‘Disney Infinity 3.0’ Review
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC
Genre Action-Adventure Platform Played PlayStation 4 Publisher Disney Interactive Studios
Developers Avalanche Studio, Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, Studio Gobo, United Front Games
Disney Infinity 3.0 makes huge improvements over Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes, but unfortunately a few persistent issues keep it from becoming the definitive toys-to-life experience.
The Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack has some issues with a lack of overall content in comparison to last year’s iteration. Instead of three characters, there are now two, and missing are the extra expansions discs that were included last year; making Disney Infinity 3.0 light on content out of the box. Though most of the features within Disney Infinity 3.0 feel densely packed with content, the lack of content within the package is noticeable.
Disney 3.0 is centered on the Star Wars brand, with the included Twilight of the Republic Play Set allowing players to visit a variety of iconic locations from the Star Wars universe. This is certainly one of the most prevalent strengths of the included Play Set, instead of forcing us into one small area like last year’s release. Twilight of the Republic’s focus on multiple locations makes the entire experience feel fresh throughout the 6 hours play time. These locations range from the desert of Tatooine, the urban landscape of Coruscant and, even the space systems surrounding each location. Each locale stays true to the Star Wars brand and feels like a definite love letter to the universe. Space flights however do feel less exciting than land based combat. These areas mostly feature empty space and utilising the new selections of ships in combat, doesn’t even compare to genuine excitement that the land based combat offers.
Twilight of the Republic’s story finds a way to tie together most of the iconic characters from this time period in the Star Wars universe, which is set during the latter years of the Clone Wars. The story is very basic, with players aiming to find out who is the mastermind behind the Separatists. Unlike the Avengers Play Set, missions are mostly linear, but are made entertaining due to the riveting combat (more on that later). Aside from the main quests there are dozens upon dozens of side missions, though most of these can be completed within a minute or less and offers almost zero entertainment. These are usually fetch quests, returning animals and destroying a number of items. There are a few standout missions with a wave based arena, and even podracing-based missions. Though both of these were easily my favourites, they are certainly limited in scope compared to the expansion discs that were offers with Disney Infinity 2.0.
As previously mentioned, combat in Disney Infinity 3.0 is excellent. Though the combat may seem basic at first, learning the correct way to utilise the Force and Lightsabers combinations can create some lethal damage. Lightsabers feel genuinely powerful, with each character from the Starter Pack featuring their own special move. Anakin will utilise the Force, while Ahsoka will throw her dual Lightsabers for damage on multiple enemies. Not to mention the slow motion scenes that accompany the climatic attack of each battle; which though sound cheesy offer an amazing emphasis on epic encounters.
Disney Infinity 3.0 also introduces difficulty levels, ranging from Easy to Extreme; for those looking for more challenge. Even a number of enemies will require tactical strategies to be cut them down. For instance one enemy will block your attacks and counter them, knowing when to dodge and attack from behind is crucial; while another will escape to the air, requiring Force techniques to bring them back to Earth.
Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano are the two figures that accompany the Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack, and despite lacking the quantity from Disney Infinity 2.0, they certainly make up for in quality. The accompanying Star Wars characters feel genuinely more fun and utilise many more control inputs than previous Disney Infinity figures. These variations made transitioning back to previous Disney Infinity characters a challenge, since these two Starter Pack figures are so well versed and enjoyable to use.
One of the most impressive improvements in Disney Infinity 3.0 is the Toy Box Hub, a new area allowing players to move from one mode to another with ease; mostly removing the atrocious wait on load times from Disney Infinity 2.0. The Toy Box Hub is filled with helpful tutorials in to all the features throughout Disney Infinity 3.0, alongside dozens of bite sized races, platforming levels and puzzles to complete. I spent hours exploring each section of the Toy Box Hub, messing around and learning new mechanics; all the while having a blast.
