Hands-on with the galaxy far, far away as Star Wars blasts its way onto the Disney Play Set.
Star Wars is finally going to be a part of Infinity experience but Disney won't stop here. Infinity 3.0 also includes several new Play Sets, improved mechanics and plenty of new characters making it the biggest Infinity experience so far.
Merely adding the Star Wars characters to the already huge Disney Infinity game world should be enough to boost the sales. But Disney has went all-in by announcing two separate Star Wars Play Sets as part of the new package. It's quite obvious that Infinity pack 3.0 is the biggest interactive toybox ever in the series. In addition to the Star Wars stuff, there will be a 2D/3D Play Set based on the latest Pixar movie. The new Toy Box includes, among other things, a new car game and there are tons of new characters from the Disney and the Marvel Universe.
The head honchos of the third Infinity package, John Blackburn and John Vignocchi, emphasise how the package will offer the complete Star Wars saga gaming experience, a much more extensive and diverse Disney Infinity as well as improved creation tools with the best quality available. The new physical Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters scattered around the event show rooms would easily pass as collectible figures.
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This time around, Avalanche Software, who made the first two Infinity games, is getting some help from other game developers. The new studios brought their expertise from different areas as a part of the Infinity experience. It doesn't matter whether it's about fighting, driving, flying or exploring, Disney really wants to cover everything, and do dividing a massive and ambitious product like this is a smart idea, not to mention exciting to see different dev teams like Sumo Digital and Ninja Theory stamp their style onto the game.
Studio Gobo Development Director Tom Williams, who confessed to be a huge Star Wars fan himself, is proud of the given honor to create a Play Set about the original Star Wars trilogy. He admits the idea of Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire was born from his time as a kid playing with the original toys.
It takes the iconic characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader and explores iconic planets from the movies. The game, made in cooperation with LucasArts, offers an opportunity among other things, to ride a Bantha on the edges of the Sarlacc.
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At first Ninja Theory, developer of the DmC: Devil May Cry, seems like an odd choice to develop a family friendly Disney game. Lead Designer Stephen Stanyon admit they were chosen for their knowledge of combat mechanics.
They were responsible of completely redoing them for the Infinity 3.0 alongside developing Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set, a story set during the Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Maul practice their skills in lightsaber clashes and in using the Force. This isn't DmC difficulty though, stripping down the mechanics to one button prompts to allow easy flow into combo chains for kids.
While being in charge of the entirety of Infinity 3.0, Avalanche Software is also responsible for the Inside Out Play Set, inspired by the newest animated movie by Pixar. The game, picking up the story right where the movie left off, sends the player to new adventures in 2D and 3D worlds. The goal in the game is to wander through nightmarish levels while collecting items. The levels, still in their early development stages, seemed quite hollow, so it's too early to tell how the final product will play out. Short video clips nodded towards cooperative mode between two players.
Toy Box Speedway will offer kart races in different Disney worlds, and naturally with all the playable Infinity characters. Trial, race and combat modes allow reckless driving in two-player Mario Kart style, and handled by Outrun dev team Sumo Digital. The team are tinkering with the driving mechanics and including tricks and weapon use. The developers decided not to include distinctions or divisions within the character roster, so everyone's on an equal playing field.
In addition to the physical figures, a vast variety of Play Sets, characters and worlds, Disney Infinity 3.0 offers a carte blanche in creating games. Senior Director of Disney Interactive, Brian Nelson, mentions that the new tweaks to Toy Box mode include the removal of numerous text tutorials and replaced them instead with clear visual guides. The new objects look, feel and function like actual toys. For example, one way to stop an AT-AT on the planet Hoth is by simply removing its batteries.
The renewed and improved systems and a tremendous amount of well-known, playable characters is enough to spike our interest and see if the company's managed to fix the issues we've had with the previous editions of the game, and with the starter kit promised to have a more consumer friendly price on release, it may provoke us to give this series another chance.