Those who dismissed Disney Infinity as a kid’s game may want to look again. Disney recently unveiled this year’s update - and it includes some rather tasty Marvel characters and new adventures.
If you’ve not kept up, Disney Infinity works with a collectable range of sculpted figurines that unlock characters in-game. Whether it’s a sneaky way to sell toys or a novel way to interact is up for debate. But either way, with Marvel in the mix it’s on our radar.
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So What is it?
There will undoubtedly be more franchises to follow but Infinity 2.0 kicks off with a wave of Avengers characters: Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk and Hawkeye. The FGTV blog has more on the full line-up in this video.
The first thing that strikes you is the attention to detail. We’d not looked that closely at Mr Incredible or Sully from the first Infinity game, but get nosey with the Marvel figures and it’s hard not to be impressed. They strike a balance between the game’s usual cartoony cell-shaded style and the heft of each Marvel character.
The video-game side of things is also beefed up this year. While it retains the playful aesthetic that will sit well with families, for core gamers there is much more going on.
Characters are now classified in different classes, with melee and ranged attacks being shown in detail at the announcement event. This leads into one of the biggest changes in Infinity 2.0: extensive branching skill trees that let you mould your favourite Marvel character into the perfect killing machine.
By making permanent choices about each of your characters you not only customise your experience but have it saved instantly to your figure. Take that to a friend’s for some multiplayer and your guy or gal comes with you, customisations and all.
More after the break...
Sandbox of tricks
Another good place for co-operative fun is the Toy Box game creator area. Here you can pull in all sorts of objects and items at the touch of a button to battle friends. No rules means things get messy fast, but this is still the best sand-box entertainment we’ve had since Crackdown.
Best of all, as you progress through the adventure you win new Marvel items and gadgets to use in your creations. The real meat of the Toy Box mode is found when you start introducing game logic and make your own levels, and in Infinity 2.0 this has been made easier, with more starting points plus helper-bots who run around and tidy up after you.
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Of course what we all really want to know is which other Marvel properties will be coming to the game.
Back on the FGTV blog they've spotted some clues hidden in the trailer: Loki, Green Goblin and Spider-Man among them. Some of these franchises will also be found in the Power Discs, which add new abilities and skins to the game. Less welcome is that these are sold in foil 'blind packs', so you can’t see what you’re getting before you buy them.
There are dozens of Power Discs, adding extras such as a Stark Industries Tech theme, Captain America's World War II costume and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. hover car. The Starter Pack includes two of these discs, three Marvel Figures (Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow), a Disney Infinity 2.0 USB Base, a Marvel’s The Avengers Play Set piece and a Web Code Card.
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When's it out?
Put it all together and Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes could be a major hit with both younger gamers and comic book addicts. Provided it delivers on its promise of more in depth gameplay to go along with the more mature Marvel theme it will certainly give competitor Skylanders Trap Team a run for its money.
Disney Infinity 2.0 starter packs will be available this autumn on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC and iOS.
Andy Robertson is a freelance games expert for the BBC and runs a Gaming YouTube channel