At first glance Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes comes off as looking like something only designed for kids or complete comic nerds, but there is something lurking underneath that makes it an actual game.
While Disney Infinity was sorely lacking in many ways, it definitely seems that Disney Interactive took all of the feedback from the first iteration and made sure you wouldn’t have the same complaints with the second outing. Everything feels more robust and complete and definitely feels as though this will no longer be something for Disney fans to just fool around with and put characters in vehicles they don’t belong in.
Part game, part massive sandbox; Disney Infinity is something different to nearly everyone who gives it a go. Not to mention the collectible aspect.
Disney Infinity has done some major growing up with the Marvel Super Heroes edition, but now you have to ask yourself if it’s finally for you.
At Last, It’s a Game
One of the biggest problems with the original Disney Infinity was the playsets always felt like after thoughts that really didn’t serve any viable purpose. I can’t remember actually completing any of the original playsets because they all seemed more interested in getting you to buy more figures than actually giving you a complete game. As it stands with Marvel Super Heroes, yes, you can bring other characters into the playsets, but they are only for character specific challenges. If you don’t have them, you don’t feel like you’re losing out on anything.
The Avengers playset that comes with the basic set includes Thor, Black Widow and Iron Man, and never once did I feel like I absolutely had to have say Captain America or Hawkeye to complete the quests. Yes, I had them at my disposal, but I opted to not use them on purpose until I completed the review process just to see if it could be done. It most definitely could.
And therein also lies the difference this time around. Not only did I reach the end of the playset, I actually spent more time tooling around the virtual New York City looking for more side quests I may have missed, or hidden power ups.
A Sense of Accomplishment
Something that was sorely lacking from Disney Infinity 1.0 was any sense of accomplishment. I never knew why I was doing the things I was doing other than to collect sparks to purchase things in the Toy Box. With Marvel Super Heroes you earn skill points with each level your character goes up and those can be spent in a full-fledged skill tree. Want Iron Man to have a more powerful special attack? Buy it. Want Black Widow to have extra health bars? You can do that as well. Besides completing the story, I actually felt I was getting somewhere with all of this play as opposed to just simply clicking buttons for no good reason.
The Spark system is still in place and you do still collect those for the Toy Box, but that is no longer your driving force for making your way through a playset, and that is a very good thing. Too often in 1.0 it seemed you were just trying to work through things to get that many more toys, but the skill tree and accomplishments in the playset are now much more about making sure you feel some sort of advancement in the actual game.
The big question if all of this means anything will come in the future, however, when you see how many more playsets you can use your pumped heroes in. This new version of Infinity does encourage crossover between the playsets, so it does feel like down the road we could be seeing more use out of the existing figures.
Appealing to the Collector in All of Us
Those blasted figures.
Although the art style doesn’t immediately grab you, they grow on you quickly. And while there is no posability to them, you don’t really find yourself minding all that much as they are wonderfully posed, and their paint jobs are well done and look as though they can stand up to many hours of play.
Even if you aren’t into the game and you’re just a Marvel fan, these are going to be hard to say no to when you see them hanging on the shelves in the store. They are not, however, cheap by any means. A single figure will run you $14 at your local Walmart, so diving into this game/collection with any real depth is going to put a hurt on your wallet to be sure.
Each figure, including the basic set, does come with a card with a code on it so you can also use that character in the PC or mobile version of Disney Infinity, so you will get a bit more value out of your investment.
The Toy Box is Where its At
Once you’re done with The Avengers playset, you can jump into the Toy Box – which is essentially a giant sandbox of creation – and spend hour after hour here if you choose. This year there are over 70 pre-built worlds for you to enjoy, or you can have the game generate a new one for you that you can customize to your liking from the ground up.
Also gone, thankfully, this year is that luck system of getting the items you want. Now you can spend your sparks on exactly what you want by selecting it and spending the sparks. I don’t know how long it took me get the Disneyland Haunted Mansion in 1.0, but in 2.0 I simply clicked on it, spent the sparks and walked away happy.
The number of terrain items has also seen a significant boost meaning your Toy Box worlds will look sharper than ever. And if the idea of shaping an entire world seems too daunting to you, there is also a new feature that will let you create interiors so you can create a secret base, a princess bedroom and more meaning you can choose just how big of a scale you want to work on.
Additionally there are now actual mini-games in the Toy Box which will increase your play time significantly. From tower defense to dungeon crawling games, there is a lot more motivation this time to spending some time in the Toy Box.
Is Everything Compatible?
When I told people I was in the process of reviewing Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes, the question I was asked time and time again was what was and wasn’t compatible from 1.0. The only thing you can’t bring ver with you is the playsets from 1.0. The discs, your saved toy boxes and your figures can all be used. And the figures from 1.0 are even improved as they now have access to their own skill trees. You won’t be able to use them in any of the current playsets, but at least you can use them in the Toy Box.
The lack of the playsets is disheartening considering how much they cost on average, and hopefully that isn’t an issue we won’t see repeated with the inevitable 3.0 edition of Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes is still primarily for kids, but there is something here for everyone.
The core audience of Disney Infinity is kids. There is no two ways about it, and honestly, that’s fine. But if you’re a fan of the Marvel movies, or an old school comic fan, there is definitely something here that will appeal to you. There was something immensely satisfying about flying around as Iron Man and blasting Frost Giants. Throwing Mjölnir and having it return to Thor’s hand, hitting enemies as it departed and returned? Bliss. There is no doubt there is a heavy sheen of fanboy love and nostalgia on this set, but at the end of the day, there is still a fun distraction underneath that you can just pick and play around with for a few minutes here or there. Not everything has to be about killing terrorists are rescuing a princess.
For those Disney fans who don’t see the appeal as of yet, there are figures coming soon for you as well. To play with them you’ll need the basic set that includes the three Avengers, but you can set them off to the side and never think of them again as you enjoy some time with Tinker Bell or Donald Duck. Seeing as 1.0 started with Disney figures, the company probably thought it was time to change things up.
Disclaimer: Disney Interactive sent us the complete Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes product line for this review. Sean played through all of the included playsets completing the main quests along with many side quests, as well as spending several hours in the Toy Box before starting this review.