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- Publisher: Disney Interactive
- Rating: E (Everyone)
- Platform: PlayStation 3
Level Up: Disney Infinity Review
Build your own Disney Universe
By Tim Janson
September 27, 2013
Level Up: Disney Infinity Review
© Disney Interactive
Never one to miss out on a good idea and try to do it one better, Disney Infinity takes the model setup by Activision’s Skylanders, combining video games with collectible toys. But while Activision could only develop new characters, Infinity has the entire Disney Universe behind it. From traditional Disney characters like Mickey Mouse to the stars of their animated feature films like “Monsters University” and “Cars”, to live action films like “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the initial offerings for the game will number some 30 characters/collectible toys. Like Skylanders, the various figures can be placed on the Infinity base to interact with the video game. But here is where Disney tries to do the one better and combine the interactive world-building elements of Minecraft allowing friends to come and play in the world you create.
Three figures comes with the initial Infinity set and individual figures can be purchase for anywhere from $12 - $14. Yes moms and dads you might want to start shopping for Christmas now. You simply put the figures onto the base to import them into the game. Disney Infinity also features a series of power discs. Power Discs are discs that can be placed on the Infinity Base along with their characters to add new elements to the game. Characters can be powered up via the use of up to 4 different Power Discs at a time. These discs can alter the terrain, add special vehicles to the game or alter a character's statistics. One Power Disc is included with the Starter Pack whilst additional discs are sold in blind bags each containing two discs.
The game features two modes: Playset and Toy Box. In playset you choose a world to play in based upon a various Disney product like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars, and Phineas and Ferb, to name a few. Each world has its own unique campaign that can be played solo or with a friend. Disappointingly though, only characters from a specific franchise can play in their respective play-set. This means you could not use Jack Sparrow in the Toy Story World, or Buzz Lighyear in the Monsters University world. To play co-operatively you are going to need two characters from that world so hence, you’re kids are going to be demanding these figures in pairs! I will pause as you gnash your teeth and curse the Disney marketing department.
The Playset missions are non-linear so you can choose to complete them in any order. The Playset worlds are large (by kid standards) and do provide a lot of terrain to explore, and lots of items to find. I definitely cannot criticize Disney in this aspect. It can take many hours to try and complete a world.
Toy Box mode is your big, open sandbox that you create yourself and invite your friends to play in online. Building your world, however, requires unlocking the content in the Playset mode. You can mix and match characters, weapons, and gadgets freely but you do have to unlock them first in order to use them. So you see where this is going right? In order to get the full experience in Toy Box you have to unlock the items in Playset. In order to unlock the items in Playset mode you will need to buy the appropriate figures. The Characters can use power discs for any other character such as Stich’s blaster but he can only use it in To Box mode, not the Playset mode…Make sense?
Gameplay itself, once you navigate through knowing where all the discs go, is relatively easy and mostly fun. But level difficulties are inconsistent. Some missions can be a breeze and are refreshingly amusing while others can be tedious and frustrating. There’s little rhyme or reason and you’ll never really know how tough a mission is until you try it out. But the level designs themselves are gorgeous and catapult you into the magic of the many Disney worlds where you visit these old friends. I suspect most kids are going to spend most of their time in the Toy Box, especially those who are Minecraft fans. It’s an opportunity to create your own Disney world and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Definitely a game for the younger set. It will keep them busy for a long time but will hit parents hard in the wallet.