For the past several days, we’ve been hard at work (well, if you can call playing a game hard work) going through all of the features of Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. We thoroughly enjoyed the original Disney Infinity, and when given an opportunity to speak with some of the people behind Disney Infinity including Executive Producer John Vignocchi, Vice President and Studio General Manager for Avalanche Software John Blackburn, Vice President of Art for Avalanche Software Jeff Bunker, and Vice President of Technology for Avalanche Software Rob Nelson, we asked if there would be a time that Marvel and Star Wars characters would be involved. Not long after our interview, we found our answer in the announcement of Disney Infinity 2: Marvel Super Heroes, and have been anticipating the release of the game since.
If you’re someone that likes to quickly get through a review, we can start with the question that everyone has been asking: “Is it worth the upgrade from Disney Infinity?” This one is extremely easy to answer: YES! If you liked the original Disney Infinity, you’ll love Disney Infinity 2.0. It’s simply better than the original with vast improvements in every area of gameplay.
Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes starter pack comes with Black Widow, Thor and Iron Man characters along with a special piece that unlocks an Avengers Play Set which is essentially a campaign based game. The Avengers Play Set features an Avengers-themed campaign, which is set in a very nice looking Manhattan that includes Stark Tower. The Play Set offers a multi-hour adventure where you use one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to defeat Thor’s mischievous brother Loki, who has launched a Frost Giant invasion while freezing the city.
Right away, you can see that the Play Set is an enormous improvement over the original Disney Infinity. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes contains original storylines penned by award-wining Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, and you can feel it in the campaigns. Along with Loki and the Frost Giants, you run into other baddies like MODOK, who was a very nice surprise addition. At launch, there are also Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man play-sets that you can purchase separately that each have story lines written exclusively for them. The Guardians of the Galaxy set features Gamora and Star-Lord as they attempt to save Nowhere from Ronan the Accuser, and in the Spider-Man Play Set, Spidey and his pal Nova try stop the Green Goblin’s invasion of New York albeit in a different version from that in the Avengers set. Additional Marvel Play Sets will be announced and we’ll give you details when they will be available.
Another nice touch in Disney Infinity 2.0 is the ability to play co-op mode in the Avengers Play Set when you first open it. This is a big deal to me, as the original Disney Infinity game came with three different Play Sets, but only had a single figure from each. We didn’t realize this at first, and it’s a bit of a disappointment to want to play split-screen co-op and being unable to do so until you make a trip back to the store. The problem was solved with 2.0 with more characters and a single Play Set.
One thing that’s still missing inside the Play Sets is the ability to use any character you want, although I’m not sure “missing” is the correct choice of words. It would be a bit strange to use say, Mickey Mouse, inside the Avengers set and I’m not sure I’d really want to do that. After all, the Toy Box (more on that later) is already where you can mix and match characters from different environments. Avalanche Software has thought of an interesting way that does allow for some crossover abilities, and I really like the way that they implemented it. Called Crossover Tokens, they allow heroes that are not normally associated with a play set to be added as a playable character. For example, in the Avengers Play Set, Rocket Raccoon and Nova can be unlocked by collecting tokens that feature their faces and are spread around the world. Once you collect all of an individual character’s tokens (there are 10), you can use that character in your current Play Set. Having the ability to use additional characters is great, but you still need to own the actual figure to use them. Iron Man, who just so happens to be my favorite character to use from the Avengers Play Set, is a crossover character in the other sets as well.
Disney Infinity 2.0 Teases It’s Disney Side
For those of you that aren’t as much into Marvel superheroes, Disney Infinity 2.0 shows a hint of its “Disney Side” as well. There is an introductory sequence that transforms you to the magic that Disney brings. You get a small timeframe to play as Aladdin, Merida, Tinker Bell, and Stitch; each of them inside environments that you would expect such as Aladdin in Agrabah and Tink flying through London. Inside this teaser sequence, there are appearances made Disney baddies like Maleficent and those from animated films right around the corner such as Baymax and Hiro. These figures and more are releasing starting in November so it’s something to look forward to.
Character Upgrades and Power Discs
Character upgrades have been improved in Disney Infinity 2.0 with skill trees (also available for all Disney Infinity 1.0 figures), super moves and fighting combos. The many options in the skill tree lets you customize your characters options and those choices are automatically saved back to the toy. This is an excellent system and one that follows your figure wherever you take it. For example, if you take your customized character to your friend’s house and place it on his Disney Infinity Base, you’ll have all of your customizations with you. For a game that offers trading collectibles, the ability to take your figure customizations with you wherever you go is a great touch.
You are free to choose to specialize in different directions including speed, ranged attacks, melee attacks or healing, and alongside these upgrades, you can choose from a variety of new Marvel themed Power Discs. The Power Discs are temporary bumps in abilities and powers, and as such, as soon as you remove the Power Discs, the powers that were supplied by the disc are removed as well. Power Discs are the collectible element of the game and sold in blind packs. As such, they can be traded, sold and swapped with friends while adding interesting elements to the gameplay. We love the collectible element of the power discs and everything they bring to the table.
Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0
Similarly to Disney Infinity 1.0, the basic Toy Box level begins with a simple rectangular plot of land that you can populate as you wish. You can also start with a template, such as a cityscape, tree-fort or racetrack, that you can customize and build upon. The menu structure has some major improvements and is much easier to navigate. One of the best new features includes the ability to create favorite items so that you have the pieces you use most often at your disposal. Once added, you can now manipulate individual pieces inside the Toy Box. Want to stretch that piece of racetrack so that it fits in better with the area you are creating? Now, you can now do it easily. You can randomly generate terrains, or even have helpers build you a themed area.
As I mentioned earlier, the restrictions that are found in the Play Sets, such as the availability of characters that can use in a designated world, are non-existent in the Toy Box. You can do anything you want. If you own a character, you can use it in the Toy Box. No restrictions at all. If you really wanted to have Micky Mouse in Asgard, you can use him in the aforementioned tower-defense style of game. Like the old Toy Box, you can earn new Toy Box items by completing challenges in the campaign. And like the Play Sets, Power Discs are available inside the Toy Box as well that offer new things like vehicles and gear that you can use in your Toy Boxes. Currently, they are Marvel inspired but Disney versions of the Power Discs are coming in November as well. We have a complete list of the Power Discs for Disney Infinity 2.0 here. It’s also worth noting that all characters and Power Discs from last year’s release of Disney Infinity are compatible with Toy Box 2.0.
The original Disney Infinity had a huge library of community-built creations. These included everything from mini-games to simple creations to well themed worlds, and with community-created content already available at launch, Disney Infinity 2.0 looks like it will be no different. Make sure you take a look at some of the creative content already available. Some of it’s amazingly detailed and created by very inventive players, or perhaps you’ll be the next one to create something awesome for the rest of us to play!
Disclosure: We received complimentary materials. All opinions are our own.