With the instantly recognisable fanfare to resound in cinemas worldwide this December, it came as no surprise when it was announced that Star Wars would collide with Disney, Pixar and Marvel content in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition. But, with Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition having fallen far short of expectation, wider concerns have surrounded the development pressures of annualising their toys-to-life pursuit. With Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, things are admirably back on track. Recruiting Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, United Front Games and Studio Gobo, it’s taken skilled co-ordination to hone each studio’s respective efforts, with Avalanche Software remaining in the driving seat.
Increased competition in the category from debutant LEGO Dimensions has seen Disney Interactive Studios approach their retail presence differently this year. The Starter Pack remains the best option for those new to Disney Infinity’s star-studded lure, a bundle that includes the required Infinity Base and Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano character figures. As the moniker implies this provides everything that players need to get started, placing hours of gameplay at your fingertips. And, the Starter Pack’s lower price point this year will certainly help to draw consumer interest.
Whereas, for those that have already enjoyed either of Disney Infinity’s previous escapades, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition can be purchased standalone digitally or bundled at retail with either the Twilight of the Republic or Inside Out Play Sets. This is a particularly smart approach, and a move that means that parents won’t feel forced to make an unnecessary Infinity Base purchase – as long as they already own one that is compatible with their platform preference.
Getting started with Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition is just as much of an unrivalled joy as it has always been. The opening sequence plays heavily on Star Wars, but acts as a welcome gameplay tutorial to help more inexperienced players learn the ropes. Chasing an escaped probe droid as Anakin Skywalker switches to flying through an asteroid cluster as the Millennium Falcon, moving on to see players collect emotion orbs as Inside Out’s Joy before closing out with Mickey and Minnie Mouse taking part in a race. It’s the simplest of introductions and bound to raise an early smile, but hints toward the diverse genres that now make up the experiences that Disney Infinity now delivers.
The infinitely endless Toy Box mode remains to be Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition’s strongest asset, a blank canvas where players can unleash their creative aspirations to design their own levels. It sees better representation through the new Toy Box Hub, from which players can more clearly wander into separate gameplay zones that include Main Street, platforming, combat, racing, INteriors and farming. There’s plenty to help nurture those ideas, with NPCs on hand to talk players through each of the creative modes and mechanics making it a far less daunting experience for creatively minded youngsters to approach.
Players can recruit a loyal sidekick that can be provided with specific gear to grant them special abilities, and act as AI-controlled support for players to adventure with. Toy Box remains the only place where you can use any character that you wish, including those released for previous iterations. But, it’s always been about creation, and it continues to excel with new additions coming in a Path Creator, Toy Dispenser and Radio Disney Player. These will only continue to fuel Disney Infinity’s growing community, the benefit being that their creations will continue to deliver new content for players to delve in.
Away from that, players will have the Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set to battle their way through. Taking place shortly after Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, it traces Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano’s adventures as they try to uncover who is behind the reactivation of a Droid factory on Geonosis.
That investigation will take you to Coruscant, Tatooine and Naboo, with such intergalactic exploration dabbling in pod racing, space battles and numerous opportunities to slice droids with your lightsaber. Combat has been vastly improved with Ninja Theory’s expertise, although remains simplified rather than drawing direct comparison to their combo-heavy DmC: Devil May Cry reboot. Force powers are deployed as expected, but players still have complete control over exactly how they want to strengthen their character through their separate Skill Trees.
Twilight of the Republic presents a memorable five to six hours of playtime, although won’t pose a particular challenge to most players. The Clone Wars narrative helps to hold everything together, and there’s much to enjoy from the space battles and boss fights that are thrown in your direction.
As expected, those that want the complete Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition experience will need to be aware of the cost factor. There are four additional Play Sets to purchase in Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire, Inside Out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Marvel Battlegrounds. These are each priced at £34.99, with individual character figures available for £10.99. It can quickly add up and that’s not including Toy Box Expansion Games and Power Discs, which, while now in franchise-specific packs, extend such cost to reward players with Toy Box customisation options, gadgets, costumes and more.
But, for those that wish to save on such expense, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition packs enough core content to keep you busy for hours on end. Whether delving into community-created content or constructing a masterpiece of your own, the Toy Box and Play Set components are much improved. The Force is strong with this one.
Version Tested: Wii U
Review copy provided by Disney Interactive