Bringing together lots of our favourite animated characters from past and present, Disney has finally pulled the curtain back on its new sprawling gaming initiative.
It had been heavily rumoured at the end of last year that Disney was planning something pretty special for the world of gaming and now Disney has officially announced Disney Infinity at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater.
Groups of characters from different Disney universes mingled together at the launch event – Mr Incredible and his son Dash with Jack Skellington and Captain Jack Sparrow along with Monsters Inc’s Mike Wazowski and Phineus and Ferb.
As soon as attendees saw the display, the whispers of “Disney Skylanders!” could be heard. And, indeed parallels with Activision’s Skylanders, which forces consumers to buy additional toys to access content, can be drawn.
John Pleasants, who is co-president of Disney Interactive, said: “Disney Infinity is a platform that will grow and diversify. It will be global and live across all platforms: Console, mobile, and online.”
From Avalanche software, Disney Infinity uses collectible toy figures to access in-game Disney characters in two modes – campaign and Toy Box. Rooted in the same sort of model as Skylanders, you can ‘transport’ figurines and power discs into the game worlds which incorporate both traditional gaming story modes along with an open-world toy box where you can interact with the characters.
The idea came from a meeting between Avalanche Studios and John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, while the Toy Story 3 movie was being produced.
Avalanche pitched a concept for a video game where one half followed the Toy Story 3 storyline while the other half, dubbed a virtual toybox, allowed gamers to play creatively however they wanted to with the characters from Toy Story.
Disney Infinity takes the concept and runs with it – adding all sorts of other characters from different movies.
When the game becomes available in the summer, it will be available with three playsets: Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Incredibles. Each will contain figures from the movies and tell a story.
Each also has a separate Toy Box element which allows gamers to build their own Superhero Headquarters for the Incredibles or to customise the Black Pearl and its cannons and crew, for example. The worlds you create can then be shared, after being moderated, with other players. And each figurine comes with its own separate adventure to use in the Toy Box.
Two figures can be placed on the supplied Infinity Base at any one time along with another play set piece which determines which world you play in.
Game play is tailored to the look and feel of individual movies and includes platforming, fighting and puzzle solving, with two players able to play via a split screen or four players able to play online.
Disney Infinity will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, 3DS, PC and mobile when it launches in June.