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Toying Around: Hands On With Disney Infinity

Skylanders rival delivers.

Truth be told, before Disney Infinity, I hadn’t picked up a new release since Naughty Dog’s rather superb The Last Of Us. The summer shortage of games and wealth of content provided by Sony’s PlayStation Plus have kept me ticking over nicely as we edge ever closer towards the next console generation.

I didn’t plan on breaking my fast until struck by a wave of novelty, thanks to Disney’s latest gaming platform, Infinity. It was the same impulse I felt when splashing cash on PlayStation Move at launch as well as the 3DS thereafter and even a Vita further down the line.

However, with Disney Infinity, my motivations are different; I’m not just throwing cash at this latest gaming trend to pack my shelves with more clutter. No, for once I wanted to share the experience with family, namely my younger sister.

As most will know, with Disney Infinity the only place to start is the beginner’s kit, complete with three figures, three playsets, and all the additional peripherals to get started. TSA will have a more in-depth look at Infinity’s individual components further down the line but, put simply, the design and quality of the products are top notch and certainly help justify the steep asking price.

After the brief set-up and game install, I decided to get stuck straight in with Toy Box, Infinity’s marquee feature.

It has to be said that, after exploring the pre-designed area my with sister for a few minutes I felt a slight pang of regret. Everything seemed incredibly basic and somewhat dumbed down; sure, she was enjoying herself, but I was becoming increasingly sceptical. Even though the game was never aimed at a mature audience, I was still expecting to have some fun myself.

These first impressions were deceiving, however; after all, the key to Disney’s Toy Box is creating your own environments and challenges, not wandering around aimlessly hoping the adventure will come to you.

After a few hours I came back to Infinity, alone, and decided to hit up one of the game’s Playsets. It’s best to think of these as games within their own right, each said to offer 6-8 hours of story driven content and a plethora of collectibles and side missions.

Having heard that The Incredibles is perhaps the weakest of the three, I’ve been casually dipping in and out of the Playset. Within the first ten minutes I had a similar feeling to that while strolling around that first, featureless Toy Box. However, just as I was beginning to tire of the simplistic combat and navigation, Infinity began to reward me with new actions, gadgets, and items. Soon I was able to combo my attacks more effectively, drive around Metroville in a car, and even glide between rooftops.

Gameplay, it seems, starts off with the very basics and gradually begins to develop. There is a limit on how expansive Infinity becomes but by the time I hit that barrier, I was still having fun. If you want to hear more you’ll have to hold out for our full review which is coming soon. However, I just wanted to cover pricing for those concerned.

In order to tackle the starter kit’s Playsets with a local partner, you need to have two figures from that particular universe. For instance, the Pirates Playset requires Jack Sparrow and either Barbossa or Davy Jones to access splitscreen. With characters ranging from £12-15 a crack it seems a bit cheeky but definitely enhances the experience. If you’re dead set on playing with a partner, you should either pick up the Sidekicks or Villains packs, bundling three figures together for £25-35.

  1. jimmy-google
    Since: Feb 2009

    I had a day yesterday playing the Monsters University section which wasn’t too bad. It was a bit like the toybox mode in Toy Story 3 merged with story based missions. I spent about 8 hours on it and hadn’t quite completed every side mission/challenge.

    The quality of the figures impressed me but I’m not too keen on the fact that there areas you need the other characters to access them. One area requires 3 characters from the same playset. I imagine if you buy carefully with friends you can either swap the figures around or connect online.

    If you buy a playset with 2 characters (around £30) that doesn’t seem too bad as that’s the going rate for a game. You get the added bonus of taking it all into ToyBox mode.

    I spent £48 on the start set for the PS3 which doesn’t feel too bad.

    Comment posted on 27/08/2013 at 12:47.
  2. gaffers101
    Since: Oct 2008

    I spent the weekend playing about with Disney Infinity too. My son got the starter pack and a free figure with the Asda pre-order.

    I too was a little disappointed at first, constantly comparing the Toy Box mode to Little Big Planet, however once I checked out some of the ‘how to’ videos on YouTube I realised that once you’ve unlocked some of the special toys, like switches and boost ramps, etc the potential is pretty good and very simple to use.

    The down side is that most of the usable items have to be unlocked using random spins in the vault – very annoying!! My son and I played hours of mini games and the single player levers to unlock enough pieces of track to make a decent race circuit – and we sill haven’t managed to get the finish line yet due the the completely random nature of the spins!!!

    All in all my son’s 10 and he thinks it’s great, I just hope that in future there is free DLC rather than the paid for or unlocked through the random spin system.

    Comment posted on 27/08/2013 at 13:20.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Since: Nov 2009

      I think there will be an even mix. Disney has already announced a load of free bits and bobs for the Toy Box. However, I would imagine that any additional playable content will come exclusively as new Playsets.

      With that said, it would be cool to see them expand the current Playsets with new gadgets, areas etc.

      Comment posted on 27/08/2013 at 17:52.
      • gaffers101
        Since: Oct 2008

        I’ve just done a bit of searching and they are going to do weekly free toy boxes to download and play with. Some are already on the Disney’s Toy Boxes option. The Wonderland Maze is pretty cool.

        Comment posted on 27/08/2013 at 18:55.

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