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Infinity Blade breaks new ground for hardcore iOS gaming

The App Store isn’t just about Angry Birds, y’know. Really. As 2010 has gone on, there have been a succession of impressive ‘gamer’ games released for iPhone and iPad. If you’ve already burned through Rage HD and Galaxy On Fire 2, you’ll be wanting to grab a copy of Infinity Blade.

Even before launch, the game attracted a lot of hype. It’s the first iOS game to use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 technology, which has been used for some of the most famous first-person shooters in PC-land. And it’s been developed in-house by Epic’s ChAIR Entertainment studio, who should know their way around the technology.

Now the game is out, as a universal app, meaning you can pay yer £3.49 and play it across all your iOS devices. The plot is suitably gamey too – God King… Dark Citadel… free your people from an endless legacy of darkness…” You get the picture. Alas, egg-stealing pigs don’t appear to get a look-in.

It looks amazing. Show gamer friends this and Rage HD on your iPad, and let them try to tell you Apple’s tablet isn’t a serious gaming device. And when they mention buttons, show them how Infinity Blade uses swipes and taps for an intuitive control system that quickly allows you to lose yourself in the game.

Infinity Blade also looks to have depth in spades, as you level up your character and find new weapons, equipment and spells. Game Center is built in, and the developers say that forthcoming updates will add new areas to explore, and a multiplayer mode.

The game isn’t for everyone, but there are plenty of excellent casual games available in the App Store. Infinity Blade, together with other big-budget hardcore games for iOS, is proof that iPad in particular is emerging as an important new gaming device.

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