One of the booths that attracted the most attention at E3 2015 would have to be the Disney booth. With a giant projection screen allowing attendees to train alongside Star Wars characters and play with famous Disney mascots, there was a line reaching all the way around the booth. Of course, it also helped that Disney had to show off its most promising iteration of Disney Infinity yet, Disney Infinity 3.0. This is the big Star Wars update to the Disney Infinity series, introducing Clone Wars, Rebels and classic Star Wars figures and playsets to the game. However, what is most surprising are the improvements to the graphics and gameplay beyond this.
There are two main new playsets coming, Twilight of the Republic (the Clone Wars period) and Rise Against the Empire (the classic trilogy period). The level we played from Twilight of the Republic was very action oriented in Geonosis’ droid factory, with a new combat system from Ninja Theory that was simple but a huge step up from Disney Infinity 2.0. Lightsabre combat is much more fluid, with each Jedi character having their own unique Force ability that can be worked into Combos. Button mashing isn’t the key here, instead you’ll need well timed combos and actual thought into what to pull off next – whether it’s an area attack or an air juggle. It’s still basic enough for kids to pick up, but it’s a lot more satisfying for older fans, especially compared to what Infinity has offered before.
Fall of the Empire’s level was a Death Star trench run, and played out like an on-rails shooter section, allowing you to move your X-wing around the screen to avoid enemy fire. Disney noted that in Toybox mode, you can create your own trench runs and on-rails sections as well, using the new ‘spline’ tool that can create curved paths.
Speaking of Toybox, you can now also create your own kart racing levels with any figure and vehicle, with physics and handling courtesy of the capable hands of Sumo Digital. There’s also a few new touches to the Toybox to update it for modern children’s interests, including a very Farmville-like farm where you can grow crops and harvest them.
The other big new playset coming out is Inside Out-themed, based on the new Pixar film which has been devouring the US Box Office alongside Jurassic World. These levels play out like a traditional 2D side scroller, although each character (or ’emotion’, including Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger) has their own unique ability, and the game can be played in co-op to make the most of their powers. Gravity is often a factor in the surreal environments, as you and a friend sometimes find yourselves on the floor and ceiling at the same time, working together to navigate traps and obstacles.
The whole Infinity game has also received a big visual upgrade, with better lighting and particle effects across the board, making the playlets much more varied and visually appealing than 2.0. In particular, the Death Star trench run was very impressive, especially considering many of its elements are customisable for your own use in the Toybox mode.
The whole family should look forward to Disney Infinity 3.0, and especially it’s absolutely-filled PS4 starter pack, when it’s released 23 August, 2015.