Infinity Blade

Some feuds are so intense, they spark generations of war. Castlevania's Belmont clan versus Dracula springs to mind, but the conflict in Infinity Blade takes things to a whole other level. In this gorgeous action RPG, you play as a warrior who sets off to vanquish the God King. Fail, and your son returns 20 years later to avenge his father's death. If or when he dies, his son will take up the sword 20 years later and attempt to avenge his pop's demise, and so on and so forth until someone gets the job done.

That's the intriguing premise behind Epic Games and Chair Entertainment's highly anticipated adventure, which debuts December 9th at $5.99 across various Apple devices. Powered by Unreal Engine 3.0, this spectacular looking title will be a showpiece for anyone with an iPad/iPhone, but this game is more than just eye candy. There's a deep combat experience chock full of magic spells to cast, weapons and armor to buy.

Infinity Blade tasks you with not only slaughtering the nefarious God King, but also its minions, known as Titans. There is no virtual analog stick or buttons. Instead, you attack by swiping the touch screen, and what's especially cool is the game's ability to read not only the direction of those swipes, but also the distance. Drag a finger across the entire screen, and your on-screen character swings in that direction. Conversely, swiping an inch or two will result in quicker and shorter swings. From there, you can swipe in rapid succession to achieve combos.

That said, this isn't a hack-and-slash experience. Enemies can easily dispose of your avatar within minutes, perhaps seconds, so defense is just as important (if not more so) than offense. You must learn how to parry, dodge and block to be successful, but here's the kicker. Each shield has a number attached to it that represents strength. Each time a monster hits that shield, the number depletes; a significantly stronger creature can bust right through it with little effort. In other words, learn how to dodge and conserve the shield for emergencies.

Of course, if swords don't suit you, there's magic. Equip various rings, and you'll unleash different spells by drawing corresponding symbols on the screen. However, this is all dependant on filling a magic meter, no easy feat with a humongous adversary bearing down upon you.

Fortunately, you'll level up after defeating enemies, and you have the ability to master weapons and make them stronger. The developers even littered the environment with gold coins, which come in handy for buying new weapons, such as the Poisoned Blade and Ice Sword, among other toys. Even better, if you die, the next warrior returns with that fallen hero's equipment and experience. On the downside, the monsters will be even tougher to defeat.

Naturally, dying won't be a pleasant experience, but at least you'll have incredible scenery to admire. Infinity Blade is without question the most impressive looking iPhone/iPad game to date, with beautiful structures to explore and detailed characters, some of which tower high above your hero. Everything about the visuals, from the snarling beasts to the suits of armor, screams high quality.

The best part? You don't have to wait long to play this potential masterpiece, since it arrives next Thursday. Personally, we can't wait to take up our swords and head into battle again, and again, and again. Expect a review shortly after its release.