‘Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes’ Review
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, iOS
Publisher Disney Interactive Studios Developer Avalanche Software
Genre Action-Adventure Platform Played PlayStation 4
The fusion of video game products and collectable toys has been a financial revolution for the gaming industry over the last few years. Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes is the second iteration of the Disney Infinity franchise, which allows players to now enjoy a selection of Marvel’s finest characters. That said, despite Disney Infinity 2.0’s expansive Toy Box mode and enjoyable leveling system, it ultimately falls short. Though Disney Infinity 2.0 provides some fun, the lack of content and absent features leave players with a short and shallow experience.
Disney Infinity 2.0’s single player Play Set can be completed in around 5-6 hours, with each mission throughout the adventure feeling eerily similar to the last. The handful of main story-missions involve our heroes trying to stop Loki from taking over Manhattan and turning it into a frozen wasteland, with the help of an army of frost-giants. These missions include some fun commentary between our heroes and some challenging moments, but it doesn’t take long to realise you will be doing the same mission set-up again, and again, and again.
This is because each mission (including the multitude of side-quests) involve the same structure, which had me constantly defending a certain item, defeating a number of enemies within an area, or even in one case, moving a box. Side-missions are gathered from characters throughout the city, with a small text introduction before the mission is underway. Disney Infinity 2.0 is squarely aimed at children, which may be the reasoning behind these uninspired levels. These missions wouldn’t be so noticeably repetitive if it wasn’t for the lifeless and bland city players are subjected to.
Having reviewed LEGO Marvel Super Heroes last year, Disney Infinity 2.0’s rendition of Manhattan is small and limited. For example, if you get to close to the city’s limits, you will be greeted with a quick flash as your character is sent the other way; the lack of in-game map also makes figuring out where you can and cannot explore a confusing process. Another problem with Disney Infinity 2.0’s recreation of Marvel’s Manhattan is the lack of defining qualities; despite the Avenger’s Tower, there are basically no other key-locations found in the city, leaving a generic rendition of a Manhattan that could have housed many iconic Marvel locales.
Disney Infinity 2.0’s visuals throughout the main Play-Set are plagued by a dull visual-style, due to the frost giant storyline. Due to Manhattan’s frost-giant problem, ice and snow are riddled throughout the city, leaving a bland visual palette in its wake. This is unfortunate, since other modes utilise a bright colour scheme and allow the cartoon visuals of Disney Infinity to let loose. Disney Infinity 2.0 doesn’t rival LEGO Marvel’s visual presence, but when colours and style are allowed to flourish, Disney Infinity delivers its own unique visual appearance.
Each character included in the Disney Infinity 2.0 starter pack feels unique, allowing two player local cooperative play; with figurines from the original Disney Infinity also playable. Black Widow will chain together lethal physical combos, Thor will utilise Mjolnir and call upon the thunder from above to strike his enemies, while Iron Man will utilise his suits to destroy foes. Each character also has their own unique special ability, which can be unlocked by leveling-up. Disney Infinity 2.0’s meaningful leveling system allows each upgrade to significantly alter how characters will play. Playing with friends? Increase your revive time. Focusing on close combat attacks? Upgrade your melee damage. Each level on the way to reaching the new level 20 cap feels important.
Aside from the included Play Set, players will also have access to two substantial modes – ‘Escape from the Kyln’ and ‘Assault on Asgard’. ‘Escape from the Kyln’ is a Diablo-styled loot adventure, where I made my way through levels with a sidekick in order to find better loot that your sidekick will utilise to become stronger. On the other hand, ‘Assault on Asgard’ is a tower-defence mode where I used Asgardian objects to help defend particular items.
Both modes offer interesting gameplay experiences that introduce more unique ideas than the Play-Set adventure. There is enough content within these modes to provide a lengthy fun experience, alongside a 50 round survival mode that can take upwards of three hours to complete. These unique modes provided me with some of my best times in Disney Infinity 2.0, which made me wish there were more interesting gameplay ideas instead of the Play Set that was included.
Disney Infinity 2.0’s greatest offering is the Toy Box mode, which is essentially the creation suite in-which players can use to create their own levels and share them with other players online. I was impressed by how many options were available and how technical a created Toy Box can be if you know how to utilise the astounding range of items on offer. Disney Infinity 2.0 also does an amazing job at offering a substantial amount of fan-service, with a plethora of items the players can purchase and use to decorate their own homes in the new INterior mode; which is essentially a way for players to show off their collection of purchased items within their own created home.
The Toy Box’s main problem is how it explains each item available, with very little detail or clarification given for the more complicated creation tools. LittleBigPlanet’s creation suite has become renowned for its simple creation process, due the excessive amount of tutorials which allow anyone to create a substantial level. Toy Box mode offers a marvelous set of tools, but the lack of explanation as to what these tools actually do may make it hard to create, especially since Disney Infinity 2.0 is clearly aimed at children.
Disney Infinity 2.0’s biggest drawback is the bevy of technical issues, such as the incessant lengthy load times and confusing reliance on an online connection. Due to the lack of being able to switch between modes from a universal in-game menu, I was constantly forced to visit the main screen before visiting my desired mode. This meant I had to endure a handful of 30-40 second load times before getting to where I wanted to go. Disney Infinity 2.0 is mostly an offline experience, but whenever my internet connection struggled for whatever reason, Disney Infinity 2.0 became almost unplayable. I was constantly experiencing game freezes and an insane amount of frame-rate drops that could last up to half a minute each. The online issues occurred at two separate locations using bother wired and wireless internet, which makes me believe this is a definite problem with Disney Infinity 2.0.
The feeling of placing your figurine on the Disney Infinity base, only to see it come to life before your eyes within the virtual world is phenomenal. But, unfortunately, this process isn’t revolutionary anymore, and Disney Infinity 2.0 must rest on the content available. This is where Disney Infinity 2.0 struggles to provide an endearing experience compared to similar titles available.
Despite an extensive creation suite that has the potential to provide some excellent user-generated -content, the single player Play Set experience feels empty. LEGO Marvel’s 2013 offering provides a similar, yet superior offering, one that doesn’t suffer from the plague of technical issues I encountered. Disney Infinity 2.0’s absurd length of load times and technical problems hold back the entire experience.
There is fun to be had in Disney Infinity 2.0 and children may love the addition of their favourite Marvel heroes; sadly it is hidden between long load-times, repetitive missions, and a bland Play Set experience.
Entertaining side modes
Leveling your character feels significant
An outstanding creation suite…
… despite the lack of explanation
Repetitive mission structure
Technical problems throughout
Short, bland, and lifeless Play Set world
The Score: 6.5
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