Disney Infinity Unveiled: The Love Child of Skylanders and Minecraft (Updated)
Over the past several weeks, much speculation had surrounded the yet-to-be-fully-revealed gaming experience known as Disney Infinity. Reports of leaked images and video trickled across the widespread web, tickling the fancy of gaming news outlets everywhere (including us), while simultaneous reports claimed that the game combined the best of Minecraft creation and creativity with the over-the-top ridiculousness of Just Cause’s action-heavy fun.
Today, Disney formally unveiled the ambitious project, and suffice to say it sounds pretty darn interesting.
What is it? A game?
It’s a game, yes, but it’s also a platform, and it’s being developed by Avalanche Studios, the folks behind the Toy Story 3 game and the Just Cause franchise. It’s best described (and has mostly been described) as Disney’s take on Activision’s mega-success, Skylanders. For those unaware, it’s a game/platform that makes use of augmented-reality toys that, when scanned into the game via an included plastic base, appear in-game as playable characters with special powers.
Disney Infinity will make use of this familiar toy-based system, only with Disney/Pixar-owned characters. Intellectual properties like Toy Story, Dumbo, Cinderella, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Monsters Inc. are just a few of the big names on board for this game, with even more yet to be shown.
When you purchase the toys, they can be scanned into the game via the included “Infinity base”, where upon the will fill your world with their respective toy sets, environments, and items. These can then be imported into Toy Box mode, a more open, multiplayer-enabled experience that’s detailed farther into this article.
What kind of game is it?
As for the game itself, it’s been shared so far that Disney Infinity is a sandbox game, and a pretty substantially-sized one at that. It will launch first and foremost on consoles this summer, and will follow up with releases on mobile and online platforms throughout the remainder of the year. No specific dates were given, but the countdown clock on the Disney Infinity website points to June 1.
Disney characters in the sandbox can play in one game across multiple game worlds, not to mention across physical platforms like the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U and Xbox 360 (and later on mobile devices and tablets). Disney Infinity will also sport a two player co-op mode referred to as “structured adventures,” while up to four players (online) can bask in the glory of the open-world ‘Toy Box’ mode.
From what’s been said, this mode will allow for characters of all Disney universes to interact, compete and generally dick around in each other’s worlds. It’s here that you can build areas and structures, fly, ride and swing around environments, and participate in a variety of activities. Outside of Toy Box mode, all characters will stay within their general realms.
You won’t see Mr. Incredible venturing into Pirates of the Caribbean territory, nor will you see Mike from Monster’s Inc. venturing off into Dumbo’s circus.
What’s this I’m hearing about world-building gameplay? Disney Minecraft?
There will be world-building in Disney Infinity, building that’s been compared to something on the scale of Minecraft and Halo’s Forge mode, the undeniable trend-setters in the custom content-creation world. We’re still learning about this, and will update this post upon hearing more.
Reports from Polygon detail a scenario where Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame “crafting a new world with a magic wand, using building blocks to create levels with pieces from Wreck-It Ralph‘s Sugar Rush and the world of Tron.”
“Zooming out, we saw a custom-built world shaped like a guitar floating in a blue sky box, a unique playground designed from the ground up.”
What kind of toys can I/will I buy for Disney Infinity?
Since Disney Infinity is more that just a game, it’s a platform, it will include its own line of 40 collectible, interactive toys that will let you grow and optimize your experience. There will be 17 character figurines up for purchase at launch that will add more Disney characters into the aforementioned Toy Box mode. Power Discs, similarly, allow you to import power-ups for your characters in the form of customizations and gadgets. There will be 20 Power Discs at launch.
You can purchase items in bundles, starting with the Disney Infinity starter pack, which will sell for $74.99. Play sets (featuring different figurines and items) will sell for $34.99, figure three-pack bundles will sell for $29.99, single figurines will go for $12.99, and power disc packs will run you $4.99.
Three play sets featuring characters from The Incredibles, Monsters University and Pirates of the Caribbean will be available for purchase at launch.
We’re still learning about Disney Infinity, so we’ll continually update this post as the news pours in.
More info to come…