Following the success of games like Skylanders, Disney decided to throw their own hat in the ring last August with Disney Infinity. With a rich history of different properties at their disposal, they had a lot to work with. This not only included characters from strictly Disney, like Mickey Mouse and Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, but also Pixar properties like The Incredibles and Toy Story. As a result, Disney could have easily decided to tap into the large backlog of characters in the Disney vault, but instead they went an entirely different direction by using a newly acquired property in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition).
Unlike your typical release that just contains a disc for the game, Disney Infinity houses a good bit more, coming in what is known as a Starter Pack. Within this Starter Pack, you will get the brand new Disney Infinity 2.0 base, which is a requirement for the game. Unfortunately, the old base from the first game is not compatible with the new release. While the old base isn’t forwards compatible, the figures and accessories can be used on the new base, as it is backwards compatible. However, the playsets cannot be used from 1.0, except to unlock the unique items that were contained in them.
The setup process for the game is extremely easy, with the install time being almost nonexistent on PlayStation 4. All you have to do is plug in the new base through the front USB port and pop the game in and you will be good to go. Upon starting, you will get acquainted with the game rather quickly. It will ask you to place a playset, in this case the Avengers set, and one of the three figures that came with the set, Iron Man, Thor, or Black Widow, onto the base and then you will be ready to go.
The story is pretty basic at the beginning, as the Avengers have been frozen by Loki and the Frost Giants, who have taken over Avengers Tower. Loki’s grand plan is to take over New York, so it’s basically the plot of The Avengers film all over again, with the Frost Giants instead of the Chitauri. At this point, you will start the aforementioned Avengers playset story mode. The first mission allows you to get a handle on the game’s controls, which are a little more advanced and complex than the first game, though still relatively simple.
I started with Iron Man, but Thor quickly became my favorite character as soon as I started using him. Black Widow is decent, but she just starts to feel like an afterthought in the game compared to the other two. In battle Black Widow plays just as well as the other characters, but when roaming the map you can make it to a mission in mere seconds with Iron Man or Thor compared to a long walk or motorcycle ride with Black Widow. I haven’t had the chance to get other non-flying characters like Captain America or Hawkeye yet, but I can’t imagine them being much better in this department.
The first thing I noticed about the combat was how it felt like something I have not experienced in a long time, an early 2000’s platformer. 3D platformers are some of my very favorites and, outside of Nintendo, we hardly get any these days. In fact, the one game series that I couldn’t help but think of while playing Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes was Spyro The Dragon, who plays a major role in the comparable Skylanders series. The closest modern game franchise, outside of Skylanders, that I could think of while playing Disney Infinity 2.0 was the LEGO games which feature similarly simplistic and cartoony action.
Each figure/character has their own moveset and arsenal at their disposal, which makes collecting the different figures very worthwhile. In addition to the moves each character starts with, there are more to unlock, courtesy of the brand new Skill Tree. Every time you level up, you receive Skill Points that can be used to unlock parts of your Skill Tree. Sometimes these are brand new moves like Thor’s Mjolnir Lightning Charge, but most are health, speed, or combat upgrades. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) vastly improved the leveling system we saw in the previous game by adding extra layers to it and making it more worthwhile to focus on. This time, the leveling feels more balanced and less tedious, which makes the whole system more enjoyable to work with.
The disappointing part about the Avengers playset is the lack of variety in the missions themselves. There were at least two missions that were pretty close to one another in the game, where you had to go to the bridge and fight Frost Giants as a vehicle was trying to escape. Hopefully the other two available playsets do a better job at offering different mission types rather than more of the same.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes is a playground of creativity with the Toy Box allowing you to basically create whatever you want. However, you will need a good bit of imagination while playing with the Avengers playset to add a little life to New York City. The city itself looks great graphically, but it still feels lifeless a lot of the time. There are sites like Avengers tower and the Empire State Building to add variety, but the rest of it just feels like generic building after generic building. There are other Marvel universe sites that could have been added in, such as the Daily Bugle, which would have added at least a little personality to the environment.
As with the first game, the Toy Box is the shining star of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition). Disney Infinity at its heart is built for kids and this is where their imagination can run free. Want to just build a basic room for the heck of it? Go right ahead. Want to build a race track through a familiar Disney setting? You can do that too. In addition, this is the one area where you can utilize any of the available Disney Infinity figures from 1.0 or 2.0, without the need for a playset.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes is a playground of creativity
The Toy Box lets you design to your heart’s content and then have the ability to play it right after. Often times the levels you make will not be completely playable, but that’s where the fun of working with it comes into play. However, while the basic playset stories and such are geared more for children, the Toy Box may need the help of an adult to make levels more workable. Thanks to the power of online, you have instant access to plenty of Toy Boxes that have been created by other players that you can easily download and try out. This brings a lot of variety to the game for those that may not care to spend time building their own levels, but still want to experience the creative minds of others, much like LittleBigPlanet.
The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Starter Pack also comes with two Toy Box Game Discs, which provide very different play types. The first one is known as Assault on Asgard, which features tower defense-like gameplay as you fend off hordes of enemies while they try to attack a protected item. You can buy turrets and other obstacles to place around the map and stop enemies, but you can also fight them off in regular combat. I found this mode to be a nice change of pace for the game and it is certainly worth checking out.
The other Toy Box Game Disc titled Escape From The Kyln offers a completely different experience, by offering dungeon crawler-like gameplay. For those that have seen Guardians of the Galaxy, the Kyln should look familiar, as it was the galactic prison featured in the movie. There are various parts to this mode, including the introduction of sidekicks, which can also be customized and upgraded. This once again offers extra variety and adds to the depth of the overall game.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) is an ambitious continuation of the Disney Infinity franchise. Rather than play it safe and stick with the Disney classics, they decided to branch out with their hottest new property, Marvel. The gameplay is much improved on the last game, thanks to better leveling and more in-depth combat. The Toy Box allows your creative juices to flow, which brings out the kid in you all over again. However, for a game with such creativity in many departments, the Avengers playset is pretty lacking with uninspired settings and repetitive mission types. Still, if you are a big Disney and Marvel fan you cannot go wrong with Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition), especially if you have kids.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)
- Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U
- Published By: Disney Interactive Studios
- Developed By: Avalanche Software
- Genre: Action-Adventure
- US Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
- Quote: "Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) takes a fun and innovative game and improves on it even further in the sequel, with the marriage of Disney and Marvel giving us a very bright future for the series."