- Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, 3DS
- Developer: Avalanche Software
- Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
- Release Date: August 18th, 2013
- Price: $74.99
- Official: Disney Infinity
“You’re Never Too Old To Be Young”
When you were a kid did you ever dream of being in the world of The Lion King? Did you ever wish upon a star that you could join forces and help Pinocchio escape Monstro? Did you ever dream of putting on a glass slipper and finding true love? Did you ever just want to escape reality and join in the fun of your favorite Disney heroes? Sadly some things just aren’t meant to be in the real world, but sometimes, some dreams do come true.
Disney Infinity is the game that Disney fans have been waiting for. A game for children or adults that allows gamers to use the one thing that permeates so much of the Disney brand, their imaginations. Whether you wish to run amuck in the universe of Cars or Pirates or if you would like to just sit back and create a world all your own; Disney Infinity allows for your ideas and dreams to become reality.
Much like Activision’s Skylanders games Disney Infinity is a game based around collectible figures. The deluxe retail package includes three Disney figures and a base in which to place them on as well as the game itself. This “Starter Pack” includes the worlds of Pixars Incredibles and Monsters University as well as a Pirates of the Caribbean set along with one figure representing each.
The first thing many will notice about Infinity is just how well made the figures are. Not only is the distinct art style fantastic but the figures themselves are large, well painted and usually capture the character’s personality perfectly. After you are done admiring the models you place one on your glowing base and jump in.
Infinity features two ways in which to play. You may plow through a story in a Playset or create your own world in the Toybox. A Playset is the featured campaigns based around individual Disney films such as the Monsters University campaign that comes with the Starter Pack. In order to enjoy a campaign you must be using a Figure from that film, so you may not choose Captain Jack Sparrow and run around Metroville from the world of The Incredibles. In order to experience the story you must be using an appropriate character. However if you wish to create in the Toybox, you can choose to control whichever character you’d like.
This limitation may rub some the wrong way but it never impacted my enjoyment. In fact the story and mission structure within each Playset is catered to that worlds characters. Bringing in Mater from Cars into the oceans of Pirates of the Caribbean would severely limit what he and the player could do, so it makes sense.
The three Playsets included are diversified well and offer entirely different experiences. Pirates plays similarly to the latest Assassins Creed adventure, The Incredibles like an open world brawler and Monsters University like a stealth adventure. Not only are each unique but if you complete every mission and try to collect every unlockable then you are looking at a possible six to eight hours of content per Playset. Not a bad length at all.
If I had to choose a preferred favorite it would more than likely be Pirates of the Caribbean. The open world sailing plays well and the consistent ship upgrades not only change its appearance but its capabilities. The combat and feel of the game really is similar to that found in Assassins Creed 3 and 4 but obviously made much easier. Speaking with fans it is clear that each player has their preferred favorite Playset and Pirates is not the definitive best of the bunch.
You won’t find yourself dying often in any Playset but that shouldn’t hinder your enjoyment too much. When you’re on land the feel is very much in tune with most platformers. Players can jump, double jump, slide, hack and use a special ability. For Jack this is firing your pistol while for a character such as Sully it is scaring. Running around the environments and completing simplistic objectives is the main structure of Infinity, but the obscene amount of Capsules to collect and the diversity of the environments and characters allows for the Playsets to always be enjoyable.
On the opposite side of the coin is the Toybox. The Toybox is the Minecraft/Forge side of things in the Infinity universe and is meant to bring to the surface the joy and freedom a child has when opening up their toy chest and having at it. Within this mode players are able to utilize any and all options within the game. From all of the toys they have unlocked while enjoying the Playsets to the hundreds of unlockable items within the Toybox itself. Players can create mountains, racetracks, soccer fields, pinball tables to even recreations of Disney parks themselves. The Toybox is an entire game within itself that those with the imagination and time can spend hundreds of hours with. When players are done with their worlds they can then share them among friends and Avalanche even features weekly challenges with the winners being showcased for the entire world to see.
Visually Infinity is a pleasing and charming game. The exaggerated appearances of the characters coupled with the spot on animations and voice work allow the game to instantly grab you. Environments are taken straight from the films they are based and feature vibrant colors as well as all of the landmarks one would expect. Unfortunately on the audio side, the sound effects could use some work. While the music selection features well done covers of famous Disney tunes and the voice work is decent with some of the original cast even returning to provide new lines, the sound of gunfire and explosions are average at best and also cut out at odd times. In the middle of a fight the game may go silent for several seconds or the sound may appear out of synch with the action. This oddity seems to come and go irregularly and may require you to even exit back to the main menu in order to fix.
One complaint leveled against both Skylanders and Infinity are the prices that come with such a unique take on gaming. With new figures released regularly and additional Playsets available for players to enjoy, grabbing the entire collection can cost players quite a bit of coin. Being someone who doesn’t mind additional content or the idea of expanding games with DLC I do not have a problem with every few weeks grabbing a new character or world to play in but I realize that some may. Luckily most retailers such as Toys R Us or Best Buy have consistently held sales as well as Buy One Get One offers on all Infinity products. The idea of an ever expanding game that allows for players to always come back and experience something new is exciting to me but I understand its not everyones cup of tea.
— Conclusion —
Disney Infinity is a game that allows both fans of the Disney brand and the average gamer to jump into exciting worlds and to happily waste countless hours as classic heroes and villains creating new adventures for both themselves and friends. Whether you wish to play alone or cooperatively with others the simplistic nature and the charming aesthetic of Infinity is something most can find enjoyable and relaxing. Infinity’s platforming won’t blow anyone away nor will its difficulty challenge veteran gamers, but its imagination, potential and ability to bring families together is something to be admired. –Chuck
- + Quality figures to collect
- + Visually appealing
- + Plenty of content
- + Fun for whole family
- – Some framerate and audio issues
- – Can be very costly
- – Easy for hardcore gamers