Disney Infinity 3.0 Review
Disney Infinity may not have been the first of the toys-to-life based games, but the allure of timeless Disney characters made it an easy sell from the very start. The addition of Marvel in 2.0 improved on the original in many ways, but if there is ever a series that could take the series to new heights, it would be Star Wars, which is now the main focus in Disney Infinity 3.0.
Star Wars and Disney are two of the most iconic names in entertainment, so it was a huge surprise when it was revealed a few years ago that Disney had purchased the rights to the franchise. Branching out to pretty much any medium you can imagine over the years, the Star Wars brand is hotter than ever with Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming in only a few months.
Unlike other toys-to-life based games, the unique feature of Disney Infinity is that it is almost like two games in one, with one half story and the other half the creativity driven Toy Box. The Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack comes packed with the aptly named Twilight of the Republic playset, which is based on the very critically acclaimed The Clone Wars CG series that ended in 2014.
Alongside the set comes two Disney Infinity figures with Anakin and Ahsoka, which are a step up from previous figure releases. This is also the case for the rest of the 3.0 figures that arrived at launch, which range from characters like Yoda, the Star Wars Rebels newcomer Ezra Bridger, and even non-Star Wars characters such as Mulan and Olaf.
The figures aren’t the only things that look good with Disney Infinity 3.0, as the game itself looks beautiful with its animated style visuals. The Star Wars characters fit this world perfectly due to taking designs from the already existing The Clone Wars and Rebels TV series and putting them right into the game. This CG style meshes perfectly with the world of Disney, while also bringing in the humor that fans of those series expect. In fact, you can certainly see some inspiration from the series of Star Wars LEGO games in several areas, but especially in the humor.
While the characters and underdog style story makes Star Wars a timeless classic, one could argue that the John Williams score is even more important. The Star Wars series has one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time and that is very well utilized in Disney Infinity 3.0, with many fan favorites making appearances throughout the game.
Platforming has always been paramount in the Disney Infinity franchise, with some improvement already seen in last year’s game. However, Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software once again enlisted Ninja Theory to work on the Twilight of the Republic play set. This play set is natively able to use the aforementioned Anakin and Ahsoka, as well as Obi-Wan and Yoda. This is why Ninja Theory was a perfect fit, as the lightsaber oriented gameplay was similar to their past outings.
The lightsaber gameplay is pretty basic at its core, with only a few buttons being needed in combat. These however can be stringed together for more complex combos. This is very effectively implemented due to the tight controls that allow for fast moving action, which is also well paired with the inclusion of force powers.
With Ahsoka, you only start with your lightsaber and a force push attack, but those can be upgraded through the game’s skill tree, which is split across four categories. This isn’t too vastly different from the skill tree that was available in last year’s game, though now you can unlock force abilities like a lightsaber throw. Providing players with very natural lightsaber and force usage, as well as very smooth animations, Disney Infinity 3.0 really does a fantastic job at bringing these Star Wars characters to life.
Disney Infinity 3.0 also manages to bring vehicles into the mix here, with the Twilight of the Republic set features a chase through Coruscant and a race on Tatooine in a pod racer for instance. The Coruscant one has good visuals, but the controls aren’t the greatest overall as it doesn’t feel like you have much say over the movement. The pod racing segment is much better by feeling much more like you are in control of the vehicle, but it is still pretty simplistic and easy as a whole. The good news though is that unlike this year’s Skylanders, figures are not needed to use these vehicles in game, though the game does require a lot to play.
The key aspect that really holds back this half of the game is the feeling of being locked out of so much content that exists behind the paywall of figures and play sets. At the very start of the game, players get a tease of four different gameplay sections based on full play sets available. The first is the included Twilight of the Republic, but you are also teased with a short section based on the Rise of the Empire set, the Inside Out set, and also the Toy Box Speedway set, which didn’t release until awhile after the game. This would been an excellent tease if they were all included in the starter pack, but to do something like that from the very start to just serve as one big advertisement was very ill advised.
For those that do purchase all of the new figures and play sets available, the game certainly does open up quite a bit. At first, the Twilight of the Republic play set is locked to the main four mentioned prior, but by finding Champion Coins within the game, other Star Wars characters are playable in that set. However, there are still a number of new Disney related characters that are not usable in the Star Wars related sets, which means they are destined to be used in the returning Toy Box.
The Toy Box is where you are able to bring your creativity to life through a variety of different areas, some of which will feel very familiar for those that have played the previous Disney Infinity games. However, the Toy Box in Disney Infinity 3.0 gets the addition of a lot of content, with Star Wars playing a role in that as well.
Disney Infinity 3.0 really does a fantastic job at bringing these Star Wars characters to life
As with past entries, there are a number of characters released that cannot be used in the main story play sets, such as Minnie, TRON’s Sam and Quorra, and Frozen’s Olaf. These can be used throughout the various areas in the toy box, such as hubs for fighting, racing, and most importantly building. The main goal is to amass a large collection of in-game toys and set pieces, which you can then use to build up your toy box over time. While the play sets themselves do not have a ton of replay value, the Toy Box is where the game’s longevity comes from. However, the full potential of Toy Box can take awhile to reach as a result of the collecting being a rather slow grind at first.
Perhaps the best part involving the Toy Box this time around actually does require you to purchase something extra, the Toy Box Takeover set. Toy Box Takeover even has its own separate story, as The Incredible’s Syndrome has taken over and created special worlds based on not just Pixar, but also Disney and Star Wars.
Toy Box Takeover also allows you to use any of the currently released Disney Infinity figures, ranging from 1.0 to 3.0, as you play through dungeon crawling style stages, where you can even utilize your sidekick as well. The biggest problem with this really fun mode is that it really should have been included in the main game. It is most similar to last year’s Escape from the Kyln, which was included on disc, rather than requiring an extra purchase.
Disney Infinity 3.0 takes an already solid foundation, laid by the two previous entries in the series, and effectively infuses the rich history of Star Wars throughout the game. The cost of entry may be high for the full experience, but the Star Wars based gameplay transcends what you usually expect from a Disney Infinity game, with the Toy Box continuing to be a hub for creativity to thrive in Disney Infinity 3.0.
Disney Infinity 3.0
- Available On: PS4, XB1, Wii U, PS3, X360, PC
- Published By: Disney Interactive Studios
- Developed By: Avalanche Studios, Ninja Theory
- Genre: Toys-to-life
- US Release Date: August 30th, 2015
- Reviewed On: PS4
- Quote: "Even with the high cost of entry for the full experience, the Star Wars based gameplay transcends what you usually expect from a Disney Infinity game, with the Toy Box continuing to be a hub for creativity to thrive in Disney Infinity 3.0."
- Star Wars is a natural fit
- Lightsaber and force powers are well implemented
- Toy Box is even more ambitious
- Classic Star Wars music
- Parts of game locked behind figure paywall