Written by Eric Gallegos
Disney Infinity is an ambitious rival to Skylander. With Disney Infinity, Disney aims to imitate Skylander’s success by merging video games with collectable toys. Disney took a huge risk and I am happy to say they were very successful.
Disney Infinity is sold as a starter pack that includes Sulley from Monsters Inc., Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles. The starter pack also includes a central hub where characters are placed on, the game disc itself, and one power-up disc. You can also purchase the Cars and The Lone Ranger Playsets. These offer two new worlds you can play in as you follow that particular world’s storyline. There are two modes of play in Disney Infinity: Playset and Toybox mode.
With the playset, you play through the story of the character you have placed on the hub. For example, if you place Sulley on the hub, you play through the world of Monsters University. It is to note that in the playset mode, you cannot use two characters who do not belong in the same franchise. So sadly, Sulley cannot play in the Pirates of the Caribbean world. The playset mode involves having your character complete an array of missions ranging from retrieval tasks to modifying buildings and people. These missions aren’t particularly challenging, but it does invoke a sense of nostalgia by being able to explore these well known worlds. Although these missions may become redundant, there is an addictive quality that keeps the player wanting more. Each playset has about five to eight hours of gameplay depending on one’s preference of collecting everything possible or not.
Completing missions allows you to earn items that may be used in the toy box mode. Monsters University items may be collected by playing the Monsters University playset, The Incredibles items may be collected by playing The Incredibles playset and so on. Disney has made it to where you have to complete each playset in order to be able to use those items in the toy box mode. So while it is not essential to play through the playset mode, purists may find themselves trying to collect everything in order to have access to all these items in the toy box mode.
The main draw of Disney Infinity is the toy box mode. This mode allows your creativity to run wild by creating your own world using many modifications from the Disney universe. Using the items you have collected through the playset worlds, the player is able to create their own universe as they see fit. Racetracks can be built, platformer levels can be created, and that is only touching the surface of what is available to you in this toybox mode. If by the chance you aren’t creative enough, Disney has allowed players to upload their own worlds and make the top five submissions available to download; this makes the replay level incredibly high.
At first glance, Disney Infinity is very pretty. Although not graphically amazing, the designers did a great job translating various Disney franchises and making you feel as though you are a part of that particular world. Sound and voice work is decent. Some characters are voiced superbly, but they mostly repeat the same phrases that can get quite annoying after awhile.
The main drawback of Disney Infinity is the cost of it all. Sure, the $75 dollar starter pack is sufficient enough, but if you want to play multiplayer in the playset mode, you need to buy another character from the same franchise which adds an extra $12 per character. Power-up discs allow for in game modifications to your character or an extra design for your toybox world. Two of these come in a pack and cost around $5, but you are unable to see which two you are going to get and you are more than likely going to get duplicates. This is a major drawback for those who want to collect everything. Although these power-up discs aren’t necessary, they are a nice collectable that open the possibilities for many trade events. Finally, the actual Disney Infinity figures are beautiful. The colors are very vibrant, the figure is sturdy, and it makes for a very nice collectable item.
Overall, Disney Infinity comes very recommended. It isn’t a difficult game, but it is one that can pass the hours very nicely. Although at a hefty cost, you can tell the amount of time Disney put in to make this game a reality. Minor flaws aside, the high replay value and nostalgia factor will help make this game a keeper for years to come.