Epic has officially unveiled Infinity Blade, the first iPhone game to run on the Unreal Engine.
Developed by Chair Entertainment – the team behind the fabulous Xbox Live Arcade platformer Shadow Complex – it's a sword fighting adventure game that sees you progress through a castle slashing away at all manner of nasties using the iPhone's touch screen.
You might recognise it as Project Sword, recently shown off at an Apple event. A tech demo based on the game, entitled Epic Citadel, has been available for a few months now.
Creative director Donald Mustard described Infinity Blade to Eurogamer as, "a blend between Karateka – if you remember that – Dragon's Lair and Punch-Out!!"
The game has been in development for around four months but it's based on a much older idea.
"For a couple of years we've been kicking around this idea of how we could make a really cool sword fighting game," Donald explained, "really since we first saw the Wii.
"The real problem with console games is that you have buttons everywhere. When the touch devices started to come out, like the iPhone, we figured it would be the perfect game - where you're swiping across the screen to swing your sword."
"We'd known Epic in general were working on getting the Unreal Engine working on mobile devices," he adds, "and we finally had it to a point where we were like 'this is pretty cool, this is pretty viable'. So Epic came to us and said 'would you guys like the opportunity to make a launch title for this technology?'
"We thought this game would be a great way to show off not just cool gameplay but to really be a showcase for the kind of graphics that the Unreal Engine could push on these devices."
And what graphics – just take a look at the screenshot gallery below.
Chair is all too aware that many gamers struggle to take the iPhone seriously as a gaming machine. Donald sees Infinity Blade as the thin end of a wedge.
"If you look at the longer term, there will be games that pave the way. This will at least help people take notice.
"I love playing Angry Birds and Indie Dev Story but I also love playing something like Infinity Blade. I'm look for something like that as a gamer. I hope I'm not alone in that. It's such a different marketplace. It really is like the Wild West of gaming – I don't know that anybody has that figured out right now."
Chair is planning on supporting the title post-release with free downloadable content, including new weapons, armour and enemy types.
A release date hasn't been confirmed yet, but you'll need an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad to enjoy it.
Donald and technical director Geremy Mustard also had some interesting things to say about the future of mobile gaming and the status of the studio's other franchises. Keep your eyes on Eurogamer for more soon...