|System: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U|
|Dev: Avalanche Studios|
|Release: September 23, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||ESRB|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Disney Infinity 2.0 is an interesting, if not confusing, game that we got to check out at the Disney booth at E3 2014. I expected basically another expansion pack to the toy box/sand box what was Disney Infinity. Sure there were some basic action sequences, but the NFC figures and the ability to build your own worlds were kind of the main attraction here. So when 2.0 was announced I thought we were just gonna get some more characters, a few new features, and some new stages. What we actually get is a whole lot more.
So the big new draw this time around is the arrival of the Marvel Super Heroes. Instead of simply being able to play with classic Disney characters, like Buzz Lightyear, you can now take control of The Hulk, Spider Man, Wolverine and more. If you think that this seems a bit out of place for a Disney sandbox game, well you would be right, and that’s what’s so beautiful about Disney Infinity 2.0. Instead of simply being a place where your children can play with your toys, 2.0 really does its best to be a fully fleshed out action RPG.
Heroes aren’t just genetic coats of paint on an action game stereotype anymore. Instead, they now all have their own stats, unique abilities, and special moves. The Hulk is stronger and slower than Spider-Man, for example. These characters can level up and gain higher stats and new abilities. You may remember that you could level up in Disney Infinity 1.0, but all that did was push you forward toward more unlocks. However, now you will get skill points which you can use to advance your heroes up a number of different skill trees. You can make the Hulk a huge DPS machine, or you can make him an impenetrable tank, or an AOE power-house, for example.
These changes will be extended to every other Disney Infinity character. Yes, that means that the Disney figures, like Tarzan or Jack Sparrow will also have their own stats and abilities and tech trees. It also means that these characters can play alongside the Marvel Super Heroes as well, which I’m sure will be fodder for many poorly written fanfics down the line. Then again, I also can’t wait to put Jack Sparrow and Wolverine in the same battle.
As we have said before, open world was a buzz word at this year’s E3 and Disney Infinity is hopping on the bandwagon as well. Worlds in Disney Infinity 2.0 are much, much larger than their 1.0 counterparts. Many of the Marvel Super Heroes will be able to fly, and thus worlds needed to be expanded in all directions. It also means that world traversal has become less of a focus. No matter who you are playing you can easily get from point A to point B without a whole lot of trouble.
Toy Box mode is also getting a pretty hefty update in Disney Infinity 2.0. There are new tools that have been made so that you can quickly build worlds with minimal effort. Simply mention a few parameters and press a button and you are good to go. Want an action level? Done in a few buttons. Platforming? Done in a few buttons. Racetrack? Done in a few buttons.
Of course, you can then hop in the editor to start tweaking things around the world to your heart’s content. You can use doors to open up objects and buildings with interior levels. You can plop down leaderboards to make players play against each other. You can choose a variety of different rules in order to make your own game types. It kind of feels like Disney Infinity is trying to edge in on LittleBigPlanet’s territory, which isn’t a bad thing.
Disney Infinity 2.0 isn’t quite a sequel but it’s not quite an update either. You can do a lot with this engine, a lot more than you could do in 1.0, but in the end it still feels like you are playing the same game. It’s kind of like how Skylanders games don’t really update themselves much each year, they just give you new characters with a few new abilities to choose from. It’s like that here, except EVERY character has new abilities to choose from, and the environment itself has leveled up a bit as well. I wouldn’t exactly say that Disney Infinity 2.0 is worth running out and purchasing if you haven’t played the first, but if you were a fan of the original it’s certainly worth it to upgrade.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: August 14, 2014