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TOTR_Anakin.jpgStar Wars comes to Disney Infinity

The long-awaited arrival of the Star Wars universe in Disney Infinity is finally upon us! Available now on all major home consoles, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition merges many of your favourite Star Wars characters, vehicles, and locations, with the unlimited creative possibilities of the Disney Infinity Toy Box. All figures and Power Discs from the previous two editions of Disney Infinity are also compatible, making this first game ever to combine iconic characters and objects from across the Walt Disney Company—Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars!

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TOTR_Ahsoka.jpgFrom hints to reality

Ever since the release of Disney Infinity 1.0, Disney Interactive Studios has been teasing fans with the possibility that Star Wars may one day come to its incredibly popular toys to life video game series. The hints came in the form of Star Wars-themed “ultimate unlocks,” the highest possible reward in each game edition, achieved only by collecting every toy figure from that series. In the 1.0 edition, the ultimate unlock was a lightsaber pack for your Toy Box, and in Disney Infinity 2.0, the most coveted reward was Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder.

With Disney Infinity 3.0, the game studio has gone all-on, creating all-new Star Wars figures, Play Sets, and Power Discs for use exclusively in this latest edition. If you’re a Star Wars fan (and really these days, who isn’t?), it’s time to get excited!

Game Details

Developer: Avalanche Software, Ninja Theory, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital, United Front Games

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios, LucasArts

Release Date: August 30, 2015

Genre: Action-adventure, Sandbox, Toys to Life

Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Disney-Infinity-3-box.jpgThe Starter Pack: where the fun begins

Like with past Disney Infinity editions, your entry point is the Starter Pack, a box containing everything you need to start playing. Inside the Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Starter Pack (pictured to the right), you’ll find the following contents:

– Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition game disc

– 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

– One web code card that allows you to unlock everything from the Starter Pack inside the Mobile & PC versions of Disney Infinity.

Here are the links to the different Star Wars Starter Pack versions available: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / Wii U

Once you’ve picked up the Starter Pack, you’re all set to jump in and enjoy the Disney Infinity experience. Simply insert the game disc into your gaming console, plug in the Disney Infinity base (via USB), and place a figure on the base to begin!

Disney-Infinity-3-box-pic3.jpgTwo beautiful figures included, more sold separately

With each edition of Disney Infinity I get to try out, I’m always drawn first to the gorgeous figures included. This time we have Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, modelled after their look in the hit animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. You can see both the figures in the photo I took to the right.

The attention to detail is evident, with striking, minute details such as Anakin’s right-eye scar, and Ahsoka’s white pigmentation marks on her face, making each of their appearances really pop. Both characters are made from a firm plastic material (so they won’t break easily if you handle with care), and in a nice touch, features like Anakin’s Jedi robe and both their lightsabers are flexible for more authenticity.

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On top of the two figures that come with the Starter Pack, Disney Infinity 3.0 is also compatible with a bunch of new Star Wars characters sold separately, like Yoda and Sabine Wren (see image to the left), Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and many others. Each character has their own skills and abilities, such as Vader’s force choke or Chewie’s Wookiee roar, adding their own unique flair to the gameplay. I had a lot of fun trying out these new characters at events like E3 2015 and my early hands-on preview, so if you’re the collector type, you’ll find a plenty of add-on characters to expand the experience.

TOTR_PlaySet_Anakin_2.jpgStar Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set

Also included in the Star Wars Starter Pack is a Play Set called “Twilight of the Republic,” set during the latter years of the Clone Wars. Out of the box the campaign can be played co-operatively with a friend or family member, with one person using Anakin, and the other Ahsoka. I was really impressed by the scope of this campaign, which has you fly to various planets, including Tatooine, Corusant, and Naboo, over the roughly six-hour journey.

TOTR_PlaySet_Tatooine_PodRace.jpgFor Disney Infinity 3.0, Disney Interactive partnered with an impressive roster of eight different game studios to work on various aspects of the campaigns. As examples, Ninja Theory (from Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry fame) completely overhauled the combat system, while Sumo Digital (Forza Horizon 2 and Sonic & All-Stars Racing) redid the game’s vehicle system. The results speak for themselves: Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic is the most polished, focused, and diverse Play Set ever in Disney Infinity.

