Review: Disney Infinity
By Sean Booker
September 11, 2013 - 19:00
Studios: Avalanche Software
Rating: E10 (Everyone 10 and Up)
Genre: Action Adventure
Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, Xbox 360, PC
Players: 1-2 local (1-4 online)
Disney Infinity enters the toys-to-games genre with a great selection of your favorite brands but offers up a lackluster amount of enjoyment. Each character you purchase and enter into your game will unlock a story mode specific to their franchise but these end up being short and incredibly boring. The game shines much more with the inclusion of it’s Toy Box mode that offers up a wealth of options in order to customize and make your own creations. Apart from that though there isn’t much fun to Disney Infinity.
It’s hard not to bring up the Skylanders franchise when talking about how Disney Infinity works. Both series require placing real-world figures onto a panel and use near field communication to scan the figure and incorporate them into the video game itself. Disney Infinity’s offers a great selection of characters to choose from. The starter set includes Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, Sully from Monsters University and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. From there you can purchase additional characters from many other Disney franchises and even more are scheduled for the months to come. The figures seem to be high quality and are pretty cool to have around outside of the game. Each character will be part of a different world that you can also buy (the starter pack comes with all three corresponding worlds) and additional characters will unlock new worlds or more content.
It’s disappointing that collecting these figures might end up being more fun than what they unlock. The main gameplay in these worlds is a series of quests you can take on that will have you performing different actions around the area. For example: Squishy from Monsters University will ask Sully to go and scare a few people for him. The downside is that most of these quests are extremely bland and uninteresting as they end up being little more than one fetch quest after another (a quest where your goal is to simply collect something and that’s all). Too many times I found that my goal was running from one side of the map to the other, just to punch a couple guys before running back and getting a very similar quest to follow. Even the story specific quests end up being this boring and will take up about two hours in order to finish. There is a lot of these to play through though outside of the main story line if you desire as well as a good amount of random collectibles to run around finding. It’s unfortunate that the main gameplay is so uninspiring in Disney Infinity.
The characters themselves also don’t handle very nicely. For the most part they feel a little sluggish when controlling them and always seemed a split second off of my inputs. As well, I saw a number of odd texture problems when playing that added to the ‘cheap’ like feel to some of these areas. These along with the quest variation caused me to not have much fun playing through these stories.
Along with these boring quests is an obvious realization as to which characters were given more attention when crafting their worlds. Some have a ton of more gameplay elements and content to explore compared to others. For example: the Monsters University world is made up of about two main areas that are quite similar to one another; compare this to the Pirates of the Caribbean world that has a large number of islands you can visit to explore/climb around on as well as full naval combat mechanics to the sailing (very similar to what we saw in Assassin’s Creed 3). It should be noted that even though some worlds are more fleshed out, the majority of the missions you’ll take on are still basically fetch quests. This difference in scope is odd and makes me very hesitant about purchasing future installments. Favorite characters and franchises might end up having dull areas to explore so do your research before buying.
Apart from character figures you can also purchase discs that contain items and environments to enter into the game that are usable in the Toy Box mode. This mode is where Disney Infinity has the most promise. Toy Box allows you to create your own worlds and fill them with whatever items you’ve unlocked or purchased in real life and transferred in. Many of these items are found in the character specific worlds and must be sought out for as well as some only being available with specific characters (again, enticing you to buy more figures outside the game). Toy Box mode is great due to the sheer scale of what you can do and create. You can also upload these online to share with others and search out for ones that interest you. The developers also upload their own worlds from time to time which is great to see. However, these user created areas don’t have any written quests to play through so you’re literally running through great looking, empty cities and whatever else. If player creation is something you enjoy then there are some great tools to utilize here.
Disney Infinity is a series of disappoints surrounding a very cool customization tool box. The figures themselves look and feel great but the content they unlock in game isn’t really that fun. But the variety of Disney franchises you have to pick from allows for something for everyone and there’s even more content coming soon. You’re going to have the most fun in the Toy Box mode if player created content is something you’re interested in. And it’s great to see the developers are putting out more worlds to play with. Disney Infinity isn’t that fun of a game to play and if you’re interested then I hope you like creating content.
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