When I heard of Disney Infinity a few years ago, I saw an opportunity for the brand to expand and ease discovery off its various universes.
As the game evolved, new additions were implemented within it that made it a lot more fun, enjoyable, memorable and most importantly, expanded its creativity potential. Disney Infinity 3.0 is without a doubt an evolved version of its predecessors.
While sitting with Infinity 3.0 producer Mathew Solie, I have learned a lot more about the game’s current standing, the newly added features, the potential it has as game when it comes to creating Toy Boxes, and where the development team will take the franchise from there. After looking into various other franchises, this one definitely classifies as one to be put under the radar; its improvements over the past years only pulls it in one direction, up.
The main noticeable element of improvement in Disney Infinity 3.0, in my opinion, has to be the new gameplay mechanics they’ve added. For instance, the combat system is a lot more advance and the racing mechanics make a lot more sense than how they did in versions 1.0 and 2.0. During my time at the Disney booth at E3, it was confirmed to me that there are eight addition studios that have worked in collaboration with Avalanche Studio to bring to life this third iteration of the Infinity series. So far, we know that the following developers have put in their work in the game: Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, United Front Games and Studio Gobo.
At E3, Disney Interactive showcased a few new 3.0 elements:
- New toys from Star Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Inside Out, Tron and more
- Rise Against the Empire Play Set
- Twilight of the Republic Play Set
- Speedway and Takeover Toy Boxes
While there are two showcased Play Sets that take place in the Star Wars universe, they are completely different from one another. The Rise Against the Empire set takes place during the original trilogy and features key players such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Darth Vader and more. On the other hand, the Twilight of the Republic Play Set takes place during Episode 1 through 3, which involves characters such as Darth Maul, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda and more. Additionally, Disney told me that for the first time ever, characters from the Star Wars lore will be enable for use in any Star Wars themed Play Sets.
As a whole, the game looks a lot more polished when it comes to visuals and graphics. The lighting and shadow effects make a lot more sense and end up making the game a lot more comfortable to the eyes. The special effect are also worth mentioning.
Above, I mentioned that the new mechanics are what caught my attention at first. In 3.0, Ninja Theory was tasked with improving the combat mechanics while keeping the game true to its innocent nature. From what I have seen, they have made a fantastic job. During my demo play-through of Twilight of the Republic as Darth Maul, I have experiences the use of dashes, lightsabers and the Force in a series of combos against various enemies and a boss. Although Ninja Theory is known for developing a few violent and bloody games, their input on polishing the Infinity universe didn’t make the game any more aggressive.
As for Sumo Digital’s work on the racing mechanics, which were especially demonstrated in the new Speedway Toy Boxes, they took basic algorithms and turned the in-game driving into something a lot more intuitive and fun to use. Now, it feels less like boring basic code driving and more like taking control of an RC car.
Disney Infinity 3.0 also features new creative elements within the Toy Box mode. Now, when building your own world, you have access to new features such as the “spine mechanic” that will allow you to bring to life certain toys and elements, making them move for example.
In the end, Disney Interactive worked on improving their Infinity universe by adding new toys, new adventures, and new creative elements that allows players to do more and bring their ideas to life in a new way. Additionally, they have introduced a series of cool new characters from various franchises. Once thing is certain, during that roundtable I had with the producer, we share some of the ideas that we were looking forward to see in the future. Although we should focus on how Infinity has improved in this third iteration, we couldn’t help to notice how fast it has evolved and question where it will stand in the future.
Disney Infinity might not be as fun and engaging as other games, but what sets it apart is its ability to open one’s mind and push them to create new worlds and adventures using the characters we all grew up with.