Ten franchises we hope to see in Disney Infinity
Disney Infinity plans to take gaming by storm when it hits store shelves this Summer. Not only will it incorporate collectible toys, much like the Skylanders franchise, but it will also build upon its gameplay by incorporating a unique story playset per given franchise, or let gamers run wild in a DIY mode called the Toy Box.
From what we've seen so far, given the trailer and the presentation last week, we already have an idea of what franchises will be making an appearance on Infinity aside from Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University, and The Incredibles. We got glimpses of Nightmare Before Christmas, Wreck-it-Ralph, Toy Story, Tron and even Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb. With such a wide variety of franchises, spanning movies and TV shows, it's easy to get lost in speculation of what might eventually make its way to Disney Infinity.
The beauty of these franchises appearing in Infinity is that they don't necessarily have to match their source material. We've already been told that the stories told in Infinity won't always reflect their movie or TV show counterpart exactly, giving much freedom to both the developer and us gamers to experience a different side of our favorite characters.
Putting those we've seen in the trailer and in the presentation aside, as well as any potential Marvel / Star Wars playsets that will be any gamer's dream, we'll look at 10 other already established Disney franchises that would be a perfect fit for the platform.
Why it would work: Much like The Incredibles, Bolt would revolve around defending the city and Penny from the many dangers of the Green Eyed Man. Aside from adventure levels, we know that Disney Infinity also focuses on a building aspect as well. How awesome would it be to research and build new movie sets that would in turn become the levels that we got to play through as Bolt.
The beauty of this design is that we'd really get to see both sides of Bolt. On one hand, we're playing as the pup who is convinced he's a super hero that possesses powers all the while managing and building the various movie sets, making small changes on the fly, and thus making each adventure our own.
Toy Box mode would also benefit from many of these features as players could then construct their own sets from scratch, design their own missions and then share them with the world.
Other playable characters: Aside from Bolt, we could play as the adorably courageous hamster Rhino. Since he's in a ball, I could imagine some sweet Marble Madness level recreations. Mittens the cat could also be a character, with her petite build, she would be a perfect fit for stealth levels.
Why it would work: Unlike Bolt, WALL-E would be less about the combat, and more about the managing of the starliner Axiom that he finds himself on. However the ultimate goal would be to work against the ship's on-board robot AUTO, and restore humanity by bringing the ship back to Earth.
Even though this would match the movie much more closely, there could be a neat sim aspect. The Axiom could be upgraded with various facilities that replace fast food dispensers with healthy food choices. Other facilities like gyms, schools, gardens could be built and upgraded for the Axiom's inhabitants to start working and losing weight.
Other playable characters: Eve would be an absolute no brainer, with her ability to zoom around the level with ease. While WALL-E's cockroach friend could potentially be a way to scurry around various parts of the ship, I'm not sure whether he would have some added gameplay value.
Why it would work: Hercules is the son of Zeus and Hera. He's powerful, selfless and heroic. Much of Hercules' gameplay would obviously revolve his adventures, but a big part could also involve upgrading various parts of Mount Olympus that would help him take on Hades.
Much like a hub town in other action RPGs, Mount Olympus could be home to various upgrade shops for armor and equipment, a stable for his trusty Pegasus and also a place to recruit others to fight by his side. The gameplay could then use an overhead camera, much like Diablo, and have Hercules take on the armies of Hades in true ARPG fashion.
Other playable characters: The three sure fires would be Phil the Satyr, Pegasus and Meg. With Phil's humorous quips, Pegasus' ability to fly and Meg's... long hair, there are no others that Hercules would rather have by his side while taking on Hades and the Titans.
A Bug's Life
Why it would work: Much like the others, A Bug's Life has a lot going for it that would make it a perfect fit for the Infinity platform. Large cast of characters, and a large base that could be fully upgradeable. However, unlike the others, this franchise could play out as an RTS.
The Ant's base could serve as the basis for upgrading various units, as well as recruiting other bugs to fight for the cause. Think of this like XCOM's base, but more kid friendly. You'd have various places to outfit your ants with better gear, learn new abilities and recruit hero characters like Flik and the circus crew, provided you had their respective toy. Once it was time to take the fight to the grasshoppers, gamers could command their armies of bugs with their Hero units.
Other playable characters: The obvious choices aside from Flik would be the entire circus crew. Francis could charm his enemies with his ladybug charm, Heimlich could easily regenerate energy by eating various plantlife and Rosie could stun and slow her enemies with her webbing.
Why it would work: Up was a story of both acceptance and adventure. However since Infinity can tell stories how it wants to, what if Carl and Russell didn't stop adventuring after Paradise Falls, and instead we got to experience alternate adventures in other magical and exotic locations around the globe.
