Hands-on with Disney Infinity’s new Marvel characters at E3 (Wired UK)


Marvel's Disney Infinity NFC character line-up
Marvel’s Disney Infinity NFC character line-upDisney


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With the fight heating up for this year’s toys-to-life market
Disney has just announced the new Spider-Man play set for
Disney Infinity at E3. This joins the already revealed
Avengers adventure in the new game to extend the cast of
Marvel characters.

There will be non-Marvel toys and adventures in the new version
but currently Disney aren’t talking about that. Whether you play
with Marvel or other franchises in the new game there are a strong
set of improvements on last year’s experience across the board.

All the old characters are supported along with the new arrivals
receiving a level cap increase to 20. The new characters will also
get a more extensive upgrade tree that introduces the possibility
of greater customisation and, in so doing, closes the gap on
Skylanders’ extensively configurable heroes.


Disney


This was touched upon last year with The Incredibles
characters, but for both The Avengers and
Spider-Man play sets this really takes off. Each time you
level up your character you can pick from one of 30 or so abilities
that change how they play in the game. These changes are then saved
instantly back to the figurines ready for next time you play.

Another nice touch this year is being able to cross-over some
characters from one play set to another. The first game was
criticised for not being able to mix and match which figures were
used in which adventure. The Marvel angle creates a context to
allow this so you can, for example, bring Iron Man into the
Spider-Man story and Nova into The Avengers.

Disney Infinity Marvel: Studio Head Talks Skill Trees, Spider-Man, Wii SupportFamilyGamerTV

The new game also offers a much larger world to explore.
Stepping out into Marvel’s take on Manhattan there is a real sense
of scale that plays well with the exploration mechanic. This is
matched by characters that fall into more precise types — ranged,
close combat or all-rounders.

One downside for families will be the lack of Wii support this
year. With Skylanders Trap Team  continuing to offer
a Wii version this could tip the balance in favour of Activision in
homes that only have a Wii console.

John Blackburn, Studio Head at Avalanche Software, said that
Disney were “working with Nintendo to offer an upgrade path.” It
seems this could be the ability to re-use your Wii portal on the
Wii U and then download the game via the eShop rather than buying
at retail. However it is delivered, this will be an important
aspect to get right.

The figures themselves are again of excellent quality. While
inevitable compromises on design have been made to ensure they feel
like a collectable set, each character is distinct and channels the
personality of the comic book star well. Hulk is particularly
impressive and, like Wreck-It Ralph last year, is hard to put down
once in the hand.

Disney Infinity Spider-Man Executive Hands-On & Power Disc Run DownFamilyGamerTV

The Toy Box game creator mode has also been expanded upon. Even
in the first few minutes it is clearly quicker and easier to create
a basic game that works. Additional to the improved creation tools,
a set of starter mini-games (such as the Asgard-themed tower
defence challenge) not only show what can be done but act as
excellent starting points for the game proper.

While we are still some way from final code, the game did crash
once or twice, Disney Infinity 2.0 is  already
looking impressive and feels great to play. As the game gets closer
to retail it will be interesting to see which other franchises are
included this year, and which PEGI rating the game gets. I’m sure
Disney Interactive will want to avoid the potential PEGI 12 badge
that would age-out a chunk of their audience.

There is also a limited edition version for PlayStation 3 and
PlayStation 4 owners that offers a variety of extras but most
importantly will be the only way to get the Hulk character at
launch. Other platforms will have to wait until the following
month.

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The precise release date for the game has not been confirmed but
from retail packaging spotted in stores it seems this will be late
September, before Skylanders Trap Team arrives in October. 

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11 June 2014 | 5:08 pm – Source: wired.co.uk
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