Movie licensed games are infamous for their typically low quality. Disney is hoping that by bringing many of their franchises together into one game, with some Skylanders style toys, so they can give Disney fans an experience worthy of featuring their unforgettable characters. I’ve spent countless hours exploring all of the various aspects in Disney Infinity, and you can view my complete review of the game in the video below. If you want more information on the game’s physical components, such as the toys and power discs, check out my unboxing and first look video.
Because it is so vast, Disney Infinity is sort of a tough game to describe. Is it a sandbox game? Is it an action/platformer game? Is it like Minecraft? The answer is, all of the above.
The gameplay in Disney Infinity is divided into two modes, playsets and the Toy Box. The playsets are where all of the story driven content resides. Here, you’re placed in a sandbox environment set in the world of one of Disney’s franchises and you must progress through the story with a character from that franchise, while collecting new toys and leveling up along the way.
Each playset features gameplay mechanics suited for the characters in that set. The Incredibles playset requires you to use superpowers to battle villains and protect the citizens of Metrocity; The Monster’s University playset includes pulling pranks, invading the rival campus, and perfecting your scare tactics; and the Pirates of the Caribbean playset features swashbuckling sword fights along with sea exploration and battles.
Disney Infinity is obviously geared more towards children, and this shows in the difficulty of the story missions. It’s relatively easy to not die, and even if you do, you respawn right in the area you died with unlimited continues.
But, this does not mean the entire game is a breeze. The more “hardcore” gamer will still find some difficulty in finding all the hidden toy pieces as well as completing challenges. All of the challenges have three difficulties, easy, medium, and hard. I must admit that I often found myself requiring several attempts before overcoming some of the hard mode challenges.
The other half of the Disney Infinity experience takes place in the Toy Box, where the player can use literally thousands of in game items and structures to build pretty much whatever they want. You can personalize your own area to play in and explore or make your own game with the Infinity tools. And, the Toy Box supports up to four players through online play.
Similar to Little Big Planet, users can upload their creations to be downloaded by other players, but what’s so cool about Disney Infinity’s Toy Box Share, is that it works cross platform. So, Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U owners can all share their creations together.
The Toy Box mode is where Disney Infinity really shines. Long ago, Disney coined the term Imagineers to describe the visionaries who designed the attractions at the Disney Parks. Npw, the player gets to take on that role as your game experience is only limited to your imagination.
I’ve personally had all sorts of fun adventures in the Toy Box. From racing around Agrabah, to surviving numerous traps in the Hedge Maze from Alice in Wonderland, the possibilities seem truly endless.
Also found in the Toy Box, is the Hall of Heroes. Here, players can see the embodiment of there progress in a amphitheater environment, adorned with statues of their characters. As you level up your characters, the quality of their statues will improve in the hall of heroes. The hall will also change itself, becoming more majestic as you progress through the game.
Another cool feature of the Hall of Heroes, is that you can examine the pedastal of a character you don’t have to view a short video package showcasing that character’s abilities. This can help players determine which other characters they may want to purchase, and there are videos available for the recently announced wave 2 of Disney Infinity figures.
The only major gripe I had with the gameplay was with regards to multiplayer in the playsets. To play two-player split-screen in the playsets, each player has to have a figure from that playset. So, if you want to play through each of the playsets with someone else, you will need three more figures.
As a Disney fan, I loved that each of the playsets in Disney Infinity featured a brand new story for each franchise rather than a retelling of their movies. For instance, The Monster’s University playset is set during Mike and Sulley’s early college days prior to the new movie. In the Incredibles playset, Syndrome has returned and also freed some of his fellow villains to help him reek havoc on Metrocity. And finally, in the Pirates of the Caribbean playset, players are up against Davy Jones and his crew in a race for a mystical treasure.
It was awesome that each playset came with a brand new story to share with both old and new characters, but I wish the stories were a bit more flushed out. They all have cool concepts behind them, but since they’re mostly told through short dialogue sequences, they don’t feel as epic as they should.
The toy like art style of this game is going to be a bit hit or miss for people. All of the playable characters in the game make it seem like the toys you bought have actually come to life. I could have used some more detail on some of the environments, and the game does suffer from minor screen stutters.
What people should realize though, is that this toy theme allows you to get away with some diabolical things in an E for everyone game. For instance you can take Mr. Incredible and terrorize Metrocity, sending cars flying in the air or smashing citizens into buildings, if these characters looked more real, the game would have likely received a different rating.
The audio in Disney Infinity really blew me away. All of the voices are spot on. You’ll likely be tricked into thinking you’re hearing the original voices for many of the characters, and, in some cases, you are. Several voice talents from the movies reprise their roles in Disney Infinity, such as Craig T. Nelson, who is once again playing Mr. Incredible.
When it comes to background music, you really can’t do much better than countless memorable Disney tracks. Some were from before my time, and some are only a couple years old, but they’re all classics
Wii U Features
With thousands of items and tools available to build with in Disney infinity, sifting through and managing what you have available can be a bit tough. This is why the Wii U GamePad is the perfect companion for Disney Infinity. The GamePad makes it much easier to scroll through your options as you customize your world.
Also, you can equip your character with various items, and only one item can be used at a time. Being able to simply tap the item you want on the GamePad to quickly equip it without having to pause the game, helps maintain the flow of the gameplay.
To sum things up, Disney Infinity is a great example of what Disney does best, taking an idea centered around entertaining children, and executing it in a way that captures the attention and imagination of all age groups.
+Varied gameplay that offers up something for everyone
+A variety of classic Disney melodies for background music
+Great voice cast
+Different mechanics in the playsets make each feel like a different game.
-Minor frame rate issues
-Story presentation feels weak
- Split-screen co-op requires characters outside the Starter Pack
Final Score 8.5/10
Have any of you been playing Disney Infinity? What are your thoughts on the game?