After cashing in on gaming’s interactive toy craze with a very strong debut, the Disney Infinity franchise stumbled with its heroic but plodding second effort. Now, with its third iteration, Avalanche Software and its partner studios have taken things to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, in order to regain their lost momentum. The end result is Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, a very solid game that is sure to get even better when it’s expanded with two more Star Wars-themed play sets.
Going all in with its Star Wars focus, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition does a good job of filling the void that’s been created by a lack of good, Jedi-based video games. It may not be flawless, but it’s definitely a quality experience, and one that doesn’t skimp on content or replay value. While spending extra money is required in order to get the full experience, the base Starter Set is good value in and of itself, and is aided by a lower price point.
Those who purchase just the Starter Set will find a decent amount of gameplay within its large box. Its contents include a base, two figures (Ashoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker), and the Twilight of the Republic play set, which takes place during the Clone Wars era and has the Jedi searching for answers after coming across a mysterious droid.
Of course, the game’s popular Toy Box mode is also part of the base set, though it can also be downloaded separately at a reduced price for those who would prefer to do so. It’s better than ever, too, presenting an infinitely replayable experience that acts as a culmination of old and new. Not only can figures from previous games be used within its confines, but those games’ themed customization options can as well. On top of that, Avalanche has added a host of new features to the mode, including user-controlled NPC paths, improved racing mechanics and sidekicks that can be customized, fed, and relied on in battle. Hell, you can even harvest crops in order to gather food for your ally.
Development duties for the included Twilight of the Republic play set were primarily handled by Ninja Theory, a studio that is best known for both DmC: Devil May Cry and Heavenly Sword. As such, we went into the several hour-long campaign expecting a quality narrative experience with above-average combat mechanics.
Twilight started off slowly, but picked up as it went along, and ended up being rather solid overall. It didn’t blow me away, but it was definitely enjoyable and showed a major improvement over the repetitive and boredom-inducing Marvel’s Avengers play set from Disney Infinity 2.0 Edition. Whereas that one was based around going from one place to another and pummelling waves of enemies, this play set is much more elaborate, and includes not only travel to different planets like Tatooine and Naboo, but also decent space combat and impressive podracing.
The combat isn’t as complex as something you’d find in DmC, or even Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, but that’s because Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition isn’t marketed towards core gamers. It is, after all, a family game, and a good one at that.
As you play through the title, you’ll level-up your chosen character and get skill points that can be used to unlock new abilities or enhancements, like extra health or faster revive times. There are actually several different skill trees to work on, most of which pertain to the Jedi’s combat abilities. Their upgrades provide badass combos, higher damage and more elaborate finishers that better your core moves, which include hack n’ slash lightsaber action, basic Force powers like Force push, and a dash attack.
There’s quite a bit to do outside of the main missions, too, as a host of side quests appear throughout one’s journey. These range from simple fetch quests to slightly more elaborate engagements, but they’re never too complex.
I completed quite a few of the secondary objectives, and found that they padded the play set’s length nicely. On top of that, I also stopped and tried my hat at just about every challenge I saw. The latter type comes in different types, including seeing how many coloured orbs you can collect in a given amount of time, trying to survive every wave in a training arena and attempting to come first in a pod race.
Kids and their families will enjoy their romp through this intergalactic play set, as will the many Star Wars fanatics out there. Younger gamers will also find a lot of replayability in the easy to grasp but hard to master Toy Box mode, which is the underlying core of this experience. It’s a great tool for creative people, too, because you can create just about anything you set your mind to if you’re talented enough and have the time to do so. Or, if you’re lacking a creative bone like myself, you can partake in some of the fun Toy Box games and challenges, or download others’ creations.
As far as its performance goes, most of my time with Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition was problem-free. I did, however, experience one crash while trying to access a competitive multiplayer game via Flynn’s Arcade, and also noticed some minor frame rate drops. Some of the user-created content was also a bit iffy, performance-wise, but that can sometimes be the case.
Ninja Theory also could’ve handled Twilight of the Republic’s sound mixing a bit better than it did, because some of the dialogue was harder to hear than it should’ve been. At times, environmental effects and music would drone the characters out, but at other times, it seemed as if their lines were recorded at a lower volume. This wasn’t a major issue, but it popped up on occasion.
With all that having been said, I find it easy to recommend Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition to anyone with interest in Disney, Star Wars and/or this particular video game sub-genre. It’s an impressive and content-rich package, which looks like it will only get better once its other two Star Wars-focused play sets and surprisingly solid kart racing add-on are released.
This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, which we were provided with.
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition is a marked improvement over its bland predecessor, and good value at its lower price point. Some of the title's best content is likely unreleased as of yet, but what's available in its Starter Set is definitely worth the price of admission.