Review: Disney Infinity Wii U

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Genre: Creative Open World   Players: 1-2    Online: Yes    Off-TV Play: Yes

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Part Skylanders, part minecraft, part LittleBigPlanet – Disney Infinity, is a charming, funny, but limited experience at present.

Disney infinity is split into two types of experience. There are the play sets, which reflect the atmosphere from each franchise – so Monsters Universe is set in the University grounds and is full of pranks. You can only use figures from that particular franchise. Then there is the toy box mode where you can create whatever you like and mix up franchises, however you fancy.

In the starter set, you get the Disney Infinity base (no using the built in NCF on the Wii U gamepad), figures of Sully (from Monsters University), Mr Incredible (from The Incredibles), Captain Jack Sparrow (from Pirates of the Caribbean), the starter play set and a random power disc. You also get codes to use characters with an upcoming iPad game.

The actual figures are highly detailed, non-poseable, made of firm plastic, at about 10cm tall each. The figures capture the likeness of their characters, but with a “toy” look to them.

Each starting figure allows you access to their respective story mode and adventure challenges. However, to play multiplayer with someone in the story line, you need to purchase another figure from that franchise – either 3 individually or through the side-kicks / villains pack. Meaning that to access multiplayer in all the initial story lines will cost you around an additional £30.

At launch there are a 5 characters in the Incredibles World, 3 in Monsters Universe, 3 in Pirates of the Carribean, and play sets for The Lone Ranger and Cars. In the near future there will also be a “Toys in Space” play set and other figures including characters from Wreck-It-Ralph.

There are also power discs you can purchase, by buying a blind bag random discs, which give in game perks, like extra damage, or an Alice in Wonderland theme or perhaps a flying Dumbo to ride around on. Potentially you could end up spending a lot of money to experience every character, play set world and power disc. Of course, you don’t have to buy everything that is released to still enjoy the game.

Onto the game itself. As noted you get 3 story worlds within the starter pack. Each world is stylised to reflect its franchise. Each story is like a small open world environment with multiple missions to pick up, bonus items hidden around (to add extra items to your toy box) and gradual weapon and item upgrades. The missions are usually to collect / destroy / defeat / or get to so many objects. It’s not the most complicated gameplay mechanics, but its fun and the amount of things to collect spurs you on. There are also mini challenges within each world, which may involve racing, or collecting balloons, or paintball (over the shoulder) gun fighting. In multiplayer the screen splits (losing some texture quality) and the second player can choose to stay close or explore a different part of the world. Unfortunately, multiplayer in play sets is local only and split screen only, with the second player only able to play with a wiimote and nunchuck (an update should be coming to allow pro controller support). The storyline usually last just under 15 hours each.

Then there is the toy box mode, here you can build your own game and world. You can use the pre-set items, items you have unlocked in story mode or special items you can obtain by using tokens on a roulette wheel. A board of random items will appear, if you don’t like the selection you can choose a new board, then use a token to get a random item off the board, subsequent tokens used will get remaining items off the board. You get these tokens at random places in story worlds and each time one of your characters levels up.

In the toy box mode, you can become a “spark” and place down and adjoin blocks, or with magic wand in hand, stand in your world and delete / move items and structures. The possibilities are amazing for what one creative minds can make. However, there are a few big flaws with this mode. You can play online with someone in yours or their toy box, but you have no way of communicating – no mic support or no text input support. Which is a huge let down. Also, Disney have a community Toy box download, where you can view a brief description of a toybox and then choose to download it. Unfortunately, Disney have been too protective here, only allowing you to choose from a very small selection of Disney made toy boxes, which feel half compete. There is just no community feel. The game could do with the openness that LittleBigPlanet had.

In summary, if you can get past some of the price tags, you have a game with beautiful set of figures which has so much potential. It can only be hoped that voice support and a much richer and bigger selection of community worlds can be implemented in a future update.

Head Heart
Multiplayer costs extra Full of Charm
Storylines around 15 hours each
Beautiful Figures
No Online Communication
Great Creative Possibility
   
  Good 79%

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David Lee
David is the founder of Heart Gaming. Regular writer, reviewer and editor. Has a strong passion for gaming; particularly the Legend of Zelda series.