“Disney Infinity 3.0” Review
To no huge surprise, Disney Interactive Studios has had quite a hit on their hands with Disney Infinity p. Disney merchandising has long banked on getting toys in the hands of kids (preferably while wearing Disney clothes in a Disney park after you’ve seen the Disney movie). Star Wars, though? Arguably the king of toys. We’re talking about a property that has seen roughly 22,093,482 variations of Darth Vader figures (you don’t need to fact check me on that, promise) and that is even pushing figures of Spacetroopers that are on screen for just a few seconds. That said, even the most Force insensitive could sense this Infinity expansion coming. But are we looking at a legitimately good upgrade to the series or just another revenue stream from Star Wars? Spoilers: it’s pretty legit.
What’s It About?
For those who aren’t familiar, Disney Infinity is a physical toy-based game meant to satisfy your imagination and let your favorite Disney characters play and interact with each other, just as you would in real life. To do so, you plug in the Disney Infinity base and place a figure and playset piece on top. Playsets are essentially story mode for one line of figures: Star Wars, Marvel, Inside Out, etc. If a figure fits within the playset world, you can likely use that figure in story mode (some unlocks required). If they do not (example: Tron’s Sam Flynn and a Star Wars playset are not a match), or you simply do not want to play through a playset, then you have the Toy Box, Infinity’s bread and butter. Here’s where you can have all of your figures interact within pre-built worlds, user-generated content, or blank spaces where you call all the shots. Basics: done!
Disney Infinity 3.0 can outright be considered “the Star Wars one” as it comes with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures for the Twilight of the Republic playset. Our review is based primarily on the starter pack.
Twilight of the Republic takes place shortly after the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Anakin and Ahsoka discover one of the droid factories on Geonosis has been reactivated and is pushing out new units for the Separatists’ droid army. They take this news back to the Jedi council and the hunt to discover who’s behind this is on. The journey will take Anakin and Ahsoka
will through several locations, including Naboo, Coruscant, and Tatooine, to face off against Cad Bane, General Grievous, and more.
If you’re familiar with the Clone Wars television series, the story feels very much like an episode arc lifted from the show. The music and details are all there. It even has its own opening crawl. Gameplay will last about 5 hours if you work in some of the side missions, which can be very simple or at least engaging enough. Just the main missions alone are incredibly fun, only ever really brought down by some wonky game play that I’ll address later, and its length. It’s engaging to the point where you can be frustrated when it ends, because it’s easy to just want to keep going. That’s where you’ll want to venture into other playsets.
Other playsets available at launch include Rise Against the Empire, pitting Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa against Darth Vader, and Inside Out, sending Riley’s emotions to collect memories sent scattering when she falls asleep during a horror movie.
Why Should I Care?
One of the main issues that most have had with Disney Infinity to this point is the playset-to-Toy Box ratio. Playsets were often good, but nothing stellar. Twilight of the Republic brings Infinity to a new, fresher level. The playset is of good quality, but again, only really brought down by its length. Side missions can only be “grab this” fulfillment requests. True missions can be replayed with different figures. Collectible coins will unlock the ability to use other figures, such as Luke Skywalker or Sabine Wren (of Rebels), to gain more access to parts of the map or for sheer laughs. Who doesn’t want Darth Maul to square up against Darth Maul?
Still, the story will only last you so long, so you’ll eventually have to venture into the Toy Box. Previous Infinity iterations debilitated those who aren’t necessarily the most creative. Personally, I’ll admit to not being the most imaginative with user-generated content situations (you probably wouldn’t want to use my Halo Forge maps!). Infinity’s problem to this point has been the overwhelming ability to do nearly whatever you want. It could be difficult to know where to start or how to exactly build out complicated worlds. 3.0 doesn’t eradicate those feelings, but manages them much better by making the Toy Box much more inviting.
