With the embargo up the reviews for Disney Infinity have begun to roll in, and while the majority appear to be quite positive and have shown a distinct liking to the whole concept of the game a few outlets haven't been as favourable.
The games for all the characters that we've played with are fun and easy to master, as they're aimed at a younger audience - although we've enjoyed having a little play too. There's wide-spread appeal here for collectors and gamers alike.
But where it matters, for my family, Disney Infinity has done things right. It’s focused on why we love Disney films and toys rather than obsessing too much over its video-game competitors. It’s a brave and risky move that could have diluted their franchises but has, in fact, reignited our appreciation of how long a history with have with the house of Mouse in our family — long may that continue.
Disney Infinity is off to a great start and will hopefully be supported for years to come. The thought of Avalanche Software potentially tapping Star Wars, Marvel Comics, and other properties in Disney’s vault for upcoming sets makes this game’s future just as exciting as spending an afternoon creating adventures with friends.
The toys themselves are well-made statues; they’re not poseable, but each one really captures the personality of that character with a charismatic stance. The toys have their own unique style that sparked desire in my inner Disney fan.
Disney Infinity makes a lot of promises, boasting gameplay that takes cues from big-name hits like Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet. The finished product is a rousing success, offering lightweight but solid co-op gameplay built on a foundation of undiluted nostalgia.
Add-on costs aside, Disney Infinity is a treat. It is blanketed with ideas and Disney references that will keep older and younger gamers busy for far longer than the more linear Skylanders could, and while the Toy Box mode isn't exactly going to have Minecraft shaking in its cuboid boots, its sillier nature (does Minecraft have a toilet paper gun?) makes it just as entertaining at times.
Disney Infinity is a wonderful game that mashes together the best of collectables, cherished childhood memories of playing with toys and Minecraft-esque creation into a beautiful package, and then locks it up behind what I found to be an aggravatingly vague system of luck and grinding — and what my son found an exciting and rewarding game of chance.
Even as additional play sets and figures are released in the coming months, it'll be the Toy Box that keeps us hooked, and it's how Disney Infinity remains so endearing even as it commands ample cash.
Don’t bet against this becoming the latest playground must-have come Christmas. It’s a clever use of Disney licences that kids will absolutely adore, even if grown-ups will be less enamoured by the mission – and merchandise – structure.
But not everyone has had such an encouraging view of the game:
What Disney Infinity ultimately represents is the potential of a fantastic platform. It’s incredibly rough around the edges, and it will make your wallet beg for mercy, but there is a massive wealth of content for Disney to cull from. And as buggy and unintuitive as the game can be at times, I’m still intrigued enough to see this one through.
And that’s the sad truth of Disney Infinity, it’s so very obviously been designed by accountants and marketing people rather than game designers. Where Toy Story 3 delighted with the unexpected generosity of its content, here you can sense that every corner of the game has been scrutinised to see what can be cut out and sold separately.
There’s some entertainment in completing these levels, but they all suffer from a bloat of filler content. Each four-hour campaign has only a handful of exciting segments (Pirates of the Caribbean's ship combat, in particular, is pure fun), while the other three-and-a-half hours are spent completing what amounts to basic fetch quests.
Though they are well-designed and crafted, the figures themselves don't feel essential to the actual gameplay, certainly not in the same way the Skylanders toys are.
Add to that dull core mechanics and some clumsily-designed campaigns and you have a largely forgettable game that, Toy Box mode aside, doesn't do the esteemed Disney name justice.
Now it's your turn to make up your own mind about Disney Infinity, it's now available in North America and releasing elsewhere in just a few short days.