Earlier this week I was invited by Disney Singapore to attend the briefing of the Disney Infinity 3.0 game that would be released on 30th August 2015. Aside from getting my retailer’s kit (pictured below) I also got the chance to experience some of the game.
Notebook, poster, preorder card (Singapore only), Mulan (YAY!), and C3P0 Key chain if you can see it. hehe.
The briefing was presented by the producer of the game, James Moffit, who flew all the way to Malaysia (and is now in Phillipines as part of his next tour) in explaining the key elements of 3.0. This time around, the starter pack will include the Twilight of the Republic Playset which is based on the latest Disney property, Star Wars. The Playset will be included in all 3.0 starter packs which includes the software, the Disney Infinity 3.0 Platform, Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka figurines, a web code card and the Twilight of the Republic figurine that powers up the game.
Disney Infinity 3.0 may just be Disney’s best push into the interactive toys to life genre with all the best of Disney properties in 1 playground. Ever wanted to see Iron Man take on Han Solo? Here’s your chance. Or Mickey and Captain America joining forces with Luke Skywalker taking on Darth Vader and Loki? (Trust me, you don’t want to say NOOOOOOO to that) Disney Infinity 3.0 is not only capable of making your wildest dreams possible, it’s also a pretty sturdy game from what limited time I had.
Hands on Time.
3.0 will have 5 play sets at the end of it’s cycle. After launch, there will be Twilight of the Republic which focuses on the Clone Wars and the original episodes 1 to 3 of Star Wars. A month later, we will be getting the Rise Against the Empire Play Set, which focuses on Episodes 4 to 6 and Disney’s Inside Out. While I didn’t have the chance to play Inside Out, the preview videos are making it similar to a platforming based adventure that looks very faithful to the movies. Later in 2016 they will introduce The Force Awakens Playset and Marvel’s Battlegrounds (which allows you to pit the Hulkbuster against Ultron. YAY!)
But as for Twilight of the Republic, I am really liking it so far.
My play test began after someone beat General Grievous for me. And immediately, I was transported to space for a space battle. As for you Star Wars fans, everything happens in pure Star Wars fashion. The camera pans, the background story roll that happens at the beginning, it’s all there. So, don’t worry, it feels as authentic as a Star Wars journey should feel.
The space combat however is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The controls are fine, but I’m not so positive in the camera movement of the game when the right analog stick is used for turning the ship around, barrel rolls and what not. Descending felt very weird when you’re moving forward and not diving instead. Although, to be fair, the controls on the game were slightly limited.
After finishing the easy missions in Space, I was then required to land at a nearby planet called Coruscant. After taking a mission from Mace Windu, this is where the actual fun begins. LIGHTSABER TIME YO!
In the whole game, there were 8 studios involved in developing the game. Why 8? Don’t ask. But Ninja Theory (infamously credited for DmC: Devil May Cry) was in charge of combat. And boy the lightsaber combat is fun. Gone are the repetitive button mash that was necessary in 1.0 and 2.0 (and Lego games too. Cough) and replaced with a slightly smarter and still feels badass way in being a Jedi. Sure, children can still mash the Triangle button in hopes of injuring baddies, but veteran players will now be able to evade, dash, air juggle and perform finishers while looking badass. Heck, the pause mechanic from DmC is also implemented here as well. While I do think the Arkham series have set the bar for ground combat, Ninja Theory’s attempt so far has been pretty good and definitely feels rewarding to be a Jedi.
For the playset alone, I was told that it will take 5 hours to finish the main storyline (my review may say otherwise later). Completionists (and rich people who can afford the Infinity figurines) may be spending close to 15 hours just to get the whole meat’s worth of the Playset. While my hands on is still too early to give a decisive judgment, I like what I see in terms of gameplay, platforming segments and downright Star Wars goodness.
Mickey Kart 3.0
A new addition to me was the Kart racing mechanics in 3.0 called Toybox Speedway. Wanting to emulate the success of Mario Kart 8 on the WiiU, the experiment is pretty much ok to me. While MK8 is probably the most balanced of all kart racers, 3.0’s version is not so balanced as I hoped it would. Apparently, if you’re number 1, there’s no blue shell that can be triggered to take the leader down. So, if you’re fast, you’re definitely fast. Power ups, boosts, weapons are present. And ridiculously, you can also choose… a spinning tea cup as your kart. I KID YOU NOT. Apparently SOMEONE thought it was a good idea to have Alice in Wonderlands crazy cups as a kart. It floats without wheels! What’s next? A Delorean? That wasn’t a rant though, I would probably suggest the big ass Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean next. Complete with Jack Sparrow in it. But in all fairness, boosting by drifting is a good idea, and the kart racing serves as good fun for the whole family.
Toy Box of Wonders and Disney’s Diablo?
Just when you thought the Toy Box mode could not get any better, it has been improved further as 6 sets of small subsections that kids can learn how to utilise their game designing skills. And for the first time ever, Farming is included! So those who love to play Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons should give this a good shot. While I could not play this part further, expect me to find some good time with it during my review later.
Another announced mode is a topdown inspired-by-Diablo dungeon crawler called Toybox Takeover. Syndrome from the Incredibles has taken Merlin’s magic wand and is taking over the whole of Toy Box world. So, you’re job, GET TO HIM! Just like how Diablo feels, you can use any Disney character to and go through levels, gaining levels and loot and when it’s all done and dusted, you get to fight a big boss for it. This will have to wait when I give my final verdict.
Final Thoughts (For now)
Disney Infinity 1.0 was the start of what felt would have been possible. And then slowly, our dreams got bigger and bigger. 3.0 aims to deliver your dreams that only you thought is possible. While Skylanders has remained consistent with it’s offerings, Disney Infinity 3.0 may just be successful in showing everyone what is so fun about the Toys to Life genre. 30th August 2015 feels so far now.