This is a big relief considering last year’s Avengers Play Set was a bit of a disappointment with its vast, lifeless rendition of New York City, and repetitive mission structure. By comparison, Twilight of the Republic offers vivid, varied environments teeming with vigor, and a thrilling assortment of missions consisting of orbital dogfighting, fast-paced podracing, and high-flying aerial Jedi combat.

TOTR_PlaySet_SpaceFight.jpgThere’s a lot that’s “new” in Disney Infinity 3.0, but one of the best is the all-new spaceship gameplay. They expand Disney Infinity flying mechanics by introducing special moves like left or right aerial dodges, loop-to-loops, or doing 180 degree reversals back the way you came. These maneuvers add a great deal of depth to flying and are a snap to execute with simple flicks of the right analog stick.

Combat as well has received a lot of attention, and it’s significantly improved from past iterations of Disney Infinity. Fighting with a lightsaber is very fast, fluid, and finessed, letting you hack apart Battle Droids, Droideka’s, and other enemies with relative ease (just like a Jedi should!) What’s also very cool is how stylish combat is, given your large repertoire of graceful aerial lightsaber attacks, finishing moves, and devastating Force powers. Anakin, for example, can pull enemies closer using the Force, fling them up into the air for a flashy lightsaber combo, then repel them with great force using is Force finisher. Using these powerful combos on droids is the most fun, as they split apart in dramatic, slowed-time cinematic fashion, exactly at the angle you cut them.

ToyBox_Sam_Mike.jpgEven more creative possibilities in the new Disney Infinity Toy Box

Disney Infinity 3.0 includes a greatly expanded Toy Box that makes it easier than ever to design your own imaginative creations. The Toy Box is where you can bring together all your characters—from a huge variety of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars properties—and build your very own Disney Infinity games or environments.

You’ll begin in the Toy Box Hub, an open-world area that essentially serves are one gigantic tutorial space where you can learn the ins and outs of building your own Toy Box. The amount of lessons are staggering, certainly the most complete of any edition of Disney Infinity edition, and covers topics like combat, racing, flying, platforming, sidekicks, crop growing, level creation, and playing online with other players. It might sound like a lot to learn, but for each topic there are helpful teacher characters that explain their area of expertise in great detail, and there are tons of gameplay tutorials that let you practice these new concepts, tools, or skills.

ToyBox_Olaf_Sadness.jpgWith all these helpful instructions, in no time at all I was able to build a detailed Toy Box set in Tatooine, complete with Jabba’s Palace, a bustling Mos Eisley space port, and a mountainous podracing racing track around the perimeter. To complete the Toy Set, I placed a few Jedi Starfighters near the space port, and added visiting Coruscant citizens to liven up the community. It was really easy, and fun!

A bit less content overall this year

The Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Starter Pack is certainly worth playing for its excellent Twilight of the Republic Play Set and expanded Toy Box; however, one disappointment is the overall lack of content in this year’s edition. Whereas Disney Infinity 1.0 gave you three figures and three Play Sets, and Disney Infinity 2.0 packed three figures and one Play Set, the Star Wars Starter Pack only gives you two figures and one Play Set. The weekly free downloadable Toy Boxes from Disney definitely help to extend the experience, but I still found myself thinking about purchasing additional Play Sets (like Rise Against the Empire, based on Episodes 4-6) after completing Twilight of the Republic in a single weekend. If you’re willing to invest into additional Play Sets and figures, you’ll get a lot more out of Disney Infinity 3.0 overall.

Final thoughts

Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Starter Pack is easily the most polished and perfected Disney Infinity experience yet. Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic is a thoroughly enjoyable Play Set, sure to delight fans of The Clone Wars animated TV series. When you add in an expanded Toy Box, with much better tutorials to ease you into the creation process, it’s never been more enjoyable building your own Disney Infinity worlds. The only downside is the slimmer inclusions in this year’s Starter Pack, giving you a bit less content than in previous editions. Overall though, I had a blast with Disney Infinity 3.0, so if your family loves Star Wars, it’s sure to be a big hit.

+ Twilight of the Republic Play Set takes you on a fun, intergalactic adventure

+ Combat has been significantly improved with excellent lightsaber combos

+ New spaceships add depth to flying

+ Toy Box Hub offers plenty of helpful tutorials to get you on the path to creation

+ Many new Star Wars-themed Toy Box items to experiment with

– Starter Packs includes less than in previous editions

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 3.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5

Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)