Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Review

September 28, 2014

Just as the Skylanders series sees fit to raid parents’ wallets each year with a new game and a new toyline, so too has Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 arrived this year, although perhaps there’s a little more justification for Disney. After all, the company has been purchasing some of the biggest media franchises over the last few years, so there’s plenty of potential to include them in future updates for Infinity (*cough* Star Wars *cough*). This year, 2.0 is mostly focused all around Marvel’s library of storylines and characters, which expands the possibilities for toys, content and gameplay.

The premise of the game is the same as before – kids can buy their favourite Marvel and Disney characters as physical, well-rendered and solid stylized figurines, and then place them on a special base connected to their game console to transfer them into the Disney Infinity game world and play around with them. You can play adventures set in a number of Disney-owned universes, or mix and match characters in the game’s ‘Toy Box’ mode.

The ‘starter’ pack for Disney Infinity 2.0 comes with the game, the base needed to place the toys upon, three figures (Thor, Black Widow and Iron Man), two Toy Box games, and a Playset piece for The Avengers. The Infinity base has three spaces – a hexagonal spot where Playset pieces, Toy Box games and hexagonal Power Discs can be placed, and two circular indentations for characters and round Power Discs. You can purchase additional characters, Playsets (essentially new campaign storylines and open worlds) and blind bags of Power Discs.


The way you combine and use these characters has some interesting possibilities, and restrictions. For instance, certain Power Discs can be stacked on top of each other. You can stack Iron Man on top of an ‘Arc Reactor’ Power Disc on the base to unlock his Mark 42 costume from Iron Man 3, or you can place a World War Hulk on top of a Spider-Man buggy disc to unlock a new themed world in the game’s Toy Box, and a new vehicle to drive around in. However, certain characters are incompatible with certain playsets. For instance, only Hulk, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, Loki and Falcon can be played in The Avengers Playset. That means, if you buy a Guardians of the Galaxy figure, it will be incompatible with The Avengers’ storyline, missions and game-world. There are ‘crossover coins’ to be found in each Playset, however, which allow a small number of characters to cross between Playsets, but these do take a bit of work to collect.

The included Avengers playset includes a 6-8 hour campaign that involves a simple story of The Avengers battling Loki, as he tries to freeze New York with the help of the Frost Giants. It’s full of fun jokes and little clever lines as it’s clearly aimed for a young demographic, and it even manages to squeeze in a couple of cameos from other well-known Marvel characters.

The mission design in the playset is also very simple, as you run around a small open-world section of New York taking missions from characters like Nick Fury or J.A.R.V.I.S., which mostly involve heading to a location and beating up a lot of Frost Giants. Occasionally you’re given escort missions to spice things up, or raids into secret facilities, but my favourite missions involve saving innocent civilians and taking them to safety. This is made infinitely more fun by the fact that you can toss them into the safe zone while battling enemies – it’s like bowling, but with people! But really, the missions are pretty bland for the most part, and New York itself is subject to occasional glitches, such as cars disappearing beneath the roads and even my character continually disappearing and reappearing every time they hit an enemy.

You can switch characters at any time, which can be used to make the game easier and simplify certain missions. If you’re playing with Black Widow, but you need to get to a faraway objective, simply switch to Iron Man and fly over there, then switch back once you arrive. Upon being defeated, your character is placed in a ‘time out’, where it will take some time before the figure can be used on the base again, and you’ll have to stick another character on to keep playing. A faded shadow of the ugly beast known as ‘pay to win’ unfortunately rears its ugly head here, as the more characters you buy, the more ‘lives’ you have. However, the missions are simple enough that this should hardly ever be a big issue, and if it is, you can simply restart from an earlier checkpoint.

Repetition does set in by the end of the campaign, but thankfully combat is always made fun thanks to the new skill tree system for each of the characters. You can level up your super-heroes with useful and really cool new abilities, from new combos to super moves that are inspired by moments in the comics  and films. I particularly had fun leveling up Hulk (an extra, purchasable, character), as every new skill I unlocked for him brought him that much closer to controlling like the Hulk from the amazing Ultimate Destruction, including his wall climbing and jumping abilities.


Aside from the Playset, two ‘Toy Box Games’ are included in the pack, including ‘Escape from the Klyn’ set in the Guardians of the Galaxy universe and ‘Assault on Asguard’ set on Thor’s home world. Both of these are fun little extras, that function more as extended mini-games than full-fledged campaign missions. ‘Escape from the Klyn’ involves plowing through levels of enemies, assisted by an upgradable follower, while ‘Assault on Asguard’ is a tower defense-type mini-game, where you can place turrets and traps to defend against waves of Frost Giants.

If you or your child is the creative sort, then the Toy Box mode is where most of your time will be spent. It’s a platform for building your own worlds and levels, using objects from across the Disney universe and utilizing any characters you choose, and then sharing them online. Already, there’s a pretty cool library of games for you to choose from, including some fun recreations of scenes from the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. A new useful feature are ‘builders’ who can help automate some of the more mundane aspects of this, like populating your world with trees or scenery. However, just about every element needs to be unlocked through using the in-game currency, and you’ll have to play through the playsets and games multiple times to be able to afford everything in there.

Visually, I really like the design of both the characters and their real-life figurine counterparts. The style of each Disney franchise has been melded together into one appealing mix, and the little figures look amazing by themselves even without the game. However, the New York world represented in The Avengers playset is rather bland and uninspired, with flat textures and only a couple of recognizable landmarks. Even on PS4, the game looks like it could have been at the beginning of last generation very easily, which is disappointing.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about Disney Infinity 2.0, from the fun combat and skill trees, to the open Toy Box mode and the cool technology behind it all. I do have a few niggles with the visual design, the few glitches I ran into, and the potential cost for the whole thing (from characters, extra Playsets and blind bags to collect every Power Disc), but they don’t drag the experience that much at all. As a fun gift for creative Marvel fans this holiday, Disney Infinity 2.0 fits the bill very nicely.


Great character designs | Fun combat, powers and cool skill trees | Toy Box mode and downloadable games


Could have used a little more polish | Some bland visual design | Buying all the extras will cost a fair bit

Overall Score: