I have been asked a lot of questions about this game. I am a pretty big Skylanders fan, and I have heard a lot of people compare Infinity with the Activision title. But the truth is that Disney Infinity shares only part of its model with Skylanders . There are differences between the two. Some are subtle, and others are not so subtle. But no matter what you’ve heard, I am going to try and give you the most clear and unbiased information that I can about this game. I am excited about it, but I am also very cautiously optimistic. With that, here’s a list of things I think you should know about Disney Infinity .
The Infinity Base
This is like the Portal of Power from Skylanders in that it is where you set the figurines to import them into your game. But the similarities really end there. The Portal in Skylanders allows you to use two figurines at once (and a mini, if you got one of those while they were around) while playing the game. The Infinity base uses a three-zone system. Two zones are where you can place two figurines to import into the game. Then there is the hexagonal spot for world discs, which let you unlock different worlds to play in. Then the final zone is where you can place up to four power discs that will import power-ups and vehicles and such into the game as well.
Multiple Gameplay Modes
There are two main modes of play. Toy Box mode and Play Set mode. These two modes are unique in the way they approach gameplay. In Toy Box mode, you can essentially create your own playable game in an open-world setting. Players will be able to mix and match anything they have unlocked so far in Play Set mode and use them pretty much however they see fit. In Play Set mode, players will be able to play through their favorite Disney and Pixar films using the Play Sets and characters that they purchase. Each Play Set is specific, and only characters from that set can be used during play in the Play Set’s world. For example, Mr. Incredible can’t play with Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas set.
Much like Skylanders , you will be able to use your figurines and discs and such with your friend’s system. So if you are playing Infinity on Xbox 360, but your friend has it on Wii U, you will be able to bring your discs and characters and use them on the Wii U. This is a good thing since the game is being released for Wii, Wii U, XB360, PS3, 3DS, and Windows. As mentioned before, though, if you don’t have the correct characters for a specific Play Set, you can only play in Toy Box mode. This game also offers multiplayer gaming with split-screen co-op and other multiplayer modes.
Right now, there have been a total of 29 confirmed playable (and collectible) characters. There has also been a promise of more to follow in the coming months. Here are a few of the character sets that will be available on day one. The starter pack will include Jack Sparrow, Mr. Incredible, and Sulley. Lightning McQueen and Holly Shiftwell from Cars 2 will be available in a Play Set. The Lone Ranger and Tonto will be available in The Lone Ranger Play Set. And there will be a host of characters for individual sale as well; Sidekicks & Villains sets and accessory packs will be available launch day, with more coming out in the future as well.
Mix and Match
In Toy Box mode, you can mix and match everything that you have unlocked throughout your time in Play Set mode. It will allow players the chance to do something new and fresh instead of it just being a “world creator” like in other games. The possibilities are limitless. You can give Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean a Zurg-themed (from Toy Story ) racecar and take him on a joyride through a world that you created to resemble your favorite scenes from The Incredibles . Or you could even give Jack Skellington (from Nightmare Before Christmas ) the ability to use a magic wand or Elastigirl’s powers or fly or whatever.
Like Skylanders , you will be able to collect the figurine sets. But you will also have the chance to collect power discs and world discs and ability discs. Disney has even announced that there will be rare discs as well that will be harder to find but well worth the challenge. The major question here, though, is how does one acquire these rare discs? And more importantly, how much money would someone have to fork out in order to get them? A few years back, we saw rare Skylanders characters selling on eBay for hundreds (and sometimes more) of dollars. The issue with some of those characters was simple supply and demand, but rarity has been built into the Infinity model, so look out this Christmas.
The starter pack for Infinity will be seventy-five dollars. Each additional single character will be fourteen dollars. Then there are disc packs that will be around six dollars. Then there will be sidekick packs that sell for thirty dollars, and then there are Play Sets (that you have to have to unlock certain levels and such) that will retail for forty dollars. So let’s just say that you want to buy enough stuff to get the full experience right off the bat, and you buy one of each of these items. Your startup cost will ring in at around $165. That’s only for one of each of these. Just buying the game is pretty expensive, but start adding on packs, and it gets costly very quickly.
Insanity on Launch Day
We have already briefly touched upon skyrocketing prices of rare and hard-to-find items during peak shopping times. Nowhere was that more prevalent than with Skylanders Giants . Not only were the “giant” characters hard to come by if you didn’t camp out at a game retailer two days in advance, but there were actually fistfights and thievery of all kinds surrounding those little figurines. And now, with Infinity , there won’t just be figurines; there will be discs too. So with there being nearly fifty items to try and grab right off the bat, it is going to be an insanity-fest the likes that many have never seen: especially since this is a Disney product. People who won’t even be playing the game will flock to stores to snatch up all the characters they can, so they can run home and lock them away in their weird houses filled with glass cabinets where they store all the Disney stuff they can fit–leaving a whole lot of kids without Infinity characters to play with this Christmas.
In keeping with the theme of expense, this game is an even bigger money pit than Skylanders was when it first came out. There were only 32 characters available originally. But with the launch of Infinity , there will be twenty power discs and twenty-nine announced characters at launch with the confirmation of forty more power discs coming in three waves after launch. There have also been announcements of new character packs that will be released after the first of the year. So all of this will add up to considerable continued expense. Especially if you are not patient and want to go online and try and buy the ones that you can’t seem to find at your local retailer.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, this game is going to be able to fuel players’ imaginations in ways that no other game has ever done. It will give you the ability to create your own game and then play it with friends. There will be no limits to what you can do unless you haven’t bought everything there is for the game—and then you’d only be limited in what you could use but not what you could do. Seriously, after watching John Lasseter from Pixar talk about the Toy Box concept (the “soul” of Infinity’s development), where gamers of all ages can flex their creative muscle, I was amazed. I have always enjoyed character creation and level building and track building and the ability to have others play my stuff. But this time it isn’t just about building a level or board or track; it’s about creating your own game. You make the world. You set the rules. Then you grab some friends and start playing a game made by you, for you, and for anyone you want to bring along on your journey.