A Third Round of 'Infinity Blade' - With a Twist

You’ve heard about the new iPad by now, but this bit might have slipped past if you didn’t follow the news closely: Epic Games is producing a prequel to its mega-hit Infinity Blade, which features wholly different gameplay than the first two games.

Apple brought Epic’s Mike Capps to its big iPad event to show off a game that takes advantage of the new device’s luscious new high-res “Retina Display,” and the iPad’s increased horsepower under the hood. And first-person reports suggest that the crowds were suitably wowed, but plenty of oohing and aahing, and a huge round of applause at the end of Epic’s presentation.

The new game in question is Infinity Blade: Dungeons, a prequel set thousands of years before the first two games. It puts you in the shoes of an apprentice weaponsmith who’s sent out on a quest by the “Master of the Forge” to forge the now-legendary Infinity Blade. The new game is described as “an innovative take on the dungeon-crawling experience,” letting you experience battle, weapon crafting, and exploration.

The first screenshot released from Infinity Blade: Dungeons

One look at the trailer (embedded above) reveals what’s perhaps the biggest news: Dungeons appears to abandon the first-person, one-on-one fighting dynamic of the first two games — at least partly. You can clearly see in the video that much of the action takes place from more of an old-school, isometric RPG perspective, where the hero takes on multiple heroes at one time. But other parts of the trailer show boss enemies rising up to possibly be taken on from the traditional Infinity Blade perspective, so maybe it’s a combination of the two. Epic says that Dungeons features “a dynamic camera system that takes you in and out of battle,” so take that as you will.

It goes without saying that Infinity Blade: Dungeons uses the latest and greatest Unreal Engine (since that’s Epic’s bread and butter), but I was surprised to learn (from Joystiq) that the new game was not developed by Chair Entertainment, the studio owned and distributed by Epic that created the first two games. Instead, it’s being made by a team of staffers at Epic’s North Carolina headquarters, with some “creative direction” from Chair. (It begs the question: just what is Chair working on right now? I can’t wait to find out!)

Epic pronounced Apple’s new iPad capable of running “console quality” games, a bold claim the game’s trailer seems to back up. Infinity Blade: Dungeons was not given a specific release date, but you can probably expect it in the next three to four months.

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Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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