Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Impressions: Comic book characters hit the Disney scene

Disney Interactive's press event in Hollywood this morning was all about the next chapter in its video game-meets-collectible toy project Disney Infinity. The company shed light on Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, or 2.0 Edition, which is set to feature the Marvel Comics universe in a big way. Of course, this was all after Disney exhibited some rightfully braggadocious behavior by sharing its sales figures (three million Starter Packs have been sold to date) and stating that it had surpassed its competition (oh, hi, Skylanders), according to the NPD Group.

While there are some changes coming, it's important to note that the initiative of Infinity remains the same. The series is still focused on making players feel like kids again by allowing them to play with characters from different universes and placing them all in one cohesive world. That nostalgic bit aside, it's clear that Infinity 2.0 will also encourage parents to play with their kids, much like it did the first time around.

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The upcoming release will launch with a Starter Pack of its own. Included with the bundle are the Marvel Super Heroes game, base (2.0 edition), Iron Man figure, Thor figure, Black Widow figure, The Avengers Play Set piece, and two Toy Box game discs. If you're not willing to make the $75 investment, you'll be glad to know that all of your Infinity 1.0 accessories will be cross-compatible with Infinity 2.0. That means you can use the base that came with the first game with this Marvel-themed title.

In addition, Power Discs and figures from Infinity 1.0 will work with Infinity 2.0. Don't expect any shortage of Power Discs, though, as the game will get 80 more of those circular and hexagonal cash grabs (because let's face it: that's what they are). Power Disc abilities include Team-Up, which lets you partner up with another Marvel character in the heat of battle, and costumes that enhance your characters by giving them explosive powers or beefing their defense up.

Several environmental Power Discs will also be released for Infinity 2.0. And if you dug the vehicles in the first game, you can expect more this time around. Flying vehicles, land-based machines that turn into hovercrafts, and for the first time, motorcycles will be available in the game. Seriously, superheroes who ride motorcycles just look really cool. Just look at Batman. Oops, wrong comic book publisher!

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Some of the things I'm most excited about regarding Infinity 2.0 surround the Play Sets. These campaigns are getting a slight overhaul this time around, with some much-needed changes coming. First off, you'll be able to put Marvel characters from different franchises in other characters' Play Set campaigns, which is pretty rad. The level cap is also getting an increase from 15 to 20, and characters will now have skill trees that allow for a more personal style of customization.

The Toy Box, where you can create your own content, will also be evolving with Infinity 2.0. You can now create interiors for your buildings, adding to the game's depth and allowing for some cool decorations. Toy Box “workers” can be summoned to procedurally build worlds for you if you don't know where to start. The cool thing here is that you can edit this content and still give it your own style if you so choose. Then there are the Logic Toys, which add fade-in/fade-out, stats screens, and other features should you create a puzzle, platformer, collection, or other type of gamey stage.

Toy Box mode isn't relegated strictly to creation, though. Structured play will be incorporated here by providing you with additional campaigns. The two modes that Disney Interactive talked about were based on tower defense and dungeon crawler gameplay. They basically function the way you'd expect from their respective genres. Content is randomly generated, and each mode will run you about four hours apiece. It's a nice addition for folks who maybe want something else aside from the Play Set campaigns and all of the creation content.

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Aside from Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow, the initial round of Infinity 2.0 figures will also include Captain America, The Hulk, and Hawkeye. That's cool and all, but I was hoping for some mention of Spider-Man. I also can't wait for Deadpool to arrive, because he's Deadpool, and he's awesome.

The next entry in the Disney Infinity brand will launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, and iOS, and as a first for the series, Infinity 2.0 will also be available on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game will hit retailers this fall, though no specific date has been announced just yet.

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