Disney are back with the second edition of their “Toys to Life” series, this time featuring heroes from the Marvel universe.
You have to hand it to Disney. Go to buy a Disney movie on DVD or Blu-Ray and you will rarely find them at knock down prices. Head into a Disney store and you will be astounded at the premium cost of the merchandise. Disney do a good job of charging as much as they can get away with for their products, and people are happy to pay these high prices as they come with a certain guarantee of quality.
When Disney Infinity originally launched to compete with the hugely successful Skylanders series, the higher price of the starter kit, the play sets and the figures was something of a concern. How could they hope to compete with a cheaper product that already had an established fan base. But Disney has its own fervent fans, and the quality of the product, both the actual figures and the digital offering, spoke for itself. With the starter set, the player not only got three realized Disney worlds to play through (although extra figures would have to be bought for co-op play), but they also got the tools to let their imaginations run wild with the Toybox. It may not have been perfect, but there was a lot of potential enjoyment for young gamers in Disney Infinity, and parents everywhere quickly came to terms with the higher price.
So now, we come to the second edition of Disney Infinity, and find that Marvel Super Heroes have taken over. There is an “Originals” version which casts aside the super heroes in favor of more traditional Disney characters, such as Merida and Stitch. However, Disney seem intent on attracting the massive Marvel audience to their Infinity games, so Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes – 2.0 Edition is what we will be looking at.
Out of the box, you will get the game, a Disney Infinity 2.0 Base (upon which figures and sics need to be placed), two game discs, a play set piece and three figures. The figures are Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, and are all of good quality, although the angular styling and matte finish will not please some Marvel fans. The figures are part of the Avengers collection, and the game comes with the Avengers Play Set piece giving access to a Marvel New York in which to play.
This marks a significant difference from the original set. The Play Set piece gives access to only one world, whereas the original gave access to three. Whilst this may seem like a downgrade in quantity, the Avengers Play Set is much larger than the three included in the original, and by including three figures from the Avengers collection, co-op play is possible without the need to purchase more figures straight away. Additional Play Sets can be purchased to further expand the play time, as with the original game, giving players access to Guardians of the Galaxy or Spider-Man.
As already mentioned, the main game will take players to New York where they will find themselves dealing with an invasion of Frost Giants for the most part. Sadly, the gameplay is not especially inspiring, but as a game aimed at young gamers, it doesn’t fare too badly. Players will be running around New York, from one objective to the next, as they level up their chosen hero to make them even more heroic. Leveling up is locked to the figure being used, so changing characters will result in changing levels. Each of the characters comes with an impressive skill tree which gives a real sense of progression.
Power Discs offer yet more ways to spend money on Disney Infinity, and are a bit more impressive for this latest edition of the game. Sold as blind packs of two, these discs further enhance the gameplay by adding new costumes, companions or even powerful items to the game. They also cater to playground trading in a similar manner to the various popular trading cards and stickers, albeit at a slightly higher cost.
Beyond this core game, two additional game modes are included which give the players a taste of something different. Players will get to try their hand at Tower Defence in Assault on Asgard and dungeon crawling in Escape from the Kyln. Whilst neither of these modes are large enough to be a selling point, they are quite entertaining and show off the range that Disney Infinity is capable of.
Surely the biggest appeal, and the most long lasting, for Infinity players is the Toybox, in which players can create their own themed games by spending in-game currency on different items and letting their imagination run wild. Improved tutorials over the original game will ensure that in very little time, creative players will be using the more intuitive tools to create their own games. The Toybox is a brilliant idea, massively expanding the game, and works much better in 2.0.
Disney Infinity will never really match Skylanders for pure gameplay, but the potential for content out of the box is massive thanks to Toybox. Also, the target audience is somewhat different, aiming more for the mass Disney market than purely at young gamers. For older gamers, Disney Infinity 2.0’s Marvel theme is easier to enjoy. However, it is the young gamers who will find their creativity sparked and fall in love with the wonderful new figures. Disney Infinity 2.0 is a big improvement over the original game, and therefore a begrudgingly necessary purchase for parents of young gamers.