Disney Infinity 3.0 Review – Xbox One
Words: Darran Jones
If you wanted to buy every figure in the Disney Infinity series you’d have little to no change from £1000. It’s an astonishing figure, and highlights just how clever the marketing bods behind the series are. You could make the argument that it’s a cynical cash grab designed to empty parents’ wallets and plug the latest Disney movies… and in a way you’d be right.
But you’d also be a little bit wrong, for while Disney Infinity 3.0 is obviously designed to make you part with obscene amounts of cash — you’re not playing as the Fett any time soon unless you own a PS4 or are prepared to pay three times his going rate — it also realises that customers don’t like it when you take the piss. It’s most obvious with the way it’s actually possible to purchase Disney Infinity 3.0, allowing you to simply buy individual parts if you already own an earlier base set. Yes the core package (which is what we’re reviewing here) is available, but so are other, cheaper options. Disney Infinity 3.0 is flexible, it’s parent friendly and it’s welcoming to see.
Also welcoming is the fact that this is arguably the most robust offering from the series to date. Everything about it feels fuller, more complete than previous iterations. Take the base playset, Twilight Of The Republic, for example. It’s still only going to take four to five hours to complete the story, but some actual thought and effort has gone into crafting it this time around and it’s genuinely engaging, with your characters bouncing around five different planets in an attempt to restore peace to the galaxy. The gameplay has been beefed up too. Combat is far more structured than before with lots of cool combos to unlock and the ability to use blasters alongside lightsabers. So complex are the skill trees now that very young games might find them a little too intimidating, while everyone else will be pleased at the extra depth that combat now offers for figures new and old. Missions are also better than past games, with far more variety and lots of side missions to rinse once the main story has ended. The need to own certain figures to get every final star is a little naughty, but there’s still plenty to do without forking out on additional toys.
Once you’ve had fun with the story you can jump into the Toy Box and play around to your heart’s content. It’s extremely similar to previous iterations but the building tools are far more efficient and flexible this time around, making it easier to build your own creations. It will take a while to get to grips with some of the more complex aspects of the Toy Box, and it still feels occasionally unwieldy, but it’s astonishing what’s possible when you apply a little effort. Like many creation games, Disney Infinity 3.0 rewards those who put the effort in, but if you’re lazy like us, you can simply scour the online sections of the hub (typically the Disney Infinity Theatre) to find the works of others. They range from the banal to the brilliant, but they’re all there for the taking and it’s easy to see how they’re constructed, giving you ideas for your own efforts down the line.
Multiplayer games exist online via Flynn’s Arcade and offer everything from spins on paintball to basketball, while large numbers of mini-games are used to explain the game mechanics. Every aspect of Disney Infinity 3.0 is explained to you via a clever game. Destroying TIE Fighters helps you with turret games, a tumble around an obstacle course built by Phineas and Ferb explains platform creation, while a search for R2D2 clues you into the use of landscape editing. It not only extends the life of the Toy Box but actively encourages you to get involved, and it’s a pleasure to see.
Sidekicks have also been greatly boosted. Once upon a time they were simply used to talk to and gain information from. Now you can get them to fight alongside you, equipping them with hats and weapons and feeding them food to enhance their abilities. You can even get them to grow their own food so you can go off and have fun while they stay back and farm. It’s a great new addition to the game and further expands a Toy Box that’s already bursting to the seams.
However, all this content does come with compromises. Loading times are still cripplingly slow, while we noticed quite a few odd sound and graphic issues that suggested the game was struggling at times. They’re annoying to be sure, but they also can’t hide the fact that this is the most complete and comprehensive game to bear the Disney Infinity name. We’ve no idea what Disney has in store for next year’s inevitable update, but it’s going to have to be pretty special to topple this one.