Infinite possibilities in Disney’s worlds.
Disney Infinity takes magic and imagination to the ultimate level of sugar coated charm as it teleports your favourite iconic Disney characters and brings them to life in the latest Disney interactive video game.
As with the other collectible-figure based game, Activision’s Skylanders franchise, playing the game first involves purchasing the basic ‘Starter pack’ for your chosen platform. The starter pack includes three figures; Captain Jack Sparrow from the popular ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, cute and cuddly Sully from ‘Monsters University’ and Mr Incredible from ‘The Incredibles’. Within the set you will also get the all important Disney Infinity Base – a platform on which to position your character in one of the designated slots, along with a power disc, of which one is included with the starter pack. These power discs have a variety of different uses, such as unlocking gadgets to use within the playset or themes for use in ToyBox mode.
There is also the Playset piece, the piece which actually enables the player to explore Disney themed worlds. The Playset piece in the starter pack is unique in that it gives access to three playable worlds to be used in conjunction with the included figures – Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University and The Incredibles. One important point to note for anyone fancying some co-op action when they purchase the starter set, co-op in these Disney playsets is not possible out of the box. Players will need two characters from any Disney world in order to play co-op in that world, so additional figures will need to be purchased. There are two further figures available to buy for each world, such as Mike for Monsters University or Dash for The Incredibles.
Out of the box, you get to explore an open-world environment where you have to participate in various campaigns and complete a number of objectives. In Monsters University, you’ll take the role of Sully, investigating the university campus grounds, engaging in a mixture of fun and explosive pranks as you try to eliminate your rivals at Fear Tech. The gameplay takes a slow pace allowing you to ride around on a bicycle and taking on racing trials, to firing up your toilet paper gun and taking down a few enemies. Occasionally you’ll need to use scare tactics as you sneak behind characters without being detected, and roar to make them run away in fear.
The pace of gameplay steps up a gear as you take on the role of the charismatic Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean playset, trying to stop his arch enemy Davy Jones. Of the three included playsets, I have enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean the most as it felt faster paced and more exciting. As Jack Sparrow, you’ll guide your ship through dangerous waters, taking down other pirates that roam the seas using your specially equipped cannons, or take to the scattered islands to use your sword to eliminate cutthroat pirates. At the helm of your ship, you can steer around the seas, which is a bit hit or miss sometimes, making the travel by sea a little haphazard and awkward. But the inclusion of the naval combat is nice, as is the ability to customise your ship. Once you get onto the islands, it’s a matter of exploring the jungle, solving puzzles or hoping in a little rowboat to rescue a damsel in distress. As with the other playsets, there are a number of challenges available, such as destroying a set number of pirate ships in a given time. The challenges come with different difficulty levels, and start off really easy before progressing to be devilishly hard.
The Incredibles is an enjoyable playset in which you take on the role of Mr Incredible in an open-world city. Rescue citizens, capture villains, fly around the city with your special glider pack or smash the annoying Omnidroids who keep on respawing to make your life difficult. The Incredibles playset allows you to unlock a variety of buildings, including a training HQ which teaches special moves, and a prison for throwing the bad guys into. As with all of the playsets, it is possible to summon a vehicle, and I loved just cruising around the city in my car, dealing damage and smashing things up with ease.
All of the playsets are littered with different coloured capsules, from the blue tutorial capsules that show you how to do something, to the red and green capsules that unlock a variety of different items for use in the games other mode, Toy Box.
Toy Box mode is where the creativity comes in and you’ll be able to use all of those objects and environmental pieces that you unlocked in the playsets to create your very own Disney levels and games. It is also in Toy Box mode that players will be able to join together in co-op without having to buy additional figures. It is possible to create complex race tracks, platform adventures and even shooter levels. At the end of the day, your only limit is your imagination, and it gives the game an interactive experience which entertain the younger player endlessly, allowing them to experiment to their hearts content. Personally, I had trouble engaging with the Toy Box mode. It didn’t really capture my imagination the way it was designed to, or near as much as the playsets. I didn’t really find it the box of explosive fun and enjoyment that I was supposed to. I guess that younger players may enjoy the creative aspect more, or maybe I just needed to be inspired.
Inspiration could come from the user generated toy boxes that can be downloaded into the game. Disney have already released a number of these for players to try out and see just what is possible in Toy Box mode, and players can upload their own creations for others to try. I did try out Wonderful Maze, an Alice in Wonderland themed maze game which was inhabited by robots from The Incredibles. Playing through the maze was enjoyable, but reaching the end felt flat and unrewarding. Perhaps this wasn’t the best toy box to try.
I’ve loved Disney Infinity and the various playsets available at launch. I can see the collectible appeal of the power discs, that can change the environments or give characters special abilities. The Disney character figures are solid and well-made. I can imagine, children collecting and swapping power discs in the playground, and adults feeling proud of their shelf full of charming figures. The only real barrier to this is the price. The individual figures come in at around £15 each, and the additional playsets are a hugely pricey £35 each. Disney Infinity is set to be an expensive hobby for the player who wants to collect everything, both within the game and in real life.
Disney Infinity has the Disney magic right from the start, transforming your figure from the real world into wonderfully bright and colourful virtual Disney worlds. The experience, although not perfect, is excellent and there is so much content in the game and things to do, especially with the user generated side of Toy Box mode, that players will be kept busy for many, many hours. Disney Infinity has managed to capture that sense of imagination found in the Disney franchises and recreate it in video game form. It may be an expensive journey, but the Disney Infinity experience promises to be a fun ride for both Disney fans and creative gamers.