Disney Infinity 3.0 Review: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Posted in Kulturecade by - September 28, 2015
Disney Infinity 3.0 Review: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The toys to life genre of gaming is something that caught my attention the first time I saw the reveal trailers for Skylanders back in 2011. Anytime that a game requires some sort of special inputs, I’ve always found it interesting, be it the instruments from Rock Band and Guitar Hero, the Dreamcast fishing rod, or even Para Para Paradise‘s movement tracking controller. So, it isn’t hard to believe that my curiosity got the best of me that first holiday season, and I left my local Toys ‘R Us with a Skylanders game in hand. Fast forward a year and we came to the release of the first Disney Infinity. This game caught my attention more than Skylanders for the mere fact that it featured characters that I had a nostalgic connection to from being a huge Disney fan since my youth. Unlike Skylanders though, I resisted the urge to pick up Infinity due to the money sink it would become, and I continued to resist that urge for two more years. My spirit was finally broken by two words: Star Wars. That’s right, with the third game in the Infinity series focusing on hype for the upcoming Star Wars film, I couldn’t help but finally let myself get dragged in. I had to wonder if I had fallen victim to a cleverly marketed licensed game, or if this would be something I could really enjoy.

Infinity 3.0‘s creation suite, Toy Box 3.0, is undoubtedly the biggest draw for the game thanks to the tremendous support from Disney Interactive and the Infinity fan community. When you begin the game you are dropped into a white hub world with a number of Disney characters surrounding you. Each one will offer a brief tutorial on the different aspects of Infinity‘s game play, including platforming, driving, combat, and creation. Each of these also offers a few missions after you finish the tutorial which shows you different ways that each of these play styles can be handled to give players a taste of the various options that are available to them, should they choose to create their own game worlds.

The creation tools themselves are quite deep, allowing for various game play styles and customization options. Some examples would include creating a third person shooter, using a style similar to Splatoon, creating combat based racing games, or even creating your own side-scrolling 2.5D platforming game. While much of the game’s content will need to be unlocked over time, there are plenty of options for budding designers and creatively inclined folks to makes some amazing content, and thanks to levels from the previous two Infinity games being forward compatible, there are already many player-created worlds to explore and see just what these creation tools are capable of, or at least to have extra content to continue playing the games with your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars Characters.

Each of the game’s play styles have also seen a marked improvement from the previous Infinity title, with combat feeling much more fluid than previous entries, especially with 3.0 characters, and the addition of a better combo system for melee combat based characters. Thanks to the involvement of Sumo Digital, the racing game play has also seen a dramatic improvement over 2.0, with vehicles offering much tighter controls and an all around better game feel. These improvements, along with other game play refinements, show that Disney Interactive and its partner studios are serious about listening to player feedback and continuing to give us a better product with each new iteration.

While I only briefly played Infinity 2.0 on the Xbox One prior to obtaining Infinity 3.0, I feel that everything about the game’s presentation has seen at least a minor upgrade. The game’s graphics appear to be smoother than last year’s version, and I love how the game’s art style really allows for all these characters from different films and universes to come together and not feel like their styles clash with one another. The game’s frame rate also seems to have improved, as unlike 2.0, I have yet to run into any issues with the frame rate stuttering during normal game play in either the Toybox or the two campaigns that I currently own. The game’s audio completely knocks it out of the park by offering songs from the various films and franchises featured in the game. Settings and backgrounds from a certain series will having music from that film or television show play during game play. For example, when using the Gravity Falls sky map for the game play, the Gravity Falls intro song and a couple of pieces of background music from the show are used for the accompaniment. Looking at Infinity 3.0 strictly from a presentation standpoint, I could say that it feels the most complete of the toys to life games currently available on the market today.

Disney Infinity feels like a complete package, from its great audio and video presentation to its incredible creation suite. Pair that with support from the developer and community alike, and you get a game with an incredible amount of content. While getting into the game and obtaining a host of figures and play sets can be a little on the pricey side, this is a title I feel you could simply buy the starter set for and get a lot of enjoyment and play out of, even with a small commitment to the game. For those long time players out there, Infinity 3.0 also supports all previously released figures and power discs from 1.0 and 2.0, so if you’re a long time fan, you’ve likely already purchased the game. I have had a lot more fun with Infinity than I was expecting, and I am enjoying it far more than I enjoyed my experiences with the first three Skylanders titles. I give Infinity my highest recommendation, and feel that it is something that everyone should at least try, especially if you are, or have ever been, a fan or Disney or its many films and series.

Final Say: Play It

This post was written by
He is a senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A seasoned gamer, Zach has been playing video games since the early 90s and have owned everything from the NES to the Xbox One. Aside from video games, Zach is a nerd of all trades and dabbles in everything from collectible card games to Gunpla.
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