Last Friday I went to check out Disney Infinity. I spent an hour with producer John Day playing through various aspects of the game whilst presenting any questions that I had to him along the way. I went into this hands-on with a basic knowledge of the game and the play sets available but my eyes were soon opened up to just how expansive this game is.
Firstly, I just want to say how surprised I am about the quality of the figures. They are of extremely high standards and quite frankly a must own for any Disney fan, gamer or not. The detail of them is absolutely superb and I can already see the absolute craze that they are going to become in just over a weeks time.
Disney Infinity incorporated two main ‘modes’ of play, the ‘play set’ and the ‘toy box’ mode. Play sets can be described as the ‘storyline’, and are specific to a certain Disney theme and cannot cross over (for example, Woody from Toy Story cannot enter the world of Monsters University, or vice versa). The toy box mode is best described as the sandbox of Disney Infinity.
Firstly I got to go hands on with The Incredible’s play set. The world was instantly familiar. I was surprised to see fully destructible environments and an absolutely stunning and colorful world. As one of The Incredible’s family members, I got to explore Metroville and fight crime. This happens in a variety of main missions and also random side events that take place as you wander.
I then went hands on with The Pirates of The Caribbean play set.. Upon entering the Pirates play set you are stationed on your own fully customizable pirate ship. From here you can roam the seas in order to explore new islands or find other ships to battle. There is a ton of different cannons and weaponry to unlock for your ship.
This is one of the things that really shocked me with this game. A lot of people don’t seem to know this yet however EVERY play set is extremely different in how it plays. All of the play sets have been given a lot of love and care in order to make them play completely different and offer a new experience to the player. For instance the Cars play set is a complete racing game whilst the Lone Ranger is an old school Western shooter and Monsters University involves scaring other monsters. The amount of possibilities is endless due to the infinite number of Disney franchises that Avalanche Software gets to explore.
Completing missions gives you coins and levels up your character. Both of these things result in unlocking items for both play set use and within the Toy Box. The interesting thing to note is that your level and coins stays with your character so you can take these to your friend’s house whilst retaining your data.
You can also partake in split screen multiplayer within the play sets but you must own at least 2 characters from within that universe. The Cars & Lone Ranger play set already comes with 2 characters.
After playing around with the play sets I was introduced to the Toy Box and this is where I realised the creative potential of this game.. The Toy Box starts out as either a completely empty place or you can pre fill it with themes that are unlocked by playing through the play sets.
You start with an inventory full of Disney objects from a range of movies. TV shows and some misc items. These range from weapons, objects or just inanimate figures but the range grows to an extremely extensive library depending on how much you’ve unlocked from the play sets.
The most interesting thing is just how much you can build in the game. Avalanche Studios have given you the tools to be able to create just about any type of game. You can create a fully customiseable race track, a football stadium complete with scoreboard or even a Mario replicated platformer.
There are also a bunch of tools which work to change the perspective to be top down and mess with gravity. You get to choose whether what you build use the law of gravity or not.You can upload your creations to Disney who will then curate the best levels and make them available on the Wii U, PS3 & 360. This is truly something that has never been done before.
4 player online play is also available in the Toy Box which looks like a massively fun experience. You have the ability to shrink characters and change their appearance in a ton of ways using editing tools. Another neat thing demonstrated is that Cars can be ridden by other characters and also tow any other vehicle.
The last thing I got to experience was the Power Discs, which are discs that can be placed on the Infinity Base along with their characters to add new elements to the game. There are two types – Round and Hexagonal. The circular discs affect in game attributes such as a 20% health boost or 15% more damage to other characters.
The hexagonal discs can only be used in the Toy Box. You can unlock a series of Disney favorites such as the Mickey Mouse car or Cinderella’s Coach. There are also hexagonal power discs, which change the whole world of the Toy Box. For instance the Finding Nemo disc will turn the whole toy box into an under water world. This is extremely cool and something that you have to experience to understand. Watching the world you just created change on the fly is truly special.
Power Discs are also stackable. For instance, you can stack the round discs in order to create special in game combos that can only be experienced be doing so. Similarly hexagonal power discs can be stacked in order to unlock multiple items in the Toy Box at once. The power discs will be sold in blind packs of 2 for $5.95 and will be released in a series of waves. Wave 1 will be available at launch which features 20 discs.
Something else that should be mentioned is that each character has its own set of missions complete with gold, silver and bronze trophies for completing. The game also features a ‘Hall of Heroes’ which shows you everything you have collected as well everything you’re yet to get
The last thing to mention is that the 3DS version will not be the same as the console counterparts. It will be more of a mini game compilation that will still use the same characters as the console version.
Avalanche also plan on supporting the game for years to come with a bunch of new play sets and characters. At the recent D23 conference the new Toy Story in Space play set was confirmed for release a few months after launch.
A lot of playable Toy Box characters were also announced. These include: Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse (Fantasia), Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope (Wreck-It-Ralph), Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Phineas and Agent P. (Phineas and Ferb), Anna and Elsa (Frozen) and Rapunzel (Tangled).
Disney Infinity launches on the 22nd of August. It’ll launch on PS3, Wii U, Wii, 360 and 3DS. The Starter Pack includes the Monsters University, Pirates Of The Carribean & The Incredibles play sets. Separately available will be the Cars & Long Ranger play sets.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the game again. Stay tuned for our review of Disney Infinity in the next few weeks!
We are also giving away a Disney Infinity Starter Pack. Click here to find out how.