Last year’s Disney Infinity allowed younger gamers to delve into a vibrant toy box populated by beloved characters, where it wasn’t unusual to see Mr. Incredible firing rolls of toilet paper at Jack Sparrow in a crude, user-built Wild West. The sequel expands on this cheerful concept by adding Marvel’s mightiest heroes and improving the game’s unique creation tools, but loses the spark of diversity that made the original more than just a Skylanders knock-off.
Where as the original offered three play sets based off separate Disney franchises, Disney Infinity 2.0 provides only one based on The Avengers. Despite this, there is some good news: not only has combat been significantly improved (by DmC: Devil May Cry developer Ninja Theory no less) but all the character figurines included with the starter pack – Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow – are compatible with the play set, meaning co-operative play is available straight out of the box without purchasing additional figures. The bad news is that The Avengers set is a disappointingly bland and repetitive slog.
While young players will no doubt enjoy punching Frost Giants and chasing Loki around New York City, everyone else will feel the monotony of endless escort missions and button-mashing combat. Whereas Infinity 1.0 offered similar superhero antics in its The Incredibles play set, it was offset with high-seas adventure and national lampoonery in the Pirates Of The Caribbean and Monsters University sets respectively. Here, additional Guardians Of The Galaxy and Spider-Man play sets will cost an additional £35 each.
Still, the Toy Box is where the game thrives and the basic creation tools have been made more accessible, with little helpers capable of building themed areas at your command. At the other end is a more sophisticated experience that pitches itself somewhere between LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft where you can create entire games through a series of logic gates. But while the options here have been expanded, the lack of interactive tutorials makes it difficult to get to grips with.
Overall, it’s a muddled result. The variety and freedom of Toy Box mode’s expansive sandbox makes for fun, diverse gaming experiences, but the main game is lazily hashed together and prompts additional spending that borders on cynical. Let’s hope next year’s inevitable Star Wars edition fares better.