The Force Unleashed
Over the last few years Disney as a company has gone from being huge to well, being really huge. The acquisition of Marvel and now Lucasfilm properties like Star Wars has allowed the company to continue to expand, with all sorts of new movies on the cards. Disney games have also enjoyed the new acquisitions as last year’s Infinity 2.0 allowed Marvel characters and worlds into the game, giving us a chance to decide who would win if Iron Man and Mr Incredible fought. This year’s entry has gotten even bigger with the introduction of Star Wars, delivering not only what may very well be the best Infinity so far, but also the best Star Wars game in a long time.
The starter pack for Disney Infinity 3.0 comes with the Twilight of the Republic set, the first of three announced Star Wars sets, alongside Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures. This will be most people’s entry to the title, though you can buy the game itself digitally at a reduced price if you already own a Disney Infinity baseplate. Of course going with this option requires the purchase of the Twilight of the Republic set on its own, should you want to experience the Clone Wars story. You can buy other figures separately (only Star Wars ones are playable in the core Star Wars sets) for use in the toy box, as well as the other currently released playset from Pixar’s Inside Out.
The toys themselves are what will probably be immediately recognizable for players, with many fan favorites making the cut for stylized Infinity figures. In the first wave of figures you can nab iconic characters from the prequel trilogy & Clone Wars saga, as well as the lesser known core team from the new show Rebels. It was really cool to have Darth Maul as a figure (set for release in November) who’s also playable throughout the story, as well as bad guys like Boba Fett showing up in the next release wave. The figures will set you back between AU$15 to AU$20 depending on what retailer you visit and I felt like they were good value, especially if you plan on keeping them on display or letting kids play with them. The angular sculpts and vivid colors are a really nice touch to keep the toy aesthetic going, and all the figures I received were quite high quality with neat coloring and details.
Now, on to the story you’ll be using the figures in – the Twilight of the Republic playset. When a droid factory is mysteriously reactivated on Geonosis the Jedi council sends a team of Jedi to investigate and stop the new droid army. Over the course of the game you’ll travel to Coruscant, Tatooine, Naboo, and the space above each planet in sequences that bear a lot of resemblance to events from the first two films. While the story takes place during the Clone Wars television show, I quite liked the developers idea to emulate iconic moments from the films with new characters and stories – for new and young fans it’ll be something new and fun and for older fans it’ll be sure to trigger some pleasant memories like podracing or fighting in the Geonosian arena.
As you travel to each of the four planets you can explore both the space above the planet and a set area on the planet below. Flying ships around space in free roam was actually a lot of fun – there’s plenty of droid ships to shoot down and small planets to land on, giving you a chance at rewards and to hunt down the hundred elusive Mylocks flying around the galaxy.Stepping on to the planet I was impressed with how big an area you get to explore and how filled it is. Everywhere I looked there was a side mission, canister to collect or character to interact with. There’s also a lot of characters from the movies that show up such as Aayla Secura and Dex at his diner on Coruscant all ready to give you tasks to complete. The mix of sidekicks to recruit and challenges to complete meant there was a lot to do even after the five-or-so hour set of story missions were over. On top of this all missions have a star rank with special conditions to fulfill in order to get three out of three on all of them.
Throughout the whole story you’ll do a lot of fighting and jumping. The platformer aspects at the core of Disney Infinity 3.0 worked well for the most part with only a few hitches that had me falling off ledges or missing a jump. The real star of Twilight of the Republic is Ninja Theory’s lightsaber combat which finds a perfect balance of complexity, accessibility and combos. For younger players simply mashing the attack button will work well to dispatch foes, with only a few other moves required to take out even tough foes. Players who want a little more challenge can experiment by putting points into the combat skill tree of a character, allowing timed button combos that allow for some really stunning moves. All of this is easily doable by watching and waiting till you see your lightsaber pulse after an attack, prompting a follow up press. The moves each character do are linked closely with their personal style and it makes both the combat and characters feel very genuine.The enemies you face while fighting were a lot more challenging than I anticipated, with a large variety of different types ready to come after you. From flying Mandalorians to spinning bodyguards and shielded battle droids, you’ll have all manner of enemies to deal with in different ways without it feeling like fighting the same things over and over. The boss fights that occur over the course of the playset are equally great, with the final multi-staged battle on Naboo being a big highlight from my time with the game.
Twilight of the Republic feels like a really genuine Star Wars game made by people who obviously love the characters and worlds that make up the property. From the sound effects to the stunning score taken directly from the films themselves, fighting foes, driving iconic ships, and riding Banthas through Tatooine’s sand dunes just feels so right. I really enjoyed my time in the Clone Wars story and look forward to the next two playsets; Rise of the Empire which focuses on the original trilogy and The Force Awakens playset.Outside of Star Wars, the Toybox hub is your base for all the minigames and creative aspects of Disney Infinity 3.0. Delving into this might as well be its own article, but for now it’s fair to say there’s a hefty amount of things to do here. The central ring houses different zones with portals to puzzles and challenges like racing, platforming, and even sidekick training and farming. I highly recommend checking all these out and completing the tutorials to get a grip on all that Infinity 3.0 has to offer, with so many more toys and games to unlock.
Toybox creation can also be found here, where players can build their own games and worlds or play other user generated content. This is where the title ‘Infinite’ really shows – there’s always so much more to build and do here. New toys that allow for automation of objects, script editors and even cameras for films and cutscenes are all found here & I can’t wait to see what the community does with the tools provided. My only qualm here is that all of this can be very complex and daunting to just jump into, especially for younger players. It’s definitely worth investing the time in tutorials and online guides to get the most out of this mode, but pretty much anyone can jump in and make a castle base, battle arena or race track of their own.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is a fantastically fun time for all audiences. It’s very accessible with plenty to discover for young players and plenty of throwbacks and nostalgia for any Star Wars fan. With excellent lightsaber combat and plenty of planets to explore the Twilight of the Republic set alone is good value, then you have a wealth of extra self and player created content in the toybox. While some may not be a fan of the potential cost of the Toys to Life model, the figures themselves are gorgeously crafted and felt worth it looking good on display outside of the game. At the end of the day Disney Infinity 3.0 is a fantastic title – the force is most definitely strong with this one.
Developers: Avalanche Software, Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, United Front Games, Studio Gobo
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios, Lucasarts
Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Wii U, PlaysStation 3 & Xbox 360
A review copy was provided by the publisher.