If you have a child of a certain age (or are simply a massive Disney fan yourself), you'll likely be counting down the days until the launch of Disney Infinity, the House of Mouse's take on Skylanders (for those keeping count at home, at the time of writing it was 29). A platforming adventure game that draws on practically every annal of Disney history, from films to theme parks, and mixes them with physical, collectible toys that become your characters in the game when placed on a special portal, Disney Infinity is shaping up to be one of this summer's biggest hits - but if you've been saving your money up to buy it, there's something you should know before you set out for the store, as you'll need more than just the base set to get the most out of it.
While we've known for a while that, like most great games, Disney Infinity has support for two player split-screen co-op, it wasn't initially clear quite how this would work. Divided up into lengthy "Play Sets", each based around an individual film, and a free-form "Toy Box" that lets you create your own Disney world from scratch, it's been clear from the start that the Toy Box mode would be a massive mish-mash of Disney new and old - but the Play Sets (essentially "story mode" level packs, for want of a better comparison) were meant to be a much more themed affair, to the point where you could only play them using characters from the respective films. There'd be no way to have Sully take the helm of the The Black Pearl, and Mr Incredible couldn't enrol in Monster's U - which raised some serious questions over their co-op compatibility.
The starter kit, which you'll need to buy in order to play the game, appeared to come with everything you needed to get going, bundling the game itself, the Disney Infinity portal, and three figures (Jack Sparrow, Sully and Mr Incredible), along with access to three of the Play Sets - one for Monsters U, one for The Incredibles, and one for Pirates of the Caribbean. But seeing as you need to own a figure to be able to play as that character, and seeing as the three starter figures were each from different films, it wasn't entirely obvious how you'd be able to play through the Play Sets in co-op out of the box. Seemingly, the quick answer is, "you can't".
Although the starter kit gets you access to three separate Play Sets, and although co-op's a large part of the Disney Infinity fun, it's been confirmed to Everybody Plays that if you only own the Starter Pack, you'll only be able to play through the Play Sets on your own. Should you want to play along with a friend in co-op, they'll need to have bought an additional character from that film. Luckily, Disney have thought ahead, and produced a special "sidekicks" triple pack triple pack that comes with an extra figure for each of the three films - Mike from Monsters Inc, Mrs Incredible, and Barbossa - but while it'll let you play through the Play Sets in co-op, it also carries an RRP of £30, bringing the total cost (assuming you want to play through the whole game with a friend in tow) to £80-90.
While the Toy Box mode, as mentioned earlier, will be fully playable in co-op from the off for those who only buy the Starter Pack, it's probably worth keeping in mind that you'll be expected to shell out extra to play through the Play Sets in co-op when setting aside your budget. Additional figures and ability discs will also be available to augment your experience or add new features to the game, as you can learn more about in our full preview.