Disney Infinity 3.0 Review: Third Time’s The Charm


Developer: Avalanche Software (help from Ninja Theory, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital and United Front Games)

Publishers: Disney Interactive and LucasArts

Platforms: PS4 (Version Reviewed), Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Release Date: August 30, 2015

While there’s probably no such thing in today’s video game industry as a guaranteed success, some ideas just seem destined for good things as soon as they’re announced. Disney Infinity was one of those, as even if it wasn’t the first franchise to stake out turf in the toys to life genre, the idea that Disney Interactive and Avalanche would take the incredibly deep roster of Disney characters and franchises and throw them into one game seemed guaranteed to catch on.

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Even so, the first two iterations, while fun, felt as if they contained untapped potential. The Toy Box mode was fantastic right out of the gate and promised to only get better, which it has. It was the structured gameplay side, the Play Sets, that still had room to grow, and it’s in this area that Disney Infinity 3.0 really starts coming into its own.

Oh, and you might have heard that Star Wars has entered the mix as well. That’s kind of a big deal.

It’s almost impossible to review Disney Infinity 3.0 without breaking it down into its component parts, so we’ll approach it in exactly that manner.

Play Sets

Almost without exception, the Play Sets have always been light action RPGs. That was understandable since Disney Infinity had to appeal to the widest possible range of gamers, but while they had their moments, the Play Sets always had the following two drawbacks: they felt too similar, and they were too short.

Changes in both areas have been made for the better in Disney Infinity 3.0. The Twilight of the Republic Play Set that comes with the Starter Pack takes perhaps the least interesting era of the Star Wars saga (the Clone Wars) and turns it into a sprawling adventure that takes you across multiple planets and even out into space. The quests are still simple and straightforward, but there’s more variety in them, as well as a slightly less linear feel. The space battles are essentially rail shooters, but they’re plenty of fun thanks to the authentic Star Wars visuals and sound effects.

Combat has made more advancements, with more in-depth skill trees and a wider array of offensive and defensive moves. Specific combos and finishers are now possible for most characters, and the Star Wars gang has a bunch of nifty tricks at their disposal — especially Force users, who can push, pull or dash as appropriate. Some of the boss battles in Twilight of the Republic require real strategy over mere button-mashing, which is always nice.

Another design decision that is sure to please fans is the fact that all characters from a franchise can be unlocked for use in all of its Play Sets. That means the forthcoming Original Trilogy characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo can be used in Twilight of the Republic, and the figures out at launch (which are from the Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels time periods) will be usable in the Rise Against the Empire Play Set. Other than slavish devotion to canon, there was really no good reason not to approach things this way, and the added value for the figures should be much appreciated by all players.

Play Sets are exploring other genres too. I didn’t get to review the Inside Out Play Set, based on the most recent Pixar movie, but I did play it long enough at Comic-Con to discover that it was a platformer instead of an action RPG. That simply suits those characters better, and hopefully it’s something Disney Interactive and Avalanche continue to do where appropriate.

Toy Box

The Toy Box is almost a separate game unto itself at this point, and is the one mode you could easily get lost in for hours at a time and not even notice. That’s always been true, but the amount of creation tools players have at their disposal is truly mind-boggling.

To ease in newcomers, a redesigned Toy Box Hub offers tutorials for everything from combat to racing to farming. Yes, one of the most inexplicably popular video game activities of all time has arrived in Disney Infinity 3.0, as you can now plant and harvest crops along with everything else you could do while creating your own custom worlds.

Farming has a purpose too, since the food can be used to feed and level up the game’s new Sidekicks. These are simply smaller versions of all kinds of Disney characters who can be summoned to follow you around. They help you out in combat, can be outfitted with hats and weapons and have stats that can be improved with the right kinds of foods. They can even take an active role in the new, larger interior spaces in the Toy Box, decorating their own bedrooms, DJing at a club just for Sidekicks and more.

For the dedicated Toy Box designers, there are more ways than ever to share and participate in the game’s community. Though yours truly will never have the time or creativity to fully harness all of the goodies in this mode, it’s safe to say that anyone who already enjoyed it is going to like it even more.

Toy Box Expansion Games

The real gem of Disney Infinity 3.0 comes in a place you might not expect. Packed in as a pre-order bonus from certain retailers is Toy Box Takeover, a Toy Box Expansion Game that pits all of the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters against Syndrome. The villain from The Incredibles has stolen both the magic wand used to make changes to the Toy Box and the wand belonging to Merlin (from The Sword in the Stone), which obviously ends up giving him enormous power.

Toy Box Expansion Games debuted in Disney Infinity 2.0, but they were mostly underwhelming. This one is a surprisingly robust dungeon crawler with four difficulty settings, plenty of loot for your sidekicks, and the series’ first four-player co-op. It’s several hours of unanticipated fun, and it also helps overcome one of this game’s few drawbacks: finding something to do with your Marvel figures.

RELATED: Disney Infinity 3.0 Toy Box Takeover Full Review

Since 2.0 Play Sets don’t work with this edition, the Avengers and friends have been mostly grounded until the new Marvel Battlegrounds Play Set arrives later this year, but they’re useful in Toy Box Takeover, where they’ll run into some familiar villains like Venom and Ronan the Accuser during boss battles.


Potential and polish have both arrived in Disney Infinity 3.0 in a big way. The Star Wars injection alone should get some people who were on the fence about giving it a shot to jump in, and a number of design decisions and gameplay improvements reward those who have been along for the ride the entire time.

The overall package is still likely a little too light in terms of challenge and meaty gameplay for the truly hardcore console gaming crowd, and even some devotees may be wary about upgrading so soon after Disney Infinity 2.0. Those qualms aside, this is the best version of the game to date, one that should appeal to a wide range of players and make Disney a whole bunch more money.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.

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