Although he chose not to start at the beginning, George Lucas got it right with the original Star Wars Trilogy. With those movies, he not only amazed and captivated people with a fantastic world, great storytelling and impressive special effects, but also delivered three incredibly memorable films. Whether you prefer Empire over Jedi, or happen to be someone who thinks that A New Hope is the best Star Wars movie out there, there’s no denying the quality of all three.
I regularly think back to the days when I introduced myself to Star Wars, by renting all three masterpieces on VHS. I was in grade five at the time, and would continually check them out from the local video store up until the day when I was able to purchase the boxed set myself. Those days and nights spent watching the Original Trilogy left a major impression on me and turned me into fanatic for life.
Since then, I’ve played a plethora of different games based on the franchise, including Disney Infinity 3.0, which just so happens to be the most recent of the bunch.
When Disney Infinity 3.0 launched just shy of a month ago, it did so with just one play set; that being Twilight of the Republic, a campaign that takes place during the Clone Wars era. However, while it was enjoyable and well-made, it wasn’t what we were all anticipating most. After all, it surely goes without saying that every Star Wars-loving gamer who purchased the third iteration of Disney Infinity did so mostly because of the Original Trilogy’s play set: Rise Against the Empire.
After only being available in PlayStation-exclusive sets for the last month, Rise Against the Empire is finally out in the wild. Now, the question shifts from, “When can I get my hands on it?” to, “Was it worth the wait?” Thankfully, the answer is yes, so long as you’re a Disney Infinity fan who understands that these games are made for children and families.
As one would hope, Rise Against the Empire takes us back to the beginning (so to speak), and kickstarts its three to four hour-long campaign with a user-controlled escape pod flight. Fans will notice this slightly altered opening to A New Hope, and will enjoy being able to play through most of the major moments from it, as well as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Things have been streamlined a bit, but the classic storyline remains intact, and nostalgia definitely oozes through every digital pore.
Studio Gobo has delivered a campaign that features three different hubs, those being the Mos Eisley region of Tatooine, the Rebels’ base on Hoth and the Ewok village on Endor. For longtime fans, this means a perfect dose of galactic nostalgia, as the developers really went into great detail. That’s especially notable in Mos Eisley, where one can interact with and do side missions within the Cantina. Hell, one even pertains to the alien musicians whose catchy tune has become one of the most memorable parts of the Original Trilogy.
Through exploration, you’ll come across a multitude of different side quests, and earn credits that can then be used to construct buildings within the hubs themselves. Most of the side missions do happen to be fetch quests, though, with the exceptions being races and timed challenges. Then again, it’s exactly the same design that we experienced in Twilight of the Republic, and it works for the type of game that Disney Infinity 3.0 is.
Although the side missions can be a bit repetitive and basic, they do their job and complement what is the best part of this experience. That is, the campaign, which is full of memorable set pieces like the Battle for Hoth and the Death Star run. Those, plus lots of lightsaber battles, with blasters, walkers, speeder bikes, tauntauns and landspeeders thrown in for good measure.
Both Luke and Leia come with the play set, and each character is useful in its own way. Whereas Leia can be seen as more of a ranged fighter, whose blaster acts as her primary weapon, she is able to do a bit of close quarters combat with a couple of kicks and a punch. Luke, on the other hand, is best with his lightsaber, which makes him the more interesting and enjoyable of the two. Others can, of course, be purchased, but you’ll need to spend even more money to unlock the likes of Han and Chewie.
On the presentation side of things, Rise Against the Empire falters a bit. While its large scale battles and iconic moments look good and perform well, the campaign isn’t without bouts of screen tearing. Its audio mixing is also problematic, because the music sometimes drowns out the characters’ dialogue, making it hard to hear what they’re saying.
Overall, while it’s not perfect, nor as variety-packed as it could’ve been, Disney Infinity 3.0‘s Rise Against the Empire play set is certainly worth checking out. It may be a bit short, but it’s full of quality and nostalgia-filled gameplay that should please most Star Wars fans.
This review is based on a play set that we were provided with, and was carried out using the Xbox One version of the game.
Rise Against the Empire does a very admirable job of bringing Star Wars' best trilogy into the Disney Infinity 3.0 fold.