During an event yesterday in Hollywood hosted by John Lasseter and John Pleasants (Chief Creative Office & Co-President at Disney), Disney Infinity has finally been unveiled.
Disney Infinity had previously been reported to build on the mechanics of Toy Story 3: The Game’s ‘Toy Box mode, which has now been confirmed.
Just like in Skylanders, any experience gained and items collected with each character in game will then be stored on each figurine, allowing the use of that toy to be transferred to other games/consoles with its progress in tact.What was not expected was the announcement of a Skylanders style physical add-on feature. The ‘Infinity Base’ peripheral is a USB base which is used to place plastic Disney figurines upon, which allows the inclusion of that character in the game. Disney at first looking at a release of over 30 Disney character toys for use in the game (but expect more released in future).
Unlike Skylanders which permanently progresses characters, Disney Infinity uses a quick-swap mechanic accessed by physical circular tokens. Placing the circular discs under a toy figurine on the Infinity Base will grant a new power related to the Disney character featured on the disc. Up to two discs can be stacked for multiple power-ups.
John Blackburn (founder of Avalanche Software and Disney Infinity’s developer), explained the reason for the upgrade system;
“A lot of it came down to technical reason as well as user experience. If you are connected you can save elements with your Disney ID and then it can potentially get confusing – where is my stuff really saved, on the toy or in the cloud?”
Disney Infinity’s game style will include various Campaign modes that will be unlocked depending on the figurines placed upon the Infinity Base. Want to let your artistic side flow? Disney Infinity offers a creative mode similar to Toy Story 3: The Game, in which you can play through without the need of the Infinity Base or toys. This allows players to create and share their own games with the online community.
Blackburn went on to say that the;
“Starter Pack offers three virtual stories, Monsters University, Pirates of the Carribbean and The Incredibles, and you get one character for each, three figures in total.”
The initial game pack will include the game, an Infinity Base, Play Set (figurines) and Upgrade Token. The toy figurines can be used across different platforms, taking their experience with them.
Here’s what Blackburnhad to say on the multiplayer experience;
“Playing together was important to us, we provide two player split-screen as well as four player online in drop-in drop-out network play,”
The Play Set figurines look to be the big seller for Disney Infinity as they not only appeal to the younger gamers (the aimed audience), but also to collectors alike. As everyone knows, Disney is a massive brand with worldwide appeal and with this pull comes followers.
On subject of the Play Sets, Blackburn had this to say about working on them;
“It’s actually been really cool because we got to work with a lot of the content creators out of Disney – Pixar on Monsters University for example as well as Jerry Bruckheimer’s team on Pirates.”
“We wanted this to be highly collectable. John Lasseter who was really one of the sponsors of this inside Disney wanted to be sure we were respecting the collector and doing right by them. We spent a lot of time on paint passes, poses and ensuring that all the characters look like they belong together while also looking like themselves.”
Disney Infinity will be hitting shelves in the Summer and available for 360, PS3, Wii, WiiU, 3DS, PC and Mobile.
So what do you think? Is this a doomed to fail Skylanders clone or Disney Interactive’s big money maker?