Disney Infinity 2.0 (Xbox 360) Review
Disney Infinity 2.0 makes me regress, in a great way. There are few other ways one can enjoy Thor fighting Elsa from Frozen in a treehouse, or Star-Lord and Dash from The Incredibles having a foot-race through New York, or even Iron Man picking up and punting Jack Skellington over a gaping abyss like a flying red-and-gold man cannon, unless you regress somewhat.
Last year's vanilla Infinity (which I guess is 1.0?) was a gaming-cum-merchandising attempt by Disney to make the Skylanders lightning strike for them. It was a fairly simplistic but artistically engrossing game that featured a plethora of Disney characters - existing in the real world as wallet-puncturing plastic figures you could put on a base to use in-game - fighting as allies or enemies in five campaigns and a fantastic Forge World-esque mode called the Toy Box. While vast chunks of the gameplay were derivative of just about any basic kids' platformer/action game, and the stories were - to put it charitably - a bit of a joke, the Toy Box provided hours of fun by creating maps, challenges, mini-games and giant grass-block status of Mickey Mouse's head (the latter of which, surprisingly, is fairly easy to navigate once you unlock the jetpack).
A year later, the sequel takes the same formula and throws a collective of similarly bank-breaking Marvel Comics figures into the mix to play with. Like its predecessor the gameplay and story for all of Infinity 2.0's three current campaigns is simple, spanning stories involving the Avengers, the Ultimate Spider-Man crew and the Guardians of the Galaxy respectively. The narrative boils down to "Bad guy from the Marvel Universe does a bad thing, heroes stop them, everyone gets cake afterwards". The button-pressing mostly involves hitting things, throwing things, riding around on things, flying around on things and blowing up things, sometimes with several of the above happening at once. Groundbreaking innovation is not what you've come here for. No, trust me when I tell you that you're here for the Toy Box.
The fun inherent to the Toy Box - in all honesty, most of the reason to buy the game - is purely cartoonish. It comes from putting Disney and Marvel characters together into situations like racing down a water slide or driving dune buggies into haunted castles. TheMinecraft-inspired creation of maps and the suite of toys to add to them adds dimensions of uniqueness and creativity (when you're not making simulacras of locations from Disney movies). It's the same formula that makes smacking two action figures together in sandcastles fun when you were younger, without the chance of breaking anything if they collide at the wrong point. Simple, colourful and full of vibrancy.
Tweaks have also been made to existing mechanics since the first game, most notably through the
All praise said, though, you've really got to want to be into the Toy Box to get any decent mileage from Infinity 2.0. If you don't have the patience for creating Cinderella's castle from scratch or
Disney Infinity is available now for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U, iOS and PC, and available in 2015 for PlayStation Vita.