If you were at E3 2013, odds are you noticed the rather extraordinary amount of Disney Infinity signage. Disney knows it has a tough fight against the already installed Skylanders, and is ready to bring it. As a fan of the latter, I knew I had to try the former. Fortunately, most Disney booth visitors were more preoccupied with getting a custom Disney Infinity shirt and action figure than actually playing the game, which made it really easy for me to step up and test the game out.
The Disney Infinity demo station was set up in the Toy Box mode of the game. The Disney attendant on hand tried to say it was similar to Minecraft, in that players are given an open world that they can customize, but it was really more akin to Sony’s LittleBigPlanet. I was given an environment, as well as an array of various set pieces, like Cinderella’s castle, Cars roadways, little interchangeable people and animals and more, to customize the area I inhabited. Adding new items was as easy as pressing a button to open up an inventory of available pieces, picking one out and plopping it into the world. Once it was there, if it was small enough or a switch, I could have Sully interact with it.
That’s right, I forgot to mention the star of my demo. The Disney Infinity character on the board was Sully, from Monsters Inc.. Sully could jump, slash and roar, as well as use any of the available weapons in my inventory. I enjoyed the toilet paper gun most, which allowed me to shoot off rolls of TP at my targets. Which were few and far between. Being Toy Box, there weren’t any objectives, so I had to content myself with placing a few cows and people to scare, throw and assault with toilet paper. He looked more stylized and cartoonish than usual, but still instantly recognizeable.
I could say the same for the entire world and cast of Disney Infinity. The environments and characters are all instantly recognizeable, but have received a little visual tweaking to give them some common features and style. I’m all for it, as it makes them look more likely to inhabit the same world. I couldn’t say how the soundtrack was, as there was no way to actually listen to the audio at my demo station. However, it did look quite pretty.
Sadly, I didn’t really get much out of my experience, other than learning that Sully and Captain Jack looked cool in-game, the environments are detailed and it was pretty easy to swap and customize the environments. I hate to say this, but the Toy Box mode of Disney Infinity was actually pretty boring at E3 2013. Yes, I had a full array of building tools that I could use as I pleased, but I didn’t have the time to experiment with it. Someone was watching my every action, which I found a bit inhibiting.
Not to mention, I couldn’t really do much with the items I did place in Disney Infinity. I didn’t feel like trapping the civilian characters, and hassling them with TP only amuses for so long. The demo area I was playing already had a number of items in place, one of them the floating house from Up. I asked if I could reach, explore and enter the house. The answer was no. The Up house was just a set piece. I could have raced around the already arranged track or flown to a series of slides installed on a nearby, floating island, but it seemed pointless to do so alone.
Also, though someone else was connected to the same demo area in which I was playing, as evidenced by Power Disc use that changed the flooring to look like that from Wreck-It Ralph‘s Sugar Rush, I never encountered the other player. I went looking around, flying on Dumbo, but never saw him or her in the scene. Even if I had, there’s no guarantee he or she would have wanted to race or explore with me.
What I didn’t also didn’t care for at the Disney Infinity demo stations was how clandestine everything was. I wasn’t allowed to switch between characters or the power discs at my leisure, as I was at the Skylanders Swap Force demo station. Instead, there was an attendant at each station with a key. Figures were kept locked away in a clear box under the demo station’s platform. If I wanted someone or something different, I had to ask permission, the Disney attendant would take the figure out, replacing the one I just used, and that was it. Talk about a lack of trust. It’s a video game.
I guess I’ll just have to wait until August 18, 2013. That’s when Disney Infinity arrives on the PS3, Wii, Wii U and Xbox 360. A starter pack costs $74.99 and includes three figures and a power disc. A single Disney Infinity figure is $12.99, while a three pack of figures is $29.99. A packet of Power Discs will be $4.99 and provide two discs. Conversely, Skylanders Swap Force‘s starter pack is the same price, but single figures are $7.99-9.99, depending on the store, and a three pack is usually $24.99.
Site [Disney Infinity]