Disney announced its new Toys to Life game yesterday, Disney Infinity 3.0.
The headlines will rightly go to the Star Wars play-sets and toys included in the offering, but there are also a bunch of other enhancements that make this good for consumers.
The game comes in a starter pack that includes the first Star Wars playset adventure along with two characters (Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker of Clone Wars fame). This covers Episodes I-III, an additional purchase is required for Episodes IV-VI and Episode VII.
- Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic (Episodes I-III) takes place in the height of the Jedi’s powers, where players will use the Force and Lightsabers alongside Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Maul.
- Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire (Episodes IV-VI) takes players on galaxy-spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader, piloting X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon to fight stormtroopers, or exploring land-based missions on planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Episode VII has few details revealed so as not to spoil the film. In actually fact there were no concrete details apart from its inclusion this Winter.
These Star Wars characters and playsets are supported by a wider cast of characters from other Disney and Pixar films.
Headlining this year is an adventure for Inside Out and another outing for Marvel characters. The game also includes new Toy Box feature to group games into genres. This makes it easier to find a certain type of game.
Additionally, two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games are also included, action-adventure gameplay in Toy Box Takeover and kart racing in Toy Box Speedway.
So far, so video-game franchise yearly update.
Where Disney Infinity 3.0 distinguishes itself is with three very positive steps for family gamers.
Firstly, you can use any of the Star Wars characters in any of the different Star Wars adventures. This not only improves on the walled garden approach of the first game, but even exceeds the cross-over characters from Disney Infinity 2.0. The free mix and match approach provides better value for each character you buy as you have more you can do with it, it also makes the purchasing decision simpler.
Secondly, if you already own Disney Infinity 1.0 or 2.0 you can upgrade to the new version of the game by buying the game disc on its own and an adventure pack of your choice. This grants better choice, but also avoids having to re-buy an Infinity Base USB peripheral as consumers did when they upgraded to 2.0. For families that have upgraded their system since buying Disney Infinity 2.0, they can still reuse the PS3 base on the PS4 and the Wii base on the Wii U.
Finally, Disney are backing off a little on the Power Discs this year. Not in terms of functions and features (I can't wait to see which costume changes and character team-ups they include for Star Wars) but that these will not be sold in blind bags any more. This is quite a bold move with many toy makers still going the mystery purchase route.
It all adds up to a powerful offering at retail, and one that will give the new LEGO Dimensions game a run for its money.
Disney Infinity 3.0 will be available in the Autumn and is being developed by Avalanche Software in partnership with Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, Studio Gobo and United Front Games. It will be available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC and iOS/Android devices.