Review | Disney Infinity 3.0: Twilight of the Republic Starter Pack
Disney Interactive has certainly stumbled onto something significant and magical with Disney Infinity. The toys-to-life genre has really exploded in popularity in recent years. Ever since Activision and Toys for Bob blew up the sub-genre with the Skylanders franchise, a number of other companies are getting in on the act. Skylanders preceded Disney Infinity and the Disney Infinity figurines from Disney Interactive. From there, Nintendo jumped onto the craze with the Amiibo series. Millions of Amiibos have been sold since the initial launch of the toys, with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, almost a year ago. Now, the makers of the world’s most popular building brick toys, LEGO, are joining in the new craze with LEGO Dimensions. What is special about Disney Infinity is that there is something for everyone. These games are great gateway games for kids, and they are great games for kids and families to play together. For small children, there is a lot of fun to discover in Disney Infinity. Older fans get the chance to experience all parts of the Disney family all in one game: from Disney Animation, to the beloved characters created by Pixar, to the heroes of the Marvel Universe. And now, with the arrival of Disney Infinity 3.0, gamers can experience the Star Wars franchise in the game. This review covers the PlayStation 4 version of the game, along with the Twilight of the Republic Play Set/Starter Pack.
The main drawback of toys-to-life games is that playing them can become quite expensive. To get more out of the experience, and to get more unlockable features, players have to keep buying the figures. On the business end, it’s a brilliant strategy. However, from the consumer end, it means that this can be a very expensive hobby. To unlock more features, like the Ultimate Unlock of the Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts, players have to buy all the figures. The good news is that there is still quite a bit to play and enjoy with just the starter pack, which right off the back provides two figures and the Twilight of the Republic expansion game. However, you will have to spend more money to play the other expansion games such as the Rise Against the Empire and The Force Awakens Play Sets. There is also an Inside Out Play Set available for the 3.0 edition. The starter pack features all the Toy Box 3.0 features plus the Twilight of the Republic Play Set.
For Twilight of the Republic, players get a story campaign during the Prequel Trilogy era of Star Wars. In this adventure, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Master Yoda and Ahsoka Tano are on the hunt for General Grievous. It seems the droid factory on Geonis has been reactivated, but even Grievous doesn’t know why this happened. The Jedi must discover the secrets behind this plot before it’s too late. This expansion is a lot of fun as it takes you all across the Star Wars Universe. You start on Geonosis and then go to other planets such as Coruscant, Naboo and Tattoine. On each planet, players can dive into various missions and side quests. The side quests are fairly benign and clearly aimed at younger gamers. You help young wookies or Jedi younglings find their lost toys or play hide and go seek. The side quests are very simple, but they are also very cute and endearing.
Similar to the other Disney Infinity games, each character has his or her own unique skill tree that can be leveled up and upgraded as you progress through the game. The lightsaber and play styles of Ahsoka and Anakin come off as unique. Ahsoka is a little quicker and more agile. Her attacks are more surgical. Anakin is more of a tank with his attacks. If you would like to play as other characters, there are parts where you can collect tokens for other iconic Star Wars characters. So, if you have a figure from the prequel trilogies such as Darth Maul, you can play as Darth Maul for these play sets. It does not alter the cut scenes or anything, but it is fun to have the variety to play as a character like Darth Maul for the play sets. The expansion play set also provides a nice variety in the gameplay. It’s not all just lightsaber duels and ground battles. There are parts where you get to experience aerial dog fights in outer space against Separatist blockades. The space aerial battles control quite well, and they are somewhat reminiscent of Star Fox. I am glad the Star Wars play sets actually feature the aerial and space battles. For whatever reason, a little game called Star Wars Battlefront is not going to have any actual space battles.
Outside of the Twilight of the Republic Play Set, the 3.0 edition still offers a lot of the fun the latest version of the Toy Box has to offer. The Toy Box is definitely a feast for the imagination, with numerous mini-games, platform challenges and combat challenges. Even when you are playing around in the Toy Box or Toy Box Hub, you can still continue to get points and level up for whatever character is docked on the Infinity base pad. The Toy Box is generally where you will find most of the game’s impressive replay value. Players can buy in-game toys, create their own Toy Boxes, and download other Toy Boxes that have been submitted to the El Capitan community. Various other gadgets and items are littered throughout the game, and they can be stored and messed around with for later use. Right off the bat, a player can find a Buzz Lightyear jetpack and an Incredibles hover board. Other items and vehicles are available from the power discs and via purchase from the in-game toy stores.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is really a fantastic game that’s appropriate for all ages, and it’s a great game to let your kids play if they are just getting started in gaming. The game is not just about mindless button mashing. Disney Infinity 3.0 features lots to do and create. In a word, the possibilities are quite literally…infinite.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5.