Review: Disney Infinity 2.0 (PS4)

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Title: Disney Infinity 2.0
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (10.3 GB)
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Avalanche Software
Original MSRP: $74.99 / $29.99 (PSN download for owners of the original Disney Infinity)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Disney Infinity 2.0 is also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, and iOS.
The PlayStation 4 disc version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was purchased by the reviewer.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Disney Infinity 2.0 (DI2) builds upon the strong foundation of the first game. The game comes in a number of configurations with the most popular being The Marvel Super Heroes starter pack. This comes with the game, three Marvel figures, the Avengers Play Set, and two game discs. Another, cheaper, starter pack includes Merida and Stitch but it has no Play Set. To play you place up to two figures and one Play Set on a base that you plug into the USB port of your PS4. You can also add game discs underneath the figures to add powers to your characters or play mini-games. For more details on the mechanics of the Play Sets, figures and game discs read our review of the original game.

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DI2 is a hard game to review without harping too much on things it doesn’t do. While it is great that any figures you have previously purchased can be used in this game, the original Play Sets that were designed for those toys are not compatible. So while it is nice that you can play with the characters from Cars or Pirates of the Caribbean it’s frustrating that the worlds built for them are missing. These worlds offer a rich environment that is designed specifically for each property which really makes the game feel complete. From a franchise perspective it is interesting that Disney is not making everything backwards compatible incentivizing people to buy all the toys instead of just the current ones. Not that this is a major issue just an interesting choice given what Skylanders is doing.

… It would have been nice if every character was playable right out of the box …

The game can be broken into two main parts: the Play Sets and Toy Box. The Play Sets, as mentioned before, are pre-built worlds that match up with specific characters. Iron Man and Thor for example go with the Avengers Play Set. Each of these sets offer missions and beautifully crafted worlds for you to explore and doing so can unlock other characters in those worlds as well as items in the Toy Chest. While the missions are fairly repetitive it’s much like other open world games you can do things in between missions to break things up.

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One nice thing about how it all works is that both players don’t need to be at a mission in order to start it. When one player starts a mission the other player can accept it and join or decline it and then neither will go on the mission. It’s good that you don’t automatically get sucked into a mission while you are doing something else. Some of the side missions that my girlfriend and I went on included racing around the city, target shooting, and dueling against each other. We also spent a lot of time just flying around the city exploring and trying to find hidden items.

There are a lot of things you can unlock in DI2 including other characters or concept art. It would have been nice if every character was playable right out of the box so if your favorite character is Rocket Raccoon for instance, you could use him in the Avengers Play Set instead of having to track down every single coin to unlock him.

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Each character also feels different with is very important in a game like this. For example, Spider-Man swings the way he does in the movies or cartoons, starting off slow and building up momentum. Groot feels like you would imagine a lumbering tree to feel. Each figure also has different attacks which adds to the feeling that you are not playing generic copies of the same character. New this year you can also level up your character the way you want via a skill tree that is unique to each of them. This allows a character like Iron Man to unlock a special rocket attack.

The Toy Box mode allows players to create their own areas for others to explore. One thing that is missing from this is a tutorial. It would be nice to have a walk-through to get players used to the options that they have. You can also play other people’s creations but they are a mixed bag. The few that I played were not that good. However just like LittleBigPlanet the tools are there for some great creations as people get more familiar with what they can build.

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Visuals:
Since DI2 is targeted towards or those young at heart the visuals skew towards the cartoonish variety. The characters are exaggerated versions of themselves if that’s even possible for comic book characters. The environments are similarly exaggerated and objects do have a tendency to pop in. Having said that, this game is great to look at.

There are hidden locations and objects all over the place for you to find. When you get into battles there are a lot of little things that will constantly catch your eye. It’s weird praising a game that looks like this but it truly fits with the gameplay and atmosphere.

… The game is really trying to showcase multiplayer …

Audio:
As long as you go into DI2 with the open mind that the characters are not going to sound like a specific actor from a movie or TV show you will appreciate the audio. The attacks for each character sound just right and when things crash into each other it sounds just as you imagine it would.

Online/Multiplayer:
You can play couch co-op in DI2 which is in fact the best way to play it. The game is really trying to showcase multiplayer right out of the box by giving you two figures that match. Last year’s game had a greater variety of figures in the starter pack but it forced you to buy more figures in order to use the Play Sets.

In addition to couch co-op DI2 has an online community where you can play other Toy Boxes created by other players or upload your own. Again these user created Toy Boxes are very hit and miss but as the community gains experience with the available tools they will get better.

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Conclusion:
Disney Infinity 2.0 is a fun game to play that will remind you of your childhood as you get to watch your imagination come to life. While other games let you do that, DI2 captures the feel of the specific world better than the competition. The Avengers actually feel like the Avengers and not something else.

Sure it’s not the technical powerhouse that other games are, but you would be surprised how many times it was shown off as an example of a great game when people came over. No, it wasn’t to show off the graphics but more often something like how Spider-Man started off his swing and how his momentum started to build allowing him to swing higher. The main drawbacks are that older Play Sets are not compatible with the newer game and there are no tutorials for the Toy Box mode.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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  • vongruetz .

    The main downside to 2.0 is that it’s still really buggy. It’s getting better, but still not where it needs to be.
    That said, I can’t remember the last game that provided both me and my family so much fun. Yes, it gets expensive if you buy everything, but for the level of enjoyment we get out of it, it’s worth it.
    The best thing is that Infinity can be whatever game you want it to be. You can turn it into an arena shooter if you want. It can be a collectors game if you want. It’s a racing game. It’s anything. Titanfall got a lot of praise for double jumps and boost packs? Infinity has them as well. The only difference is you can have Donald Duck face off against Iron Man.

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