Disney finally unveiled the long rumored Disney Infinity platform at a private media event at the El Capitan Theatre this morning. I say platform, because not only is it a video game, but it’s also one where you can change your character by means of purchasing physical toys. Yes, just like Skylanders.
Leaked back in mid-December, the media event confirms what many of us already know: this is an open world game that allows you to import a Disney Infinity compatible toy into the game world.
The idea behind the game is pretty clever: What if Disney gave players the ability to tell their stories and create new experiences with their favorite Disney and Pixar characters? “Who would win in a race between Lightning McQueen or Dash? Who would win a sword fight between Jack Sparrow and Phineas Flynn? This is the promise and magic of Disney Infinity. It’s up to you to unlock the heart and soul of Disney Infinity,” says John Pleasant, co-president of Disney Interactive.
Just like Activision’s Skylanders, players place each character figure on a base in order to import a character and their respective Play Sets into their game. The Play Sets will stay true to the character and their origin and each will contain their own unique storyline and gameplay. For example: the Monsters University Play Set is focused more on the fun of customization, with less combat. By comparison, the Pirates of the Caribbean Play Set features lots of action, with sword fights, ship to ship battles, and the ability to customize your own Black Pearl. “You will never see Mr. Incredible go into Pirates or vice versa,” John Blackburn of Avalanche Software explains.
But wait a sec… isn’t this game all about a power fantasy of being able to tell your own stories with Disney and Pixar characters? You can do all that and more in the game’s Toy Box mode. Inspired by the Toy Box mode in the Toy Story 3 video game, this mode will allow you to mix and match your favorite Disney and Pixar characters and play sets in order to create your own adventures and stories. You can unlock new toys and gadgets in Toy Box mode while exploring Disney Infinity’s Play Sets. These Play Sets each represent the different worlds you can explore in Disney Infinity and are part of what seems to be the main “story” mode of the game.
Disney Infinity will initially have 40 interactive pieces that’ll let players expand and customize how they play. Want to introduce brand new characters into your adventure? 17 character figures will be available at launch that you can use to bring new characters into your world. Want to equip Woody with a jetpack? No problem. The game will launch with 20 Power Discs which can be used to customize characters by giving them new abilities and gadgets.
Disney Infinity is slated for release in June 2013 and the company also outlined the prices for each of the platform’s components. Starter packs will set you back $74.99, play sets will be $34.99, character figures will sell as a three-pack for $29.99, and power discs will sell for $4.99. The title will be released on consoles first, then other platforms such as mobile and online devices shortly after.