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    Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvellous new characters

    Although it’s been around for six months or so, Disney Infinity 2.0 is still worth a look, mainly because it is the evergreen kind of product that kids of all ages go crazy for. The addition of collectible toys makes it even more fun, particularly for Marvel Universe geeks who can now collect playable characters from across the Marvel superhero roster. These toys can, naturally, be used in the Marvel playset, which is a major selling point for 2.0. And it’s the edge that Infinity has over its obvious competitor, Skylanders. With a massive choice of highly recognisable characters, Infinity should be cruising… even if those characters cannot enter into each other’s playsets.

    But that’s what the Toy Box mode is for. 2.0 is as much about creation as the original game was, and it shows. The Toy Box mode has seem some major improvements, and has been made far more intuitive. It is now easier than before to create almost anything within the Infinity paradigm, and creative types will certainly enjoy all the possibilities. That said, the sudden absence of tutorials for some of the more complex tools can result in a lot of frustration, but those willing to undertake the process of trial and error should be able to figure things out before too long.

    The Toy Box is well served by the Marvel Universe tie in, too. There are tons of collectibles that can be used in the Toy Box, all related to Marvels’ rich and entertaining mythology. And that’s a good thing because, sadly, the play set is completely under-utilised.

    When the first version of Infinity came out, it featured three included characters, each with their own play set adventure to get through. On the downside, this made the experience a single player one outside of the Toy Box, but the three sets brought a wonderful variety to the table. In 2.0, all included characters belong to the same play set. Upside multiplayer throughout, right out of the box. On the downside, the play set itself is a lacklustre affair that generally involves getting to a checkpoint and beating up waves of bad guys. It really doesn’t buy into the richness that the Marvel Universe has on offer, and the overall variety is limited to one single play set experience.

    There are good parts to it, though, thanks to a reworking of a few systems. Combat feels much better overall, and the characters themselves no feature upgradeable skills. This is a level of variety which helps things along Thor’s skills are different to Iron Man’s, for example, and while the game itself may not change, the characters bring a bit of variety to the mix. And, naturally, there are other playsets to unlock, through the purchase of figurines.

    Ultimately, it feels a little like Infinity lost its focus on certain aspects with the release of 2.0. The Marvel play set is a valuable addition, sure, but the fact that the adventure for these characters feels half-baked doesn’t indicate much more than a cash-in motivation, which really doesn’t do the potential of the game justice. The renewed focus on the Toy Box mode is great for those who like creating and playing with characters in a much more free environment, but it also doesn’t really do much to define 2.0 as a game, rather than a massive tool set with a few games tacked on for distraction and variety. And yes, additional play sets will increase what can be done, but not necessarily with the Marvel characters, which are a strong selling point here.

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