The Toy Box hub has been reworked into a land split up not only by property (Tatooine is right next to Halloween Town because why not), but also by activity mode. One miniature character will help teach you all about racing and how to set it up, while another will teach you about combat. Going through various training missions as any character makes it easier to start realizing your own worlds, leading to the game being that much more fun. Certain characters can be purchased to help with automation to offload some of the busywork experienced in the past. So when building out my own version of Disneyland, a character can help me spruce up my area by giving it a city look around Avengers Tower, rather than me needing to fill out all of my own detail. And when in the Toy Box, if there’s a point where seeing characters where they shouldn’t be gets old, I haven’t seen it yet. I still thought it was hilarious to see Sam Flynn romping around Tatooine with a miniature Darkwing Duck helping him out.
But even if you can’t get over the creative hump, there is plenty of Disney-generated content, and eventually user-generated content, to play around in. The biggest draw for people to get into Infinity are those glorious figures. The 3.0 figures are very well constructed. Of course the starter pack has Anakin and Ahsoka, but also available are most of the Ghost crew from Rebels (no Hera or Chopper), Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Luke and Leia, Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron, Mickey and Minnie, Mulan, Olaf, and the Inside Out characters.
The Star Wars figures look very much like their Clone Wars series counterparts, That style fits near perfectly into the already established Disney Infinity style. They aren’t cheap, either. Lightsabers are likely as flexible (but not flimsy) as any other similar toys, so they are susceptible to eventual breakage if a child gets too rowdy with them. But others, such as Sam Flynn’s identity disc, didn’t give me the sense that they would break easily. These figures seem so much nicer than previous Infinity figures that I would have likely just wanted to buy single figures outright, especially the Tron ones. Your previous figures will work in 3.0 if you’ve been playing along.
Once figures are loaded up, they’ll handle fairly well. It’s very simple to switch out figures in the middle of anything you’re doing during a playset mission or Toy Box without disrupting the flow, unless you’re trying to use an invalid figure. Sorry, Mulan just can’t fight Darth Maul anywhere outside of the Toy Box. Initial loads of figures did seem to take about 7 seconds to load when first booting up the game, which wasn’t too big of a concern. A few times, though, the game wouldn’t recognize the Infinity base and I needed to restart the game. Only once did the game become so riddled with framerate issues that it required another hard restart. For the most part, the gameplay was smooth and the combat was much more fluid than in previous Infinity titles. The characters move as you would expect them to, especially one such as Anakin. He proved to be my favorite character to use based on his powers (Force pull!). The biggest downer for gameplay is vehicle usage.
Star Wars will introduce a wide variety of starfighters and speeder bikes to use in story missions and the Toy Box. They’ll take some time to get used to, but even then the vehicles will lumber about and not feel all that smooth. Overall, space battles aren’t too thrilling. In Twilight of the Republic, you’ll have some minimal space battles to participate in, but they aren’t anything more than shooting down some Vulture droids. There wasn’t anything on the level of epic space battles Star Wars fans have seen in the films or shows.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Disney Infinity 3.0 has a lot of positive things going for it, even if you aren’t an enormous Star Wars fan. The figures are of good quality and expand the world of Disney Infinity well. Enhanced Toy Box features will make even allow the most daunted creator to have a good time and build their desired worlds.
What it ultimately does is strike a great balance between being good for kids and adults. Those groups don’t commonly play games the same way, though I’m sure we all know a button masher. What Disney Infinity 3.0 will offer are a set of features, figures, and missions that can appease both sides without over complicating or oversimplifying itself for either side.
That said, while it’s certainly worth picking up, you do have to consider whether you want to journey down this investment hole. Each new individual figure will set you back about $15, while playsets commonly check in at $30. So just keep in mind what you or your child may be getting into once you’re ready for more content.
|Title:||Disney Infinity 3.0|
|Platform:||Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, Mobile|
|Publisher:||Disney Interactive Studios|
|Genre:||Action adventure, sandbox|
|Release Date:||August 30, 2015|
|Editor's Note:||A copy of Disney Infinity was purchased by the reviewer for the Xbox One: a starter pack and two individual figures (Star Wars and Tron).|