What is Disney Infinity 3.0?
Disney Infinity 3.0 is a "toys to life" game, which is essentially a fancy way of saying "a game you can buy real life toys for, and plonk them on a bundled base to play as that character in the game". This time adding Star Wars into the mix of Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters, the Disney Infinity 3.0 starter pack comes with everything you need to get going - two Star Wars characters (Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker), a story driven, co-op adventure Play Set (Twilight of the Republic, set during the Star Wars prequel trilogy), and the all important Disney Infinity base, where you get to plonk your figures. Importantly, unlike with Disney Infinity 1, you can play in co-op out of the box.
How do you play Disney Infinity 3.0?
Disney Infinity 3.0 divides its gameplay into two chunks. First, there are the Play Sets, which offer the "traditional" experience. The bundled Twilight of the Republic Play Set is a story driven, co-op adventure that sees you and a friend take the fight to Darth Maul and his droid army, visiting a number of familiar planets as you go. With four planets to explore (Tatooine, Geonosis, Naboo and Coruscant), each works as a kind of hub world, with countless side quests to keep you busy. From rounding up defective droids, to testing a new adventure playground that's been delivered to Coruscant, there are hundreds of little tasks to be done - and lots of fun to be had doing them! Along with the side quests, each planet also gives you a story mission or two to complete. Lengthier, more substantial, and with more in depth gameplay, these let you feel like a Jedi Knight, as you smash your way through droids, use the force, and solve the mystery behind the droid army...
The other half of the game is the Toy Box, a more free form creation arena where anything goes. Here, you're essentially given a blank slate, and can create your own world, levels and adventures by placing toys. Those who are interested in the more complex side of things can take full control over how things work, from changing the camera angle that's used when playing through the Toy Box, to changing what the buttons on your controller do, while others may prefer to simply place the helpful "assistants", who'll build a level for you. From race track assistants to platforming assistants, there's an assistant for every task, so anyone can make their own levels.
It's worth mentioning that Disney Infinity 3.0 is designed as being a starter pack, and there are plenty of extra add ons you can buy to enhance your game. In terms of Play Sets alone, there's a huge range on offer, from Pixar's Inside Out Play Set; to Star Wars' Rise Against the Empire (set during the classic trilogy) and The Force Awakens; a four player beat 'em up Marvel Play Set called Marvel Battlegrounds; and, finally, one based on Finding Dory. There are oodles of additional figures to expand your adventure, and plenty of power-up discs too, each of which adds a new item to your Toy Box, or ability to your character.
It is worth remembering, though, that these figures have restrictions. While any figures you've previously bought are fully compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0, most will only work in the Toy Box mode. The Play Sets are generally locked off, and only a small number of characters (usually those from that particular franchise) can be used in them. For the first time in Disney Infinity history, though, the rules have been loosened a little bit for Disney Infinity 3.0, as any Star Wars character can be used in either of the Star Wars Play Sets, regardless of whether it makes sense from a story perspective. Still, there are a lot of restrictions in place, and for the most part, toys from different franchises can't play together - Iron Man can't be used in the Star Wars sets, for example, and Stitch can't join the Avengers. In the Toy Box, however, anything goes!
How easy is Disney Infinity 3.0 to pick up and play?
While it may sound complex, and certainly has a lot of scope, Disney Infinity 3.0 is refreshingly easy to get stuck into. Those who've played similar, platform/adventure style games before (Skylanders, Little Big Planet, the LEGO games) will feel right at home here, as it's a very similar style of game, with a handy tutorial helping you find your footing. While there are combos to learn, which let you perform certain more powerful moves, none of the more complex stuff is necessary, and you can easily slice your way through the droid army with just a few button presses. However, with more open hub areas, and quests to complete, this isn't as linear as something like Skylanders, and you will have to be able to follow a map to get from A to B, and use your own initiative/exploration skills to complete the quests you're given.
While the Play Sets offer traditional gameplay, the Toy Box offers perhaps a more complex take on Minecraft, which can serve as either a world builder or a level creator, depending on how you want to play. That said, with a range of assistants on offer, who'll actually make whole levels/cities for you, there's plenty of choice for players of all abilities.
Unlike Skylanders, Disney Infinity is a lot more forgiving when it comes to lives, too. Should you get defeated in the level, if you're playing in co-op, you can have a friend come and revive you - if you're playing on your own, you have a choice between either putting a new character on, to pick up playing from where you left off, or you can choose to respawn from the last checkpoint, as you would in a "normal" game. Still, by buying all the health upgrades (with in game money) as soon as you can, you can mostly avoid too many awkward situations.
For the youngest players, a reading ability is certainly recommended, as there's more reading here than in other, similar games, like the LEGO games. Characters often give you side-quests through text only, with nothing in the way of voiceovers, while subtitles over voiced cutscenes are also often very small, which may also be tricky for younger players to make out.
- "A warrior of some kind just grabbed the Combat Portal's power source and escaped into that creepy looking place with it! Go find him and take it back!"
As a Disney game, there's very little for parents to be concerned about it Disney Infinity 3.0, with nothing in the way of swearing or sexual content, and very mild, cartoon violence. What little violence there is is handled in a traditionally slapstick way - there's nothing in the way of blood or gore, no realistic impacts or signs of physical damage, and enemies simply break into their component, plasticy parts when defeated. While you can whack enemies with lightsabers, shoot them with lasers (or guns), and even throw them off cliffs, there's nothing here phenomenally untoward, and nothing for parents to be too concerned about in terms of mature content.
We should also note that the game does have a multiplayer mode, including online matchmaking, which will allow your child to play with random people online from around the world. The game's Toy Box mode also allows you to download popular user-created Toy Boxes (or, levels) to play through, but as a Disney game, this is heavily moderated so any offensive content is quickly removed.