'Disney Infinity' - review

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 12:00 PM Written by 

InfinityBoxWhat would it be like if the entire cast of Disney’s movies and TV shows were all thrown into one game? “Disney Infinity” answers this question. The entertainment juggernaut has a constantly growing list of loveable characters at their disposal, and the sheer number of possibilities helps make “Disney Infinity” such an intriguing project.

 

The game acts a mash up of all the great Disney stories and objects. Captain Barbossa from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series can drive a light cycle from “Tron.” The Lone Ranger can go to target practice with Buzz Lightyear. “Disney Infinity” makes this all possible, but it comes at a price.

 

The game follows a similar model as Activision’s popular “Skylanders” series. Disney characters can be played in the game thanks to character figures and an activation base that comes with the “Disney Infinity” starter set. These characters come to life on the screen when their respective figure is placed on the base.

 

The starter pack ($74.99) comes with the “Disney Infinity” game, the activation base, and three figures. Mr. Incredible, Sully of “Monsters Inc.” and Captain Jack Sparrow are included in every starter pack. The rest of the game’s collection is sold separately.

 

InfinityMonsters

 

Having the entire “Disney Infinity” collection is a pricey endeavor. Play Set Packs come with two characters, plus an adventure mode that explores those characters’ stories. These cost $34.99. Solo figures cost $12.99, while three-packs run $29.99. Buying just one of each of these extra additions puts consumers over the $150 mark after already having to buy the starter pack.

 

This isn’t even factoring in the Power Discs. Power Discs grant special powers to the active character on the base. A character is granted a special ability when the disc is placed under the figure on the base. This can be anything from a health boost, to limited invulnerability.

 

“Disney Infinity” includes value with the high asking price. The figures look and feel well made, having the appearance of a precious collectible. The game itself is packed with plenty of replay value.

The game is split into two modes: Adventure mode, which comes with the Play Set Packs, and Toy Box mode. Adventure Mode tells a roughly four-hour story of specific character worlds, but these experiences are hit or miss.

In the Starter Pack, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” set steals the show. Sailing the high seas, and clashing swords with Davy Jones is especially fun when playing with a friend. Meanwhile, The Incredibles set is repetitive, features poor level design, and a questionable control scheme.

Infinity Pirates

The modes found in the Play Sets are quest-based. Quests are only fun if they are varied. This is what makes the Pirates and Monsters Inc. sets enjoyable. The friendly characters are always sending you on different missions with different objectives. The Incredibles set, on the other hand, does not. To make matters worse the virtual recreation of Metroville is as dull as video game worlds get. Since I played this set first, it nearly soured the entire game for me. Fortunately, this seems like a rare miss compared to the other worlds.

These adventure modes can be played solo or with a friend, but two figures from a specific world are required for co-op. Since the three characters included in the Starter Pack are from different Disney worlds, at least one additional character has to be purchased in order to play co-op in adventure mode.

Toy Box mode features completely different gameplay than what is found in the adventure modes. This is essentially a virtual sandbox where users can create virtual worlds using Disney-themed objects and settings. Any “Disney Infinity” character can be used in Toy Box mode.

Toy Box mode is the meat of “Disney Infinity,” because of its endless possibilities. Users can spend time creating vast worlds, minigames, or browse the marketplace to play what others have created. The concept is in its infancy, but people have already created the hedge maze from “Alice and Wonderland,” and a replica of Orlando’s Disney World.

There is a learning curve to making these creations come to life, but it’s a blast once you get the hang of it.

“Disney Infinity” is in the early stages of what could become an expensive commitment, especially for families with kids. Fortunately, there’s an impressive game to play after buying the collection.

 

8.5 out of 10

 

Pros:

 

Well made collectable figures

Toy Box mode brings replay value

Play Sets are a joy when they’re good

 

Cons:

 

Play sets are hit or miss

Can become an expensive hobby

 

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