Reach for the Stars – Disney Infinity Review

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Reviewed On: PS3

When I realise what Disney Infinity was, I was sceptic. I was afraid it was going to be a shameless cash-in, like Skylanders, with no real storyline, with the main gameplay being collecting real-life toys with no real value. How wrong I was.

The starter pack comes with three figures, three storylines, and a power disc. The characters are quite detailed, and look exactly how they look in the game. It’s obvious that a lot of detail has gone into making these characters, and it shows. When comparing my three Skylanders figures to the Disney Infinity characters, the Disney Infinity characters had a lot more weight, and it was clear a bit more thought had gone into the bases of the characters. Jack Sparrow, for instance, has wooden planks underneath his feat, Mr Incredible has a cracked road beneath his feat, and Sully has a footpath underneath his.

When you actually start the game up, it has the best introduction/tutorial level I’ve ever seen. I’m not even going to spoil it, that’s how good it was. You’re then plonked into the toybox’s default level, and there are good times to be had there, such as slow speed chases on the car track. Also in the toybox, you’re able to use tokens you earn when you level up characters in-game to unlock new toys, and there’s a lot of them, but it’s great when you finally get that toy you want. From the menu, you can choose a level to play, and I played the Pirates of the Caribbean story first.

The Pirates of the Caribbean campaign revolves around travelling around to different islands collecting pieces of “The Kraken’s Bane”, because Davy Jones has summoned the Kraken yet again. So you buy a ship, and get to travel to all these different islands, obtaining treasure as you go. I was surprised at how all these campaigns are really mini open worlds in themselves, it really gives you a lot of freedom, and you can abandon the campaign if you wish and do the side-missions, but that’s not how the game is meant to be played, and the campaign is good in itself. You’re also able to customise your ship to your liking, using parts from different ships. You can also buy new canons from the store, but these only affect the deck canons, not the canons that you can fire while commandeering the ship, which was disappointing. You’re also able to buy special powers for your ship, such as shields or speed boosts, which activate for a limited time. We found a few problems, however, the most frustrating being knocked down buy a bomb blast. The enemies that have the bombs can fire them at you, even when your on the ground from a previous bomb blast. It led to some frustrating deaths.

 

The Incredibles campaign involves Mr Incredible (or any other Incredible figurine) having to capture three new villains, plus Syndrome from the movie, who are running around causing havoc on the Incredible’s island city. The campaign features several returning characters from the film, such as Edna, the costume designer, and the extremely annoying   Omnidroids. there’s also several cars to buy, several gadgets to buy, special moves to learn, and, like the Pirate ship in the Pirates campaign, you can customise your “secret” base, which isn’t so secret anymore because it’s right in the middle of a roundabout, and people drive past it all the time. But we found that some of the missions weren’t explained properly, and this led to some frustration, especially when I thought that I was stuck on a deserted island.

The Monsters University was a campaign bizarre to me, because I hadn’t seen the movie. I still managed to have an enjoyable time, though, and there’s a few stealth levels here that are really fun, as you get to sneak up on the enemy, scare them, then go throw some fireworks through a window. We found a few problems though, such as the tutorial missions weren’t explained properly. I had to experiment with the buttons on the controller to find one the one that was required, and that’s just not fun.

I should mention a few general things. Firstly, you can’t play local co-op straight out of the box. You have to buy additional characters for that. I was able to test some features of the co-op with my sister, however, and it’s fun working out puzzles together. Secondly, no characters can go into any world, except the toybox, that in’t their own. This is why you can’t do co-op straight away, because all the characters in the starter pack all come from different worlds. It’s good to see, though, that Disney’s released two things to compensate for this: A supporting characters pack, which has three complementing characters to the starter pack ones, and all the additional playsets come with two characters. Thirdly, there was a problem connecting to the PSN network, so I wasn’t able to test out the online features of the game. Fourthly, all the campaigns would probably take between 5-6 hours to complete fully (with all the side missions). This means that there’s about 15-18 hours of play in the starter pack, plus how much time you spend in the toybox, playing other people’s worlds, or building your own.

All in all, Disney Infinity is a great game. Even though all the campaigns have their own individual flaws, the rest of the game is so spectacular, those small flaws are forgiven. I would happily buy all the playsets for this game (not all the characters though), and if there is going to be a Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Marvel playset, I would happily buy all the characters for those three franchises.

9.fw

 

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