E3 Reaction: Disney Infinity 3.0 Takes Us to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Ever since the first Disney Infinity was revealed two years ago, the series has continued to evolve and grow in exciting ways with an ear towards what the fans want. Having already explored the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles, and The Avengers, there was only one logical place for the third entry in the series to break into – Star Wars. Not only is Disney Interactive taking players to a galaxy far, far away, but they’re bringing new innovation to the franchise.

At launch, there will be three playsets for the 3.0 edition: “Twilight of the Republic,” an all-new storyline set in the midst of The Clone Wars; “Rise Against the Empire,” a sort of “greatest hits” for the original trilogy,” and an Inside Out-themed playset acting as a pseudo sequel to the upcoming Pixar animated film. Two more are being planned as well, including one for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and an unnamed Marvel playset which will see Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor and Ultron as playable characters

“Twilight of the Republic” features far more hand-to-hand and physical fights than the “Rise” playset, which will focus primarily on vehicular combat. We got our hands on a section of the “Twilight” set, which saw us on the planet Geonosis going after General Grievous’ battle droid factory. Combat in Disney Infinity 3.0 maintains the same fluid and smooth motions as its predecessor, but with the added fun of the Star Wars universe. Though mostly Jedi are playable, there are a few shooters at the player’s disposal (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett), and the redesigned skill tree (a huge leap forward from the 2.0 edition) allows for quick upgrades and even more abilities.

There are two things that primarily set apart the playsets for “3.0” from last year’s game – they offer more sights to see and they just plain look better. Instead of being contained to one section of a city, the Star Wars playsets allow players the opportunity to visit multiple planets ranging from Tatooine to Hoth and Endor to Coruscant. In the “Marvel Manhattan” of the previous game, there was a lot of repetition in the visuals, mostly grey buildings and sometimes parks and what have you, and since it wasn’t entirely optimized for next-gen consoles it wasn’t entirely impressive. 3.0 ramps it up though with really incredible graphics. Thanks to the vast nature of the Star Wars universe and its various worlds, players will have a treasure trove of intricate and visually exciting worlds straight from the films they love.

Another innovation made to the latest title is a change to the Toy Box mode. Players will continue to be able to create anything their brain can imagine in the mode, and share them with players around the world, but two new game modes exclusive to the Toy Box have been added: Toy Box Speedway and Toy Box Takeover. In Speedway, think of it as Mario Kart, except you can play as any of the previously-released Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters and vehicles across nine themed tracks through three tournament cups. Imagine Han Solo driving the Spider-Mobile and Mickey Mouse in an X-Wing and you’re on the right track. In the Toy Box Takeover it’s a similar conceit, albeit instead of racing, it’s classic beat ‘em up. Use every character released for Disney Infinity as they take down Syndrome and the other bad guys in six levels in five themed worlds.

Many of the things about Disney Infinity 2.0 that were head scratchers have been fixed. Any of the Star Wars characters can be used across any of the play sets this time, so Darth Vader can actually destroy the Death Star, Yoda can run around Mos Eisley, and Chewbacca can fight General Grievous. The flying combat is also less clunky, a major improvement of the vehicle flying in last year’s game. Plus the Toy Box mini-games can now be played with every single Disney Infinity figure and power disc. I was also told that the “Star Wars” playsets were geared toward knowing that both adults and kids would want to play the game. Gone are the kid-centric days of previous titles, which isn’t to say that things will be grim or dark in the game, but gameplay and the story aren’t dumbed down. If you’ve been following the series, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited, and if you’re a newcomer it’s finally time to jump into the deep end.

Disney Infinity 3.0 hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android this fall.