There's a collector buried deep within all of us. You may not have an entire room of your house dedicated to collecting various figures, posters, and statues, but you’re still a collector at heart. When I was kid, it was all about the Pokemon cards. Oh boy did I have a collection. The cards were cool, but there was something I wanted them to do so badly that I could taste it.
I Wanted Them to Come to Life
There were games that tried down the road. Games based on stuff like Yu-Gi-Oh that put the cards in the game to being with and had animated battles. Or of course, there was Pokemon Stadium. It wasn’t good enough though, I wanted something that took what was in my hand and made it appear on the TV screen. There was one game for the PS3 called Eye of Judgement that did just that, but we don’t talk about that one. Let’s just say technical difficulties combined with a need for DLC just to play later series of cards was about where I drew the line.
Skylanders was the first game to really drive this concept home, and after several years, Disney decided to try their hand at the combination game and collectible toy line. You heard me right, Disney, as in one of the most popular brands in existence. As in the top five easily most collected toy lines in the world, as in a global superpower if they could only get the robots in “It’s a Small World” to become sentient and build an army of animatronic mechs. Yeah, that Disney. They sunk a ton of money into a new franchise that did what every kid, my past self included, wanted to see when they were young. It as a video game that brought your toys to life.
Bringing the Big Guns for Round Two
The first game brought a lot of figures out to stores that you could buy and play as in the game. These were classic Disney character Mr. Incredible, Wreck it Ralph, and even the stars of the recent release Frozen, Elsa and Anna. Of course, as time went on people started to recall that, hey, Disney owns Marvel. This sparked a massive debate about when and how the Marvel characters would show up in Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. Turns out, it’s happening this fall.
Referred to as Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes, this new game releasing on fall for the older systems, the PS4 and the Xbox One, is bringing us a big cast of Marvel heroes you may have heard of recently and others you’ll see very soon on the big screen. Disney has already confirmed that you can use all of your old characters in the new game so no need to separate characters unless you like to organize them that way. Also, all of your power discs, saves, and toy boxes will carry over as well.
The new starter pack brings Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, and a crystal shard piece, along with discs that add a dungeon-crawler and tower defense game modes. As it stands the game will be sold in this starter pack form for the same price as the original ($75). The following characters have also been confirmed: Hawkeye, Hulk, Winter Soldier, Iron Patriot, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Loki, Spider-Man, MODOK, Rocket Raccoon, Groot. So, we already know that the game is going to have The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Disney has promised more to come.
Of course, we’ll still see Disney characters released for the game I imagine. With many still left unrepresented, Marvel will be the focal point, but not the entirety of the character selection most likely.
In addition the new game will feature 80 original Power Discs that allow you to augment the character’s powers. One such disc is described to add the ability for your characters to team-up. So, now that we know about the new characters, time to talk about the changes to the game.
More Power Means More Features
The original Disney Infinity had several different worlds and playsets you could buy to expand your story. It also featured a Toy Box Mode that allowed players to create their own levels and design them however they pleased. It was a unique combination and in post-Minecraft world, making a game with creative power is a smart decision.
Infinity 2.0 is raising the level cap to 20 and is set is the city of “Marvel Manhattan” featuring the Avengers Tower as a focal point in the game’s main hub. This area alone, to give you an idea of the expansion here, is four times larger than The Incredible playset in the first game. The developer, Avalanche has dedicated more time and energy to making the game explorable and accessible.
New abilities and a branching skill tree are added to the mix as well. Characters are now put into “classes” and can have their abilities customized by the player. Black Window is a “ranged melee” class, and other characters like Thor and Captain America are brawlers with a suite of ranged skills to complement their abilities.
In terms of the Toy Box Mode, this has also received some love. The mode is being redesigned to become more accessible and offer additional options for building worlds. For example, new brushes can be used to build cities, race tracks, whatever the player desires. These are procedurally generated so they are never the same twice. Also, new builder characters will help take the pressure off of the player by adding trees, caves, or other structures to the world. You can of course go back and edit these as well, but it takes some of the load off so the player can focus on more nuanced elements of their world.
Another new feature is the ability to design interior environments as well as outdoor ones. This doubles the potential of the mode simply by allowing more aspects of the game to be used in a interior setting. Let’s hope we’re all interior designers at heart as well.
So far Disney Infinity is doing well for itself. Jimmy Pitaro from Disney boasted that “Disney Infinity has outperformed our competition in terms of total sales revenue”, adding that “Toy sales grew more than 79% in the final two months of 2013.”
We all know that when he said “competition” he meant Skylanders. So, does that mean there’s not enough cash to go around for both series to coexist? With how much you spend on the game, the characters, the expansions, and taking into account the current state of the economy, we may see one overtake the other. Only time will tell.
Activision has revealed that the Hulk will be a PlayStation family timed exclusive, only available through the Collector's Edition of the game. Don't worry: Hulk will be a single release at an "unspecified" point in time. The Collector's Edition clocks in at $180.
Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes is releasing Fall of 2014 for the PS4 and all other home consoles (except the original Wii, sorry) Activision has now narrowed that release date down to a solid September 23rd, 2014.
Do you play Disney Infinity? How many characters do you own? When do you think we’ll see Star Wars thrown in the mix? Tell us in the comments!
Game Category: Action / Adventure
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 5/07/2014