Video Games Review: Disney Infinity 3.0 (PS4, 2015)

There was a moment not five minutes into Disney Infinity 3.0 that made me wonder if the developers had been reading my dream journal. The moment in question was a wonderful sequence that featured the Millennium Falcon in a Star Fox-esque on-rails shooter through an asteroid belt. That’s a game I didn’t even know I wanted until that precise moment and it set the tone for everything that followed.

Now in its third year, Disney Infinity is still finding new ways to take the toys-to-life genre it dominates and wring fresh surprises out of it. I thought Disney brought out the big guns in 2.0 with last year’s Marvel Super Heroes collection but I was wrong. 3.0 brings the full power of the Star Wars universe to bear and allows players the ability to take control of Jedi and Sith alike. The game, of course, does not stop there. As with last year’s Marvel-inspired pre-built campaign, 3.0 is like a really tasty entree before a huge main meal. Creation modes have seen substantial additions and there are more ways to share your created content and play with others online. You can also add sidekicks that will give your current abilities a buff and there’s also farming in the mix now.

You’ll spend the lion’s share of your time in 3.0 within the Toy Box Hub and Toy Box creations, the very things that the wonderful multi-stage introduction introduces. It starts with with a short blast of the Star Wars: Clone Wars-era campaign Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic, 3.0’s lead playset. It shows you a few of Anakin Skywalker’s moves and how to properly wield your lightsaber and force powers. We then move into the aforementioned Millennium Falcon set piece, pulled from the Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire playset, set during the Original Trilogy-era. From there we move into a short jumping puzzle set in the world of Pixar’s Inside Out before heading into a Mario Kart-esque kart racer starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.


It’s a smart way to kick off the proceedings because it tells parents what they’ll likely be buying in the next few months and it shows kids the sorts of things they can do with this game. It’s clever design – each mission entertains and teaches the player how to actually play the game.

From there, it’s over to you to decide what to do next. Do you go straight into the Toy Box Hub and start building or do you go for the campaign? I started with Twilight of the Republic and dropped the Anakin and Ahsoka Tano figures from the playset onto the base. As mentioned, the campaign (part of a set that includes the game, two figures, the Disney Infinity base and the campaign itself) is set during the Prequel Trilogy. You only have to put up with Jar Jar Binks for a single mission, however, and the rest of the campaign is surprisingly well put together, taking you on-world and off in your pursuit of the evil Separatist forces.

The skill tree concept that was introduced in 2.0 returns for 3.0 and is now much more expansive than ever, giving players a number of really important choices to make for each individual character. As you gain skills and level up, something really interesting starts to happen. The combat goes from feeling like a typical button-mashy game for kids to feeling like a much more accomplished action game. This is thanks in a large part to the introduction of lightsaber fights – there’s better combos, you can now juggle your enemies and manipulate them with force powers.


On top of the combat, you’ll also have to solve puzzles or navigate platforming sections. Every planet included in 3.0 allows for a modicum of exploration outside of your main questline and doing so will often result in your picking up side quests from characters who are tucked away in the corners.

This playset just has so much in it, far more than I’ve seen in any other playset Disney have brought to market to date. There’s space exploration, dogfights, ships in distress, mini-games and things to collect. It gives you everything you want from a set like this – a nice balance of play types without one ever getting in the way of another.

Having said all of that, 3.0’s maiden campaign isn’t without its issues. Sound problems plagued the campaign, sometimes lapsing into complete silence for minutes at a time, causing you to miss crucial vocal clues regarding your mission. Load times, too, are a bit of a bane and some went on for so long I began to wonder if the game had crashed. Twilight of the Republic isn’t especially long either, but I’m willing to let that one slide because you’re going to be spending way more time in the Toy Box than anywhere else.

In previous iterations of the Disney Infinity franchise, there was very little in the way of educational tools or tutorials to help you figure out how the hell you were supposed to take all these bits and pieces and toys and wossnames and turn them into a game of your own. 2.0 attempted to give you a rundown by making you talk to a bunch of different characters around a kind of tutorial area but it was clunky in its execution and served to make things more complicated. 3.0 still hasn’t worked out quite how to explain itself properly yet but in adding the Toy Box Hub to the game, they’re making great strides in a positive direction.

Toy Box Hub is a sprawling open world in which players can mill about, run through different sections based around different Disney themes and beat the hell out of each other if so inclined. Heading to the very centre of the Hub will reveal a handful of characters that will teach the player briefly about each of the game’s mechanics like driving and interior design. Being able to hunt down a tutorial when you need it without getting a massive information dump is a much more pleasant alternative to standing around scratching your head in bewilderment, but it’s broad-strokes design instruction. It’s when you want to get serious that the Toy Box becomes a bit baffling again.

Talking to one of the tutorial characters will have you pointed at a door which will allow you to pick which mechanic you want to find out more about. If you go through the exploration door, for instance, you’re taken an example piece where you can run about, collect things and scale tall buildings. These areas are really useful for teaching the player design basics and they’re full of good ideas and let you collect items and sparks required to buy what you don’t yet have.


The thing is, I ignored them for a good long while and in doing so spent a lot of time feeling a bit lost in the early part of the game. You can still wander around the Toy Box Hub and be entertained however – enemies will spawn regularly, you’ll eventually find a massive race track and the iconic Cinderella’s castle (complete with secret entrance to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier out front).

The last and most crucial component in Disney Infinity 3.0 is the Toy Box which allows players the ability to create games, activities, puzzles, anything they can think of and then cram it full to bursting with characters from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars universes. This is the area that feels like it’s received the most attention this year with farming bringing a raft of changes to the formula, especially in regards to your sidekicks. You can now level your sidekick and feeding it different kinds of food grants special moves. All the food you give it comes from what you plant, grow and pick from specific farm plots throughout the game. If farming isn’t your thing, just plonk your sidekick down on the veggie patch and get them to stay there. If you feel like getting your Harvest Moon on, you can micromanage the plot by keeping it clear of budding flowers and creeping weeds.

Farming isn’t the only useful new addition, however, with things like the new path creator. I love this tool – it lets do all sorts of things. You can use it to make theme park rides, build cutscenes and make little invisible pathways for enemies to spawn on and dawdle along.


For the collectors, the number of figures that can be used with the game is now reaching truly staggering proportions. Every figure that came out for 1.0 and 2.0 is compatible with 3.0, as are any assets they have with them. This run is quite Star Wars heavy, featuring characters from the Prequel and Original Trilogies but from the fantastic Star Wars Rebels cartoon as well. Others come directly from the Disney-verse, like Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Sam and Quorra from Tron Legacy. Finally, there’s a few more Marvel figures on the way with the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit and Ultron still to come. Still waiting for my Captain Marvel figure, Disney!

There’s so much to do in Disney Infinity 3.0 that it may seem a bit confronting at first. Once you get your feet wet and start to figure out how the game design mechanics function, you’ll be having a ball in no time. This is the sort of game I would have lost my mind for as a kid and it’s easy to see why kids are losing their minds over it now. If you’re a parent of a young gamer, there’s not many better ways to spend time on the couch with your kid.

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Encourages creativity; Big character; Genuinely fun combat
Lowlights: Still room for improvement in design tutorials
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Released: August 30, 2015
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Reviewed on PlayStation 4


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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.