After months of speculation and an endless build-up of excitement, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition was announced this morning. And it was good. For the third iteration of the wildly popular game, which allows you to place gorgeously stylized, toy-like versions of some of your favorite characters on a small platform and then control those characters in mission-based gameplay and less restrictive, user-generated Toy Box levels that allow for unique character combinations, the Disney Infinity team has incorporated characters and elements from (deep breath) Star Wars. That’s right – lightsabers have come to the Toy Box.
You can find out all of the details about this new Disney Infinity experience on the official page, but we wanted a little more insight so we sat down with John Vignocchi, VP Production at Disney Interactive and producer on Disney Infinity. After talking with Vignocchi, we had a very good idea about where Disney Infinity is headed and why we are so excited about this latest version of the game. So without further ado, please enjoy our 7 favorite things about Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition.
1. Two Words: Star Wars
Seriously, who isn’t excited about the Star Wars universe joining the Disney Infinity Toy Box? Especially since, according to Vignocchi, they have been gunning for the property for a while. “There is a lot of careful planning and communication and a true partnership that happens.” More tantalizingly, Vignocchi said, “Players are going to tell that Star Wars has joined Disney Infinity.” And while details are purposefully sparse, expect, in addition to the initial packs that will be initially offered (Twilight of the Republic, which features a young Anakin and Ashoka that is set during the timeline established by the prequels, and Rise Against the Empire, which features characters from the classic trilogy), there will be, down the line, Disney Infinity content connected to the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To paraphrase Jedi Master Yoda, if you’re not excited now, very soon you will be.
2. Everything Still Works
If you’re worried that your characters from the previous Disney Infinity versions (everything from Lone Ranger and Toy Story characters to Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas) won’t work with 3.0, fret not, for all of the characters are still, very much, playable. “All the characters from 1.0 and 2.0 will be compatible with 3.0 [in the toy box],” Vignocchi assured us. And if you’re wondering how that will add up, well, it’s pretty incredible. “By the end of 3.0’s life cycle we’re going to have over 100 playable characters inside Disney Infinity.”
3. The Even-More-Impressive Toy Box 3.0 Mode
And what that expanded roster translates to is an even more incredible experience in the Toy Box, where you’re allowed to let your imagination run wild and send Captain Jack Sparrow on an adventure with Elsa from Frozen (or any number of other amazing, outrageous combination). “Something that we’re excited to see is what players actually end up doing when they bring all of those characters together,” Vignocchi told us. Yes please!
4. Toy Box Speedway
There are two new “Toy Box Expansion Games,” again part of that expanded Toy Box experience. One of them is “Toy Box Takeover” mode where the bad guys have amassed and are threatening some of your favorite characters, which sounds pretty cool but the expansion game we were most excited about is something called Toy Box Speedway, a kart-racing game that features nine themed-tracks and three tournament cups (and, presumably, endless hours of shake-the-controller-in-victory fun). “When we were thinking about what would be a really fun gameplay experience, everybody really likes driving and there’s never been a kart racer that features Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters so we thought that would be a lot of fun to add as a Toy Box Expansion Game,” Vignocchi said. “We’ve got some great levels in there. And of course, according to the fiction of Wreck-It Ralph, we’ve got a Sugar Rush level.” The coolest part, though? “Any of the power discs that are vehicle based from 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 can be used as your kart. Players, if they choose to, can take something like Cinderella’s carriage and put Darth Maul in it.”
5. Identifiable Power Discs
Disney Infinity has done a wonderful job of making sure that consumers and fans have ample access to the Disney Infinity figures and other peripherals associated with the game throughout its life cycle. But one of the more frustrating elements has been that the Power Discs, which award exclusive vehicles or upgrades, have been sold as blind packs, meaning that you have to purchase something not knowing what it actually is. One of the big breakthroughs for 3.0, however, is that you will actually know what power disc you’re getting when you buy it. The importance of this cannot be overstated and it seems like something the team was very conscious about working out. “Our team is very, very focused on listening to the community. We embrace the same type of mantra that the parks have, where the guests are the most important and critical component to our business,” Vignocchi explained. “And our guests were asking for us to remove that frustration at having the Power Discs be in blind packs and instead have them in discreet packages themed to Play Sets and other franchises around the company.” This means that you might get Power Discs that are themed to projects or properties that the team might not get a chance to make a “full figure for,” but still deserves being integrated into the Disney Infinity world, making for a fuller, more modern, and even more fun gameplay experience.
6. Sam Flynn and Quorra, In the Flesh, Er, Plastic
As long as Disney Infinity has existed, it’s had a connection to Disney’s classic Tron. And with Disney Infinity 3.0 you’re going to be able to get figures based on Quorra and Sam Flynn from 2010’s sequel Tron Legacy. “As early as the first version of Disney Infinity, we had integrated Tron content into the game and over the course of 2.0’s development, we had wanted to do Tron figures,” Vignocchi said. That led, of course, let to the inclusion of the characters in the iOS version of the game, which led to a “gigantic uproar” from the community. “Everyone was disappointed that they were not available as physical figures and so when we saw that reaction, we rushed the characters into development for 3.0.”
7. An Emphasis on Female Characters
“Something that I think is unique in Disney Infinity, especially games in the hybrid/toy video game genre, is that we really like to incorporate female gamers and female characters and we have such a rich portfolio of strong female characters,” Vignocchi said, when discussing the inclusion of Minnie in Disney Infinity 3.0. And it’s true – besides Quorra, Minnie, and Ashoka, Mulan will be a playable character in Disney Infinity 3.0, with many more down the line. And for those classic Disney fans, Vignocchi says that the team is looking at “bringing in more of those Fab Five characters into Disney Infinity.”