Think of this like an Uncharted or Tomb Raider except you're not playing as the rugged Nathan Drake or the voluptuous vixen Lara Croft. Instead you're playing as the adventure seeking Carl and his young sidekick Russell. It would mostly be a platformer but also heavily focus on puzzle solving.
Other playable characters: With both Carl and Russell being our main adventurers, the other two playable characters would be Doug the dog and Kevin the bird. Both could have special interactions with levels, such as Doug being able to sniff out various clues to help solve puzzles.
Why it would work: Brave is still relatively new, so aside from being a perfect fit for Infinity, it's still fresh on kid's minds. Though we got a Brave game for consoles, it was mainly a twin stick shooter. For Infinity, it would play out as a third person action game, but with a heavy emphasis on using Merida's bow.
From puzzle solving, environment actions and obviously to combat, the entire single player aspect would give emphasis on weapon based combat. Of course, the story here could either mirror the one we've seen in the movie, or go off on its own and continue the story where the movie left off. With the family reconciled, we could see the family take on other challenges or transformations.
Other playable characters: Brave has a lot of characters to choose from to turn into toy format. The triplets could come as one character and could wield a sword. The young Macintosh, MacGuffin and Dingwall could also be playable characters with each one being proficient with specific weapons.
Why it would work: What better way to market to young female gamers than offering not only a pack of Disney Princesses, but also the ability to essentially build their own dream castle. This could be one of Infinity's completely unique stories, offering one large castle that could be built, decorated and upgraded based on what each player wants to do with it.
The castle could expand based on what princess you buy and use in the game. Ariel would expand the castle by allowing access to a beach or any other big bodies of water to allow her to occasionally transform and go on undersea adventures. Of course since this would be marketed toward young girls, you could expect gameplay elements involving new outfits, castle decorating, throwing massive balls and courting with Princes.
Other playable characters: Well the sky's the limit here really. Everyone from the aforementioned Ariel to princesses like Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Rapunzel and Tiana. Each of them would unlock a whole new customization element to the castle, making it the ultimate castle playhouse ever.
Why it would work: Duck Tales was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I loved the wacky adventures of Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie and Launchpad McQuack. Coincidentally, Duck Tales on the NES was one of my favorite games growing up, sitting right beside the original Super Mario games.
Disney Infinity could easily make this game an homage to the platformer days of old. We've seen a very short clip of the ability to have a fixed camera to allow platforming levels. Now imagine if all of the original levels from Duck Tales and Duck Tales 2 on the NES were recreated in Disney Infinity. Talk about amazing!
This would also provide many great tools for players to build out their own 2D levels in the game's Toy Box mode, with specific parts that are enhanced when used with a fixed camera to emulate 2D platformers.
Other playable characters: I sort of already covered them in the first paragraph, but obviously Scrooge's grand nephews would be a no brainer. The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean showed that we can play as villains as well, so the inclusion of Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys would make sense here.
Swiss Family Robinson
Why it would work: Aside from the fact that we already know that live action movie properties will work thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean, The Swiss Family Robinson is a perfect fit for many reasons. The main reason though, the awesome tree house!
This title could work more as tower defense of sorts. As you try to survive being stranded on the island, you'll have to often upgrade your tree house, its defenses and booby traps around it to fend off pirate attacks. Much like the movie, you'll be able to create new inventions that will both benefit your survival against the harsh wilderness and the myriad of pirate attacks.
What's more, with so many animals in the jungle, there could be a animal collecting meta-game that would allow you to tame various animals to be used for different purposes. Larger animals could be used as mounts, while the smaller ones could be tamed to defend the tree house.
Other playable characters: Take your pick from the entire family. You have Father and Mother Robinson, Fritz, Ernst, Francis and Roberta 'Bertie' that could all be acceptable characters to play as.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Why it would work: Aside from being an awesome adventure under the sea to find a mythical city, the fact that our hero stays behind at the end to rebuild the lost city of Atlantis would make a perfect gameplay element for Infinity.
Much like Swiss Family Robinson, Atlantis would be under constant threat after being restored once again. That means it's up to the player to make Atlantis their own and build various structures that would ensure Atlantis' survival. Except unlike Swiss Family Robinson which would rely on a tower defense element, defending Atlantis would require a more hands on approach. Underwater combat in various vehicles all built by the player would have to be utilized to protect Atlantis.
Other playable characters: Even though many of the characters returned to the surface after finding Atlantis, who's to say they can't all come back again. Obviously, each retaining their specializations like demolitions expert, medic, mechanic, etc.
With Disney having such an enormous pool of franchises to pull from, not to mention any future releases, Disney Infinity could easily become what it's striving to be, not just a new franchise but an entire new platform. What are some of your favorite Disney franchises you hope to see in Disney Infinity?