The possibilities with Disney Infinity are, well, infinite. But is it worth your hard-earned money?
Milestone: this is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a video game, which is tragic because I love them as much as I love movies. I couldn’t resist, however, since Disney Infinity is a concept and execution I’ve been waiting for since I first saw Toy Story.
The concept is easy enough to explain: take almost every Disney character and property you can think of and mash it all up into one massive game world. Your characters are powered by literal toys that come with the starter pack. Like Skylanders, you simply place the character you want to play as on the included mat and your character appears onscreen.
Though Disney movies and characters are different stylistically, Infinity solves this problem by rendering everything as a “toy.” You are essentially playing with one massive toy box and that is the theme of the entire game. And it’s awesome.
First off, the game simply looks great. Using the toy theme allowed Infinity to make the visuals gorgeous, which was one of my few apprehensions going into this.
As for gameplay, well that’s a little harder to explain. You have two main options: you can play one of Infinity’s “play sets,” which are the closest things the game gets to a story mode, or you can play in the “toy box,” where there are no rules.
Play sets are game worlds exclusive to the characters of that world. You can’t play as Jack Sparrow in Monsters University, for example. Instead, you play various missions for each of these game worlds and learn new skills for your characters.
Each play set takes just a few hours to complete, and some are more fun than others. The missions are repetitive, the world is naturally more restricting (you can’t edit anything) and you can’t play as other characters in that world.
In comparison, the toy box mode is vastly superior. Here, you can customize your Infinity experience exactly to your liking. You can create multiple toy box worlds or jump into one that is pre-made by Disney.
The game gives you a magic wand, reminiscent of Epic Mickey, that allows you to edit or delete objects in the game world. Want to create a bridge to that floating island? Simply access the editor and place one there. Want to get rid of that wall so you can get inside a building? Use the magic want to erase that wall from existence.
The catch to Disney Infinity is that it requires creativity and imagination. The more you are of either, the more fun you’re going to get out of this game.
The straightforward experience of the story modes aren’t good enough in their own right to sell this game, but even they are a ton of fun if you develop a sense of adventure that the game eggs you on about.
Disney Infinity is about moments. The best part about these moments is that you have ownership over them. For me, my moments were diverse and made me smile almost constantly.
One minute I was riding water-slides in DisneyLand with other players, another I was playing paintball as Sully with a bunch of monsters and another I was rescuing Bambi from a treacherous maze in Wonderland.
The experience is exactly as the game suggests: Infinite.
That said, the game is far more fun with friends than it is without. You can do two player co-op, which is just as fun to play as it is to watch. If you have kids, this is a great game to introduce to them.
Kids simply get this game, in a way that I never will. Because their imaginations are basically endless, they’ll come up with unbelievably fun games and new ways to mess with the game world that is fun to watch.
As for characters, a major benefit to this game is that each character has their own style and abilities.
- As Mr. Incredible, I was stronger and better at combat
- As Randy, I could turn invisible and be stealthy
- As Syndrome, I could levitate objects and so on.
Because each character is so different, it’s fun to experiment with different ones and keep the gameplay fresh.
Going into this, one of my biggest fears was that the game would be pretty ruthless about providing tons of ways to coerce money out of you. While there are certainly many ways for you to stretch your wallet for add-ons and of course, new figures to play as, the starter pack actually gives you a generous amount of gameplay and content that will keep you satisfied.
The $75 price tag manages to pull a lot of bang for your buck, at least in comparison to typical $60 games. The pack gives you a toy box disc at random (mine was Wonderland), as well as the Infinity pad and three figurines.
Each figurine is about $13, so they can get pretty pricey as well. Still, getting a new one every few months seems like a decent deal. I could absolutely see myself getting a new disc and figurine come holiday season (once I’ve demolished GTA V).
Also, the possible prospect of playing future game worlds that incorporate Star Wars or Marvel characters (they are Disney, after all) is something to definitely look forward to as more and more features for Infinity are released.
IS IT WORTH BUYING?
Here’s the verdict: if you have a ton of imagination, friends or kids that do and you love Disney in general, then this is a must-buy. If you’re not too sure, consider waiting until more deals come out for the holidays that may make the purchase more sensible for you.