The Disney Infinity juggernaut ploughs on with the release of Disney Infinity 3.0 – we’re only a few months away from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens so it made perfect sense to have the starter pack include two Star Wars characters, Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan Ashoka Tano as well as the Twilight of the Republic playset. The starter pack also includes the Disney Infinity portal, it has three slots, two for Disney Infinity characters and a third slot for the Toy Box pieces. The portal itself is fairly simple looking portal, but looks pretty cool when the slots light up in different colours, my children were most impressed.
The starter pack figures look brilliant, it helps that Disney have created Star Wars Rebels which allows them to create more cartoony looking characters, nevertheless they are well produced and as your collection grows they will look great out on display. Unless you are absolutely desperate to get the new Star Wars figures you are better off working on your collection of older characters until the price comes down (£13 a figure!).
As the game begins you won’t need to use your starter packs character as the game gets you to play a small demo some of the things Disney Infinity has to offer, starting with Anakin Skywalker, you’ll learn his basic moves such as double jumps, fighting with a lightsaber and using the force to help you solve puzzles, within a couple of minutes you are flying the Millennium Falcon, destroying as many TIE fighters as you can. There is no hanging around as moments later you find yourself in the world of Inside Out, showing you the platforming abilities of the game, finally you join Mickey Mouse and the gang in some Mario Kart style racing towards the famous Disney Castle – this was the first time I’ve had my hands on Disney Infinity, I won’t lie, it brought the child out in me seeing the huge cast of characters that have been part of my life. Once the race is over you can begin to explore the world of Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity 2.0 had a lot of sites say that the game got repetitive quite quickly but this year Disney have been wise to this and instead have brought different teams in to look after specific elements of the game. Avalanche Studios have teamed up Ninja Theory to develop Twilight of the empire and they are looking to bring in other established studios to develop other future sets.
Twilight of Republic plays really well, the controls are very child friendly which is great news because it will give the smallest of hands great confidence as they battle away with the lightsabers. The combat flows brilliantly and you can finish off opponents with cool slow motion finishers, you can use the force to grab hold of enemies before using your lightsaber to finish them off, there are some neat platforming elements to the levels too. The AI gets tougher as you go through the levels, but never to the point where you (or the kids) won’t be able to defeat them. You’ll get to visit for different planets and you’ll also engage in some space dogfights which will please Star Wars fans.
You can only use certain characters with each of the players you purchase, but it’s still an enjoyable experience – defeating enemies and breaking down your environment gives you orbs that help you level up from which you can upgrade your characters ability through a skill tree. It’s a smarter upgrade system than the one used in the Skylanders game, firstly because you can upgrade at any time and secondly your progress is built up across the whole Infinity world, rather than restricting progress to just the levels.
As enjoyable as the playsets are, Disney Infinity comes to life when you begin to play with the hub and Toy Box. Starting off with the hub allows you to meet various characters throughout the Disney universe and experience the different types of games you can create yourself in the Toy Boxes. Again it’s a great way of introducing the different ways you use the Toy Box to create your own levels.
The Toy Boxes are full of toys and resources to use to create whatever type of level or game you want. Certainly at first you can feel quite overwhelmed by the amount on offer, but as you begin to experiment you’ll find yourself getting sucked in by the amount of possibility. If you need inspiration you can head online and download community designed levels as well as examples created by Disney Staff, if time isn’t on your side there are thousands of creations to play through.
My first creation was a pretty basic racetrack, littered with pretty much any item I could get my hands on, as I began to get more familiar with how things worked I managed to make things more difficult with obstacles and jumps. It can become quite a pain to navigate the UI, and a simple search would definitely help speed up the creation process, but either way there is plenty of fun to be had coming up with all sorts of concepts.
Disney Infinity is an absolute blast to play, the combat flows brilliantly and the levels within the playsets are well thought out and have enough variation to keep your children entertained. The Toy Box, although quite overwhelming at first is excellent and much like Minecraft, you’ll find hours will pass without noticing as you create your perfect levels to host all of your favourite characters. Value for money wise it’s not as good as it was with the previous levels but you could argue the quality of the playsets make up for that in 3.0. My biggest issue is finding a way of buying every figure I come across…
Thanks to Xbox and Disney for their support
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