Apologies for this being delayed. Between our schedules and me being away on vacation, things have been crazy. However, today I am proud to present our Infinity and Beyond SDCC Review for Disney Infinity. We had one of our Infinity and Beyond group members Sarah Mennuto on hand for the festivities on Thursday and Friday, where she got to experience the new Guardians of the Galaxy Play Set and the Disney Infinity 2.0 Toy Box first hand. Here’s Sarah with her report.
I attended this years Comic Con in San Diego and had the opportunity to get an exclusive look at Disney Infinity 2.0 while speaking with two of the senior producers. Let me be the first to say that Disney Infinity has really stepped up their game. It’s visually stunning, the controls are smooth, and overall the game became more of a challenge compared to 1.0.My first play of the game was at the Disney Infinity booth in the Exhibit Hall. I played the Guardians of the Galaxy Play Set while talking to a very informative senior producer by the name of Christian Arretche. He did a little bit of explaining of what was new and gave me a feel of how the game worked.In the Disney Infinity Pop-Up Shop, I had an exclusive interview with Michael Schneider, another senior producer. From my interview, I learned quite a bit. Some simple (but oh-so necessary) things that were added to the game, including a mini map at the bottom of the screen which tells you the location of other players, other missions, enemies, and the next checkpoint for current missions. Along with that, on your screen, a yellow/gold box appears with a number showing you how far away you are from your next mission point. This is something I think is simple but completely helpful. Compared to 1.0 where you have a green arrow by your feet pointing you in the direction. This gives you a better idea of your distance.Something I noticed that DI did was take popular elements of other games and added them to this game. For example, a huge addition to 2.0 is something called a skill tree. If you are familiar with games such as Borderlands, Watchdogs, Diablo, and so on, you’ll know exactly what a skill tree is and how it works. For those who are unfamiliar, a skill tree is basically a branching system. If you are playing as Groot and collected enough skill points to unlock a new skill, you go over to the skill tree, click the one you want and that opens a new path to a new skill you couldn’t get before. It’s an exciting new concept that keeps players scavenging for skill points so they can clear their skill tree open. Each character has their own set of different skills special to them. For example, Groot can strength his branches into a strong armor or use a brutal root attack. The good news is that 1.0 characters transition into 2.0 and gain their own skill tree as well. Another new element added to 2.0 is that when playing two players and one player is down, the other player can go rescue them by reviving them. Such techniques we have seen before in other video games such as Left 4 Dead. The skill tree has a specific option that upgrades that power by making it faster to revive a player. 2.0 also has a new skill point system. Instead of collecting the same blue skill points, there are now three different colors of skill points: purple, red, and blue.Power discs. You know ’em, you love ’em, you struggle to get them all. Well 2.0 came out with an astounding amount of new and exciting power discs. Discs include costume discs, special attacks, and special additions. I had the pleasure of seeing examples of each. The first was a Nick Fury missile attack. While playing as Gamora, you put down the special attack disc and wait a few minutes while your disc charges up. Once the attack is charged up, you aim and click. In seconds, missiles come flying down on the foes. The next disc was a AI character (similar to the ghost warrior in the Lone Ranger set). The AI disc took much longer to charge up than the special attack but it is well worth the wait. When used, a side kick appears and starts to beat up the enemies by your side. Lastly was the costume disc. Some characters have skins that you can add. Gamora has one that strengths her and changes her costume. Other characters can use it for the benefits but don’t gain the skin (which makes sense…you don’t expect to see Hulk in a skin tight suit).There’s been rumors about having crossover characters. For example, Nova from the Spider-man playset can cross over into the Guardians of the Galaxy set. The catch is that in order to get the ability to have Nova in Guardians, you must collect 10 of the Nova chips in the Guardians playset to gain access. When I asked producer, Michael Schneider, which characters crossover, he only told me that characters that make sense with other characters crossover.Not only did I get a chance to play the Guardians of the Galaxy, but I got to mess around in the Toy Box with some of the new characters. I learned that each new character has a special attack which takes time to charge up after use. Stitch has a ray gun that traps someone and they explode, Maleficent waves her staff and calls crows to attack, Tinkerbell flys circles around the player and attacks, and there’s so many more to discover. In the Toy Box are lots of cool new features. An important one is something called Builders. Which basically means a template. The example I saw was a treehouse. It looks like a stump but when it is set down, it builds up to a giant tree house. This also works with things like race tracks. Instead of building a track piece by piece, it is as simple as placing down a track, driving your car up to the starting line, and starting your race with a click of a button. This feature is fun for people who aren’t master builders but like to have their own fun in their own toy box. Now for those who are master builders, there is a very useful feature when trying to build and use the same pieces you’ve been using. You now have the option to favorite pieces and filter out others. So if you are building a strictly Cars themed box, you can filter out irrelevant pieces for the time being to make it easier to navigate while building. Disney Infinity 2.0 starter pack also comes with two power discs that contain two Toy Box games: Fight for Asgard and Escape from the Kyln.Overall, I had a fantastic experience meeting new people and getting to see firsthand Disney Infinity 2.0. From new playsets to being 4x larger than the largest of 1.0 to playing as Rocket jumping on Groot’s back shooting enemies, this game has it all. I’m beyond excited to start playing this game and finding out even more.-Sarah Mennuto