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Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Avalanche Software
Release Date: Aug. 30, 2015


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition' Inside Out Play Set

by Adam Pavlacka on May 28, 2015 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Disney Infinity 3.0 allows players to experience original adventures in some of their favorite Disney and Pixar worlds, and to build their own using the power of their imagination.

Pixar's newest film hasn't hit theaters yet, but the Disney Infinity 3.0 team at Avalanche Software is already hard at work on the Inside Out play setfor Disney Infinity 3.0. We stopped by Pixar's offices yesterday for a look at the film and to go hands-on with all five characters in the Inside Out play set. While you'll have to wait for our full review of the "Inside Out" film (hint: it's good), we're spilling the details on the play set now.

All in all, there are five play sets planned for Disney Infinity 3.0. The first, Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic, is included with the Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack. Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire, which is set during the original trilogy timeframe, and a play set based on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" are also planned. The remaining two sets include a Marvel play set and the Inside Out play set.

The Inside Out play set is designed as a sort of sequel to the film. Rather than try to re-create the events of the movie, the play set assumes that you are familiar with Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy and Sadness. The five are the emotions that live inside 12-year-old Riley's head. As Riley is dozing off to sleep, she sees part of a horror movie on TV, and that triggers a night of bad dreams. The emotions need to travel across Riley's mind and save Imagination Land from the terrors of her subconscious.

Because the entire play set takes place inside Riley's mind, the developers had plenty of fun with the world. Swamp monsters and broccoli men were the primary enemies that we saw in the levels that were available to play. Level design runs the gamut, with levels occurring in both 2-D and 3-D perspectives.

The first level is a standard 3-D exploration level. Platforms are numerous, spring-loaded circles provide an extra boost of height, and bright yellow pipes are available to climb. The goal in this first level is to collect as many balloons as possible and make it through as quickly as possible. You can't fail the level by taking too long or not collecting enough balloons, but Disney Infinity 3.0 has leaderboards for all of the levels, so there's always a background incentive to do better.

Another thing the first level showcases is the variety of the characters. Each of the five emotions has a specific ability that can make it easier to pass obstacles.

  • Anger: He can walk on lava without taking damage.
  • Disgust: Clouds act as a trampoline when she jumps on them, letting her reach higher into the air.
  • Fear: He can run incredibly fast, making it easier to avoid traps.
  • Joy: She is light on her feet and has twinkle toes, which allows her to glide after jumping.
  • Sadness: She can walk on cloud platforms without worrying about them disappearing beneath her feet.

There's one section in the first level where cloud platforms are over a lava bed. Unless you play as Sadness, the cloud platforms disappear a few seconds after you step on them. The game offers enough time for you to navigate the section before they disappear (especially if you are playing as Fear), but Sadness allows you to stroll through at your leisure.

Alternatively, there is Anger, who falls through the cloud platforms when they disappear, but he is also the only one who can't be hurt by the lava. You can switch to Anger if you want to take the low road. The entire play set supports co-op play, so if you are playing co-op, one player can pick up the other to benefit from a character-specific ability. For example, if Sadness picks up Anger, she can still walk over the clouds without them disappearing. If Anger picks up Joy, he can still walk over the lava without either character taking damage.

In the second demo level, gravity has been altered. This is a 2-D platformer level, except the "ground" is in the middle of the level. Above ground, gravity is normal, but "below" ground, gravity is reversed. By jumping through a hole that has a glowing green barrier, players can move between the two sections. Progressing through the level requires manipulating objects on both sides and using momentum to reach out-of-the-way places. For example, jumping off a "high" platform on either side and into one of the green holes means you'd emerge with the same momentum and reach the corresponding high area.

If you play through the gravity level in co-op, one player can take each "side," allowing free movement as both work in tandem to remove obstacles. There are even enemies who cross the barrier. They are very dangerous on one side but are incredibly vulnerable on the other.

The last of the level types we played was a music-themed level. It was back to 3-D platforming, with a focus on moving platforms and switches. Moving platforms slide to the beat of the music, and switches turn platforms on and off. Jumping skills could get you pretty far, but there are puzzle elements to determine the most advantageous order of the switches. Getting them into the right position makes navigating the platforms a cinch.

Each of the levels has various collectibles that can unlock items for the Toy Box, though not all of the collectibles are optional. Some areas have memory blocks that cannot be traversed until you find the associated memory ball and return it to long-term storage.

Unlike the Star Wars play sets, none of the other characters can cross over into the Inside Out play set. Only the five emotions from the movie are playable. In a nice twist, though, you don't need to purchase all five of the toys in order to see everything that the play set has to offer.

It would have been very easy (and somewhat cynical) for Avalanche to "gate" sections of the Inside Out play set and require you to purchase a specific character to progress. While there are points that seem to require specific characters, the game also allows for a temporary costume change at those same points. A costume change allows you to "virtually" change into any of the other four emotions without physically changing the character on the Disney Infinity portal. Costume changes are time-limited, but they are long enough to ensure you aren't unfairly blocked from progression.

We only got a small peek at the Inside Out play set, but after going hands-on, Disney Infinity 3.0 is already looking promising. If the other play sets have the variety of Inside Out, the game should have plenty to offer — and that's not even counting the improvements that Avalanche says it is making to the Toy Box mode.

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