Shannon and myself were recently given the opportunity to play the upcoming installment of the successful toys-to-life game, Disney Infinity 3.0, due to release September 3rd, 2015. This time, the game obviously centres around the Star Wars franchise (with the prequel playset Twilight of the Republic, the orignal trilogy playset Rise Against the Empire and an Episode 7 playset having been announced) as well as including playsets and playable characters from other Disney properties such as Inside Out, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Mickey Mouse, Tron: Legacy, Mulan and Frozen. Whilst I’ve played around with a bit of Disney Infinity 2.0 (I proudly presented the entire cast of the Avengers to my mum for Christmas last year) I didn’t develop any strong connection with the game, despite my love of the beautifully stylized characters. However, I loved almost every moment of what I played during this recent hands-on preview and of course Star Wars is a major draw-card, but I’m struggling to see where this game fits in with what can only be described as a full-on holiday season this year.
Firstly, I’ve got to make clear how much content is in this game. My notes consisted largely of a list of just everything we were seeing but undoubtedly I will have missed bits and pieces here and there. We played part of the Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic playset, 3D and 2D Inside Out levels (including one with gravity-based puzzle platforming), The Hub (which in itself has a wealth of content), the new Toy Box 3.0, Farming (including ‘Sidekick’ customization), a combat-battle area (which I’m already forgetting the name of) and Racing. Get all that?Let’s begin what interests a lot of Star Wars fans such as myself, and y’all Amiibo collector’s out there: the figures. We got to touch and feel the only Iron Man Hulkbuster and Ultron figures in Australia, which we both up to the standard of the other figures. I really do like the look all the figures in these sets, including the ‘cutified’ Star Wars villains such as Darth Maul and Darth Vader. The poses, paint jobs and style are all near perfect in my opinion, but there may be some of you hard-core fans disappointed that Maul only has six horns on his head rather than the movie-accurate nine (apparently nine looked too much like a crown). Special mention to the Hulkbuster, the largest Disney Infinity figure ever made that apparently barely fits in the same box. I was gonna try and limit myself to just Star Wars, but now I feel like Inside Out and specifically that Hulkbuster figure are also gonna be in the mix. I’m gonna have to start putting new shelves up. God, I’m gonna be so broke.
It’s not just about the figures of course though! There’s a whole game there too, and surprisingly pretty good game at that. It’s a very difficult balance to strike in creating this game as it is one that both seeks to appeal to the younger generations that have developed an affinity with the likes of Skylanders, as well as older audiences with an attachment to the wealth of properties owned by Disney. However, I felt – in many ways – this latest version of the game was doing a noticeably better job at this balancing act then I have experienced previously in my time playing 2.0.The combat can be approached quite simply; it is not too hard to smash a few buttons and defeat an enemy. However, there are also additional layers of complexity with combos, force attacks, blocks and special abilities that broaden the ranger of possible ways to dissemble and dismember droids. I’d have loved a bit more time to really experiment with this, as I felt I was no where near getting the hang of this in what was I think the lowest level of difficulty. I’d love to imagine the harder difficulty settings are getting towards the realm of Dark Souls where combos and timing is everything, but I imagine it’ll be somewhat far below that level!