Introducing Disney Infinity 3.0
After years of anticipation, Disney Interactive’s hit “toys to live” franchise, Disney Infinity, is ready to take us to a galaxy far, far away. Disney Infinity 3.0, set for release on August 28, will be centred on Lucasfilm’s iconic Star Wars Universe for the very first time.
Recently I had a chance to visit Disney’s headquarters in Toronto to meet David Mayernik, Associate Producer of Disney Infinity 3.0, for an in-depth overview of what to expect with this year’s edition, as well as nearly one full hour of hands on time with the game!
A series that keeps on getting better
Long-time fans of Disney Infinity will appreciate the many innovations introduced in last year’s 2.0 Edition, such as the improved graphics, streamlined Skills tree, and the vast amount of new content in the sandbox Toy Box mode, like the customizable My Interior houses and plethora of new items to collect. For Disney Infinity 3.0, Mayernik explained how the development team has stepped it up a notch once again.
For starters, Disney Interactive and LucasArts (Lucasfilm’s game division) have partnered with total of eight different development studios to deliver the most robust and complete Disney Infinity experience ever created. Each development team was responsible for areas core to their specialty, with for example, Ninja Theory (from Heavenly Sword and DmC fame) focusing on overhauling the combat system, while Sumo Digital (Forza Horizon 2 and Sonic & All-Stars Racing) redid the game’s vehicle system. The result is game that looks, sounds, and plays better than ever.
From a community perspective, there are also a lot of great new additions. Take for instance the inclusion of the El Capitan Theatre, a real famous landmark from Los Angeles that has been recreated in the game and previews the latest and greatest community-made Toy Boxes you can download. Then there is Flynn’s Arcade, a lobby area designed as an entry point for online, kid-friendly, competitive play.
If you own previous versions of Disney Infinity there’s even more exciting news, as all your collected figures and Power Discs are forward-compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0. And, if you enjoy adding to your stash, a subtle, yet important change is happening with how Power Discs are being sold. Instead of in previous years were you had to buy “blind packs” that included two random Power Discs, with Disney Infinity 3.0, discs will be grouped in transparent theme packs that show you exactly which Power Discs are included. That’s a lot of improvements, but just the tip of the iceberg!
Debut of the Star Wars Universe
The most thrilling aspect of Disney Infinity 3.0 is the inclusion of Star Wars, the prime focus for this year’s edition. At launch, two different Star Wars themed Play Sets will be available:
- Twilight of the Republic – set between Episodes 2 and 3, and featuring characters from the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Rise Against the Empire – based on Episodes 4 through 6, and lets you play through numerous classic scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy
What excites me the most about these Play Sets is how they tell stories from two different generations, broadening the overall appeal. Older fans will likely gravitate towards Rise Against the Empire to relive memorable scenes like taking down the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin, while younger fans are probably more familiar with the characters and events of The Clone Wars, making Twilight of the Republic the ideal choice.
During my hands-on time with both Play Sets, I was thoroughly impressed with how smooth the gameplay was, and how excellent the graphics were. The Lightsaber combat was particularly good, as the controls were super simple to adapt to, yet complex enough to pull off some incredible combos as you gain experience. There’s plenty of style too, such as your repertoire of graceful aerial lightsaber attacks, or how droids split apart exactly at the angle you cut them. The games also feature plenty of vehicles, like Tauntuans, Banthas, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and more. In one scenario, I commanded a Snow Speeder and had to tangle up an Imperial Walker with a tow cable to take it down. All in all, I was mighty impressed with what I played, and it heightened my anticipation of the game even more.
Your first step: The Starter Pack
So you want to get into the Disney Infinity 3.0 experience and want to know where to start? Well, as in previous editions, Disney is offering a “Starter Pack” that includes everything you need to get started, including:
- Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition base
- Two Star Wars figures: Ahsoka Tano, and Anakin Skywalker
- One Star Wars Twilight of the Republic Play Set piece
Here are the links to the different versions available:
In addition, there’s also a PlayStation-exclusive “Star Wars Saga Starter Pack” that gives you everything in the regular kit mentioned above, plus three additional figures (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Boba Fett), and one additional Play Set (Rise Against the Empire).
Here are the links to the two PlayStation versions available:
What’s really cool about the Saga Starter Pack is the inclusion of Boba Fett, who will remain exclusive to these bundles until January of next year when the character separately.
I’m excited to play more
Disney Infinity 3.0 is taking a franchise I love, and making it even greater. From my play test, I found the controls to be more refined, the graphics to more crisp and colourful, and the game’s scope more ambitious than ever. In addition to the two Star Wars Play Sets, there is also based on Inside Out, Pixar’s recent hit animated movie, and lots of awesome new figures to collect, such as Mulan, Olaf, Sam Flynn, Mickey Mouse, and more. I can’t wait to play more very soon!
For more information, check out the product links above, and take a look at my hands-on with Disney Infinity 3.0 at this year’s E3!
By Paul Hunter, Editor Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. You can follow me on Twitter @NextGenPlayer