Up until this point in time, it looked as if Activision's Skylanders brand would rule the toy/game market, with its $500 million in sales thus far and its dozens upon dozens of characters. But leave it to a sense of familiarity – a mega studio and its franchises – to attempt to topple the mighty Skylanders at their own game. Hope you're ready for Disney Infinity.
The game, officially announced a few days ago for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and various other platforms, will take the same concept as Skylanders – activating characters in a game world by placing them on an interactive pad – and heighten it with familiar characters galore from the Disney universe, mostly film-based heroes like The Incredibles, Sully from Monsters Inc., Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, and literally dozens of others. The worlds will open up too, not only with playable levels that resemble the universes of each character, but also an "open toy box" world where users can do what they wish.
With that, we gotta ask…will it work? We believe so, and here are five primary reasons why.
It's Worked Before
Before you wonder if Avalanche Software, the developer behind Disney Infinity, can make this formula work, all you need to do is take a look at their 2010 game release Toy Story 3. It had a similar concept to Disney Infinity, giving users some wonderful single player levels revolving around Woody and Buzz, as well as the Toy Box feature, which at the time was considered quite innovative for a film-licensed game. Disney Infinity will expand upon that with the same ideas, but a with a whole new range of territory to cover.
Disney Infinity doesn't just have a chance to bond with younger audiences, but will also clearly attract those who are nostalgic about classic (and current) Disney experiences. And there's room to grow aplenty, as a Pinocchio figurine could easily stand alongside Wreck-It Ralph and have a run through a level that no one could've seen coming. And let's not forget the Disney princesses, who could have their own spin throughout the game – if that's who players prefer to play as. Obviously the choices are wide open, leading to…
Choose Your Own Adventure
Most games from Disney's past have relied on certain characters that you have to play as throughout, with no real option to go "What if?!" with other folks. But with Disney Infinity, obviously the choice to play as whoever you want – picking characters from Toys R' Us or other sellers and putting them into the game – opens up the possibilities on a grandeur level. Now you can skip the Cars and go right for the Incredibles, or maybe even stick with the Pirates to see how their world expands. The choice is yours, even with a price tag attached.
It's Not Limited To One System
At first, when Disney Infinity was announced, we heard it would work on its own system. But by that, the developers meant with its own platform and characters, not its own separate plug-in. Whew. The game will be released across the board, including the Wii and the 3DS, though obviously the primary focus will be on systems like the 360, PS3 and Wii U. What's more, the Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360 will have online functionality which means you and three other friends can team up online and adventure through iconic worlds together.
Room For Growth
Finally, the reach for Disney Infinity is just that – infinite. We're getting a few basic characters at launch, but in the months ahead, Disney could easily dig into its classic franchises – Dumbo, The Muppets, Aladdin – and dig up new ones with ease, expanding the adventures you can have. And that's not even tapping the pure potential of the Marvel universe or the recently acquired Star Wars. Could you imagine playing through a game with Iron Man alongside Darth Vader? I sure can.
Disney Infinity hits stores this June.