Disney announces Disney Infinity: a figure-based, cross-platform sandbox game
by Matthew Diener 15/1/2013
Product: Disney Infinity
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Format: Android, iPhone, iPad, 3DS
Genre: Action, Adventure
Have you ever wondered who would in race between Lightning McQueen and Dash from The Incredibles?
How about who would win in a sword fight: Phineas Flynn or Captain Jack Sparrow?
If these are the questions that keep you up at night then Disney Infinity, a newly announced cross-platform multiplayer line of games and toys, is exactly what you've been waiting for.
Similar to Activision's Skylanders, Disney Infinity relies on physical figures to unlock in-game content and worlds which players can customize and play in.
More than that, however, Infinity allows children (and children at heart) to bring their favourite Disney and Pixar characters together to play in an open-world game environment.
Characters and footage from Cars, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Phineas and Ferb, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Wreck it Ralph, Toy Story, and Pirates of the Caribbean were all seen at the launch event, with little doubt that Disney will bring in other intellectual properties as the product line finds its audience.
At the unveiling, Disney announced that three of these Play Sets (Monsters University, The Incredibles, and Pirates of the Caribbean) would be available at launch in June. Additional Play Sets will be announced between now and then, with a planned 20 toys and characters to be included in the launch lineup.
The main gameplay of Disney Infinity is split between Toy Sets and Toy Box modes.
Toy Sets are for movie purists, and will be thematic, "True to property" game worlds which are closed to characters and items from outside the of the movie world.
While limiting, this allows Toy Sets to deliver a faithful game experience similar to what you'd expect to see from the movie.
The Incredibles Toy Set, for example, will allow players to fight against the evil Syndrome using each of The Incredibles superpowers like Violet's forcefields, Mrs. Incredible's stretching ability and, of course, Mr. Incredible's storied strength.
Monsters University by contrast will present an Animal House style game world where Sully and Mike Wazowski engage in a prank war against frat monsters from the rival school, Fear Tech.
In the Pirates of the Caribbean Toy Set, players will encounter a third style of game focused on upgrading and customizing their ships to do battle against crews of AI pirates – or ships created by other players.
In Toy Box mode, however, all limiting factors are removed and players can bring in characters and elements from various game worlds into the same space. As players clear puzzle and combat challenges in the Toy Box mode, they'll unlock new toys to add to their collection.
To begin their adventures in Disney Infinity, players must purchase figures beginning with the Starter Pack that includes James P. Sullivan, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Mr. Incredible along with a special Reader which functions similar to the Portal from Skylanders.
Placing a figure on the Reader allows them to be brought into the game world, and they can be buffed or given accessories by placing Power Discs on the reader along with their figure.
Once in the open-world Toy Box mode, players can customize the environment down to the colour of the sky and the overall "feel" of the area to create a unique world that they themselves would want to play in.
When satisfied with the look of their world, players can upload it to Disney Infinity for approval and moderation. Once approved, other players in the community can download the worlds and bring their toys to play in them.
Disney Infinity will launch globally in June across a suite of consoles (Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3), with versions for mobile phones and tablets, Nintendo's 3DS, and an online PC version to be supported as well.