Disclaimer: Unfortunately, we weren’t able to review as much of the game as we were hoping. The publisher provided two Play Sets (Twilight of the Republic and Inside Out) as well as the game’s updated Toy Box. Although the Rise of the Rise Against the Empire Play Set is available at launch as part of the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 Deluxe Editions, review copies won’t be available until its standalone launch in late Sept.
Great shot, kid!
Disney Infinity is about to get a lot cooler. Sure, playing with your favorite Disney and Marvel characters is fun, and we even got to go into space with last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Play Set. But none of that can hold a candle to all of the fantastic characters that come from a long time ago and galaxy far, far away.
Before we dig into how Star Wars mixes things up, it’s worth noting that Disney Infinity 3.0 begins more cohesively than previous iterations. It starts with a brief demo of the first three Play Sets, each of which features a different style of gameplay, so you can see what you have to look forward to. Twilight of the Republic focuses on brawling and adventuring, Rise Against the Empire is more about controlling your favorite Star Wars vehicles and Disney’s Inside Out plays like a traditional Mario-style platform game.
Set between Star Wars Episode II and Episode III (and included with the Starter Pack), Twilight of the Republic features main characters like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Darth Maul, along with a host of characters from the Clone Wars and Rebels TV series. It’s fantastic seeing these characters come together, especially new favorites like Sabine Wren and Kanan Jarrus that are appearing in other canonical works, like the excellent Marvel Comics Star Wars titles.
This set plays like an action/adventure game, with a heavy emphasis on fighting. Anakin starts on the planet Geonosis exploring a reactivated droid factory, looking for the dark power behind it. Spanning several planets, Anakin—and whomever else you decide to play—will run across many beloved Star Wars characters.
It’s the fighting engine that stands out here. Created by partner studio Ninja Theory, the combat not only brings Twilight to life, but enhances every other part of the game. While the adventure’s pacing is mediocre, it’s great fun to explore the worlds and uncover their many secrets. As with Disney Infinity 2.0, all of the characters are upgradeable, with plenty of power-ups available on the tech tree. So playing through multiple times, to strengthen all your figures, is the only way to go.
It also helps that every Star Wars figure can be used in every Star Wars Play Set. Some must be unlocked by first finding a token, but if you want to play as Darth Vader during the Clone Wars (instead of that wimpy Anakin Skywalker) you can do it. Or you can redeem Darth Maul from his far too early demise so he can fight along with the Emperor during the Rise Against the Empire time period.
While it differs slightly from earlier Play Sets, which were only open to the proper characters at the proper times, it shows Disney knows how people want to play in the universe of Star Wars and the accommodation is quite appreciated.
The Inside Out Play Set is a straight-up platformer, which works perfectly for the property. It seems Riley fell asleep with a horror movie on and it’s up to Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust to scour her imagination and make everything better.
The game alternates between side-scrolling 2D and fully 3D levels. Set in the Imagination-land area of Riley’s brain, the designers had carte blanche to come up with weird and wacky locations to hop and bop about. All are highly playable, with plenty of secrets tucked away for you to find.
The puzzles are pretty lightweight, making the game skew young, but collectibles pack every area, encouraging thorough exploration and multiple replays. You can earn three stars for mastering each level, including one awarded for an aggressive time trial that will test even skilled platform fans.
Additionally, each of the emotions have its own special skill which makes exploring certain sections easier. Anger can walk across lava for instance, and Joy’s exuberance carries her across gaps others cannot traverse.
Inside Out finally gives Disney Infinity the platform game it deserves, and while it isn’t as long or complex as your average Mario or Rayman game, it’s still a blast to play.
Both of these Play Sets (as well as the rest of the ones planned) feed into the expanded Toy Box. Enter the new Toy Box Hub and you’ll find a bunch of tutorials to teach you to build, control vehicles, adventure and more. Not only does the 3.0 package include hundreds more objects and designs for your creations, but everything available in previous versions can be unlocked simply by putting your old characters and Play Set pieces on the pad.
Completionists will have a hard time, though, since Disney even included special unlocks for those who have Magic Bands from Walt Disney World and Seafarer Bands from taking a Disney Cruise.
The new Hub’s design features a logical layout, providing distinct areas for adventuring, racing, etc., as well as a new Hall of Heroes area with separate entrances for Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. You’ll note several areas in each hub that contain empty space without any platforms or plaques. I wonder what those spaces are for.
Creation in the Toy Box is more intuitive than ever, allowing would-be designers to put levels together quickly and spend the bulk of their time polishing and perfecting them. You still must spend a lot of time unlocking everything.
Disney is releasing a few new characters exclusive to Toy Box. Mickey and Minnie Mouse (seriously, this is the third Mickey—where is Goofy!), Olaf from Frozen, Mulan, and Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron. There are even more coming in the future, such as characters from The Good Dinosaur and Zootopia, revealed recently at D23.
In addition to the unlimited magic waiting in the Toy Box, whether you want to create something of your own or download the masterpieces from others, two new Toy Box Games are being offered as well.
Toy Box Takeover tasks you with putting a team of heroes together to stop Syndrome, who’s trying to take over the Toy Box, while Toy Box Speedway features kart racing in the same style as Super Mario Kart.
Neither of those were reviewed this time around, but I will try to include them in my update when the Rise Against the Empire Play Set is available.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be Disney Infinity without Power Discs. The good news there is that fans spoke and Disney listened. Instead of buying discs in blind packs like before, they are now available in themed packs of four. The first two, Tomorrowland and Twilight of the Republic will be available at launch, while others will find later release.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is not only the best iteration of the game so far, but the addition of the Star Wars universe adds the final corner to a powerful triangle, filled with so many great characters it will be difficult to keep track of them all.
With two more Star Wars Play Sets, and one for Marvel (Marvel Battlegrounds) coming this year (and that’s just what we know of) there will be plenty of content to keep you busy until Version 4.0 dazzles us next year. How about Indiana Jones? Just sayin’.
|Developer: Avalanche Software • Publisher: Disney Interactive • ESRB: E 10+ • Release Date: 8.30.2015|
Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition adds another massive and massively popular property to the series’ roster. Both the Star Wars and Inside Out Play Sets are well done and the new Toy Box is much better organized. Since toys-to-life games are all about breathing life into your favorite characters, Disney has an advantage (at least now that they’re past the Lone Ranger). They leverage that here and the result is fantastic.
|The Good||You can use every Star Wars character in every Star Wars Play Set, whether they belong there or not!|
|The Bad||The Play Sets are still a little shallow. Even though the open structure of the Toy Box makes up for it, it would still be nice if these pre-made adventures offered a little more depth.|
|The Ugly||The fact that the Original Trilogy characters aren’t available on most platforms until a month after launch. I want my Han Solo!|
|Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for PS4. Review code was provided by Disney Interactive for the benefit of this review.|