A THOUGHTFUL combination of franchises which encourages creative play for all the family
Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed) / Playstation 4 / Wii U / Xbox 360 / Playstation 3
Score: 8.7 / 10
THE success of any new entrant to the relatively new genre of collectible toy gaming - an astute marketing exercise as it is a pioneering subgenre of the medium - depends on the profile and personality of its characters. Fortunately, Disney’s multi-billion pound acquisition of Marvel means that it is best placed to succeed in this field, with a winning combination of two hugely popular and timeless franchises.
The latest example of the ‘toys to life’ niche comes in the form of a starter pack, featuring the game, a USB-plug in base, various game pieces to unlock minigames and, most importantly, character figures - Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow come as standard. Place any of the three onto the base and they will appear in-game, bringing their own special skills and personality to the game universe. It is a trick that has been performed before, but still retains its charm.
The mini-games are simple but possess zip, character and variety
Whereas Skylanders favours a rollicking action-packed narrative, complete with any number of side quests and collectables, Disney Infinity does not focus on its campaign. Instead, it eschews the linear approach, favouring a bewilderingly expansive collection of mini games and challenges. Even though they follow relatively simple concepts - such as the tower defence-style Thor-themed Assault on Asgard - they have enough zip, character and variety to keep you engrossed for long spells.
The game’s most compelling feature, however, and the one that will have players coming back time and again, is its Minecraft-inspired creative tools. Rather than simply shoehorning their impressive roster of characters into a story, the developers deserve credit for allowing the assets to be moulded into a potentially limitless number scenarios thanks to the imagination of those with controllers in their hands.
Getting the most out of the game requires additional purchases
The killer feature, Toy Box 2.0, essentially offers up a blank world ready to be populated with any number of figures, buildings, infrastructure and decorations. The actual process of building can be automated, making things easier for younger players, while a range of templates are also on hand to allow for quick minigames to be created in your own unique realm. Once completed, you can upload your world to allow others to experience it; similarly, you can download user-created worlds and marvel at the imagination on show.
As with the first Infinity title and the Skylanders series, getting the most out of the game requires additional purchases. Already, a range of action figures are on sale alongside the starter pack and some parents will be rolling their eyes at the prospect of forking out more. Fortunately, the Toy Box 2.0 mode means there is a near limitless scope to the basic game and once the main campaign mode has been completed, there is an ever expanding universe of minigames and creations to dive into.
TIPS AND TRICKS
1) The prompt screen may be annoying, but it is worth signing up for a Disney ID. That way, you can share and download user-created worlds from Toy Box 2.0.
2) If you played the first Disney Infinity game, dust off the box - your character figures can be used in the sequel.
3) Although the game disc itself will only work on whichever platform you bought it for, the figures and power discs can be used on any system - ideal if you want to expand your roster of characters by swapping with a friend.