Infinity Blade 2’s roots are actually grounded in an even more classic title. Remember Punch Out!? Yup, that one. I know they don’t look anything alike, but mechanically they’re practically twins. Both rely heavily on reading tells, finding openings, and taking advantage of weaknesses. It’s every bit a spiritual successor, just with gritty fantasy monsters and immortal tyrants.
It’s funny to think that the mechanics of a 25-year-old game could make such a drastic transition into a more modern title. Granted, the addition of RPG elements, loot, and gorgeous visuals don’t hurt, but it’s a gameplay system that’s been proven. It’s also one that’s just as fun now as it was back then.
*NOTE: “Console-quality” refers to the quality of the experience, not just the graphics. This is about the depth of gameplay, content, and in some cases how accurately it portrays the ideals of its console counterpart.*