Epic’s drool-inducing Project Sword announced at the start of September has been officially renamed Infinity Blade with a release date still lingering around the end of the year. The publisher has ChAIR Entertainment busily coding away at the game whose early demo wowed audiences at an Apple press conference because of its gorgeous visuals. The tech behind it all became Epic Citadel, released onto the App Store for the very reason to show off how beautiful and effortlessly, the Unreal Engine runs on iDevices.
All that’s known so far about the story of Infinity Blade is that you’re a sword-wielding, armoured hero who must defeat a God-King. As the name suggests, melee weapons are the focus that are supposedly controlled by simple swipes on the touchscreen. A role-play aspect will be included but how exactly is yet to be revealed. Players will be awarded with experience points to upgrade their knight but how superficial these upgrades will be is unknown.
Early screenshots (found after the break) show the type of enemies encountered and again underline just how impressive the tech is. Donald Mustard of ChAIR told Eurogamer: “We’ve just been blown away by the amount of graphical power that we can be pushing through these tiny little devices that are in all our pockets. That’s one of the reasons why Epic are so interested in getting their engine onto these devices. Projecting out three or four years into the future, if the current trends stay true, these devices are going to be just as powerful as the Xbox 360.” Mustard also claimed that within two to five years, he believes that games like Gears of War could be possible on the iPhone. A little ambitious maybe but exciting nonetheless. The iPad is probably a better fit for such a game because of its larger, eye-friendly screen but the idea that a pocket device could be as powerful as a home console is certainly interesting.
Statements like Mustard’s make me think that the future of gaming is less likely about a singular console and more about powerful portable systems leading the way. The success of the 3DS or rather its 3D capabilities will be a good indication as to whether such a feature will be another standard of handheld gaming.