Throughout the Toy Box Hub players can explore multiple game modes, including the returning Interior Mode. Like last year this mode has a lot of potential as you create and decorate your own home. Messing around with decorations is a blast and the bite-sized missions help liven up the mode, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t many additions to the mode overall. Going from 2.0 to 3.0 there is very little difference, aside from new items; which is a shame. Sidekicks also have their own section within the Toy Box Hub, where players can get their Sidekicks to farm, feed them and even dress them in battle attire. I certainly enjoyed these Sidekick options, but wish there were more modes in which I could utilise their abilities. Sure you can make them plant food, or even have them help create within the Toy Box, but I couldn’t help but feel they were underutilised. Sidekicks have some great features, and here’s hoping they get explored further in 4.0.
Last year I found the features of Creation Mode in Disney Infinity were amazingly in-depth, but unfortunately they were very hard to master due to the lack of depth tutorials. Though Disney Infinity 3.0 does offer more tutorials, a lot of the in-depth items that can truly create something outstanding are not fully explained. I found myself slowly getting the hang of the possibilities these items can deliver after two games, but since Disney Infinity is squarely aimed at children I think the lack of explanation will certainly make these items underutilised. Even though some may be unable to create in-depth levels, they are still able to enjoy the community selection of levels with the online sharing features. In the end having fun is the main objective of Creation Mode and though the lack of tutorials hurts, Disney Infinity 3.0 does offer ways for players to create something substantial in a simple fashion.
The new Toy Dispenser is able to deliver random toys for constant enjoyment; simply messing around with the enemies and vehicles that appear is great fun. Basic levels can also be built using your Sidekicks, who can be outfitted with certain items to build levels. For example, I was able to have my Sidekicks build Aladdin themed buildings with a Tron theme, creating a unique combination of different Disney worlds. Unfortunately when I tried using Sidekicks when playing with another player, Creation Mode became barely playable. The Creation Mode continued to freeze and suffer from substantial frame rate drops throughout the two player creation time. This is a small issue, but certainly avoiding utilising Sidekick abilities within Creation when with another player.
Disney Infinity 3.0 does also offer a range of online competitive modes, which are a genuine blast; when they actually work. Throughout several hours of attempting to enjoy these modes I was able to experience only 10 matches, suffering through horrible waiting times of 30 minutes or more, or simply being kicked back to the main menu for no reason at all. This is a huge disappointment because the levels on offer are great fun; these include King of the Hill, a Splatoon-like mode and racing variants. These levels may be fun, but enduring such lengthy load times, while suffering random technical issues, certainly ruined what could have been one of the best features of Disney Infinity 3.0.
Though the Toy Box Hub itself does alleviate many of the load time issues I encountered in 2.0, Disney Infinity 3.0 still does suffer from lengthy load times. Utilising the Toy Box Hub did allow me to avoid as many load times as 2.0, but it’s still ridiculous when load times can take upwards of 30 seconds when encountered. Aside from the technical issues I experienced in Creation Mode, Disney Infinity 3.0 runs well most of the time; with a few game crashes experienced in Twilight of the Republic. Luckily, the Twilight of the Republic Play Set features generous checkpoints, which meant I never suffered from losing much progress when these crashes occurred.
In terms of improvement, Disney Infinity 3.0 is a step in the right direction. The latest entry in the franchise embraces its Star Wars theme with great care, offering iconic locales and the best combat the series has seen thus far.
Though the figures included in the Starter Pack offer a great deal of variety, it’s hard to avoid the elephant in the room, which is the lack of overall content included within the base package. Creation Mode now offers easy ways to have fun, without worrying about the in-depth creation tools; but it’s a shame Disney Infinity still struggles to explain these features clearly.
Though not perfect, Disney Infinity 3.0 is not only one of the best toys-to-life experiences around, but also one of the best Star Wars themed games that has been released in some time.
Variety of iconic Star Wars
Entertaining and varied combat.
Enjoyable Starter Pack characters.
New ways to have instead fun when creating…
…unfortunately many creation methods are left unexplained.
Less content than Disney Infinity 2.0.
Broken online features.
The Score: 7.6
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