Today is finally launch day for the long anticipated “Disney Infinity” and we have been slowly working our way through the Toy Box mode and all of the Power Discs. Before I go further, I want to emphasize that “Disney Infinity” is not a clone of Skylanders. I have seen countless articles and blogggers mentioning that it is a clone, but because of the Toy Box mode, it is so much more.
Toy Box Mode
My favorite aspect of “Disney Infinity” is the Toy Box mode where you can design your own world and create games that you want to make exactly how you want to make them. Just as the name sounds, it’s a virtual toy box, inside which, you can play with a variety of Disney characters in many ways. Think of something silly, you can do it. Something serious? You can do that too. “Disney Infinity” Toy Box mode is all about playing with these characters however you want to.
In the Toy Box, you use basic building tools to customize the world. Inside of your world, you can add some basic logic, rules and other obstacles, objects or objectives. Think of it as a way to create your own games without programming using your favorite characters. While this might sound complicated, it’s not. Within a matter of minutes, we were creating our own simple games and will have the ability to make them into something bigger as we move forward. We had so much fun with this, that we decided to build a community portion on our site for sharing tips, strategies and ideas on “Disney Infinity.” We’ll have more on our community site at a later date.
Inside the Toy Box, you will have access to approximately 1000 items. These items are unlocked as you play the Adventure mode of the game, something we discuss later in the review. You can also use special hexagonal Power Discs, that you can purchase. The Power Discs are purchased two in a pack and are random. You never know what you are getting inside the pack. I wish that it wasn’t the case, and that you could just purchase exactly what you wanted, but it makes the game a bit more collectible and should open up some trading scenarios and meet-ups with other players. Inside the Starter Pack, which includes a single and random Power Disc, you will have items from the franchises that are included: “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Monsters University” and “The Incredibles.”
Play Set Adventure Mode
In my playing, I am very partial to the Toy Box mode. That being said, the Play Set adventure mode will undoubtedly provide an amazing number of hours of gameplay. I’ve already mentioned that the game Starter Pack includes “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Monsters University” and “The Incredibles.” Each of these has their own adventure. Additionally, you can buy add-on Play Sets for “The Lone Ranger” and “Cars” at launch. “Toy Story” will be following in Wave 2 later this year.
As you work your way through the Play Set campaign, you earn virtual currency and unlock other missions. You can use the currency to buy items that will unlock new items in the world. I can’t begin to tell you how involved each of these campaigns really are. There are hundreds of hours of gameplay coming your way in each of these campaigns. I have heard a few people complaining about the costs of the Play Sets, Power Discs and characters, but if they take the time to play the game, they will soon realize that the costs associated are actually a bargain. Every new purchase, is like getting a new game. While playing around inside the campaign, you can also search the open world to find items for your Toy Box so you have new goodies the next time you feel inspired to design items.
The visuals in the game are something I have really enjoyed. Perhaps it is me being a child at heart, but there is something special about the look and feel of the Infinity figures and their virtual counterparts. Take a look at the image of Mater above as a monster truck. That’s something you can create if you want to and the graphics are really inviting — they make you want to create and see what you can do next. You can be playing in the western world of “The Lone Ranger” in one moment, and then in the virtual world of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Monsters University” in the next. Screen shots and videos might depict how everything looks, but they simply cannot describe the feel.
As I wrap up the review I thought it was important to discuss something that many people I visited with at the D23 Expo seemed concerned about, the price. At first glance, it looks like “Disney Infinity” would be expensive to play because of the huge amount of items you can buy. However, when you consider the amount of gameplay you will get out of even the Starter Pack, it’s really not. You don’t have to purchase another item to enjoy the game and the Toy Box, in particular, will provide nearly an endless supply of game time. That being said, some of the fun will be in trying to collect the Power Discs you want to play with and the figures themselves, and with each Play Set, you are basically buying a new game. At approximately $35 each for a Play Set, you can get a new top-notch game and you can quickly see that it’s actually not really all that expensive.
If there is a single game that you are looking to put on a holiday shopping list, this should be it.
Platform: 360 (Also available on PS3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, PC)
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Release Date: August 18, 2013 (August 23, 2013 in Europe)
Overall: Disney Infinity gets a perfect 5 out of 5, and if I could, I would give it a 6.
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