REVIEW: “Disney Infinity” is the only video game with “Force Awakens”

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  • reviewed on PS4 / Rated E10+ / $34.99 (starter set additional) / released December 2015
  • FINAL: You should TRY this playset. 3 out of 5 stars

Just a few months from the game’s August debut, “Disney Infinity 3.0” has finally launched its most anticipated playset, based on the new movie “Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens.” The third “Infinity” playset to come out of the “Star Wars” saga, this set includes toy figures for heroes Rey and Finn. Two additional figures – X-Wing pilot Poe and villain Kylo Ren – are also available, at a separate cost. “Force Awakens” merchandise has been unavoidable, showing up everywhere from sponsored fresh fruit to special Twitter emoji, but this “Disney Infinity” playset is the only video game tie-in to the film, aside from the planet Jakku appearing inside EA’s multiplayer shooter “Star Wars: Battlefront.”

The “Force Awakens” playset offers several hours of solid-if-unimpressive fun within a severely truncated version of the movie. The game follows the plot in the same way that a “Little Golden Book” adaptation would, delivering watered-down story beats amid soundalike audio that you might recognize from trailers. In fact, the playset is largely the trailers disassembled and glued together according to the film’s chronological order. There is very little here that could charitably be classified as spoiler content, unless you somehow missed the idea that Harrison Ford has returned to his Han Solo role. The only reveals here are threadbare, focused on the reluctant young heroes fighting against the new generation of obviously-evil Stormtroopers, rather than audience-stunning plot twists.

The storyline is supplemented by the usual kid-friendly missions that require you to drive out to some corner of the map to find X items or defeat Y enemies. One new addition plays off of Rey’s history as a junkyard scavenger, letting you mine points from nearby scrap piles that are used to complete tasks. Overall, the “Force Awakens” playset is not as good as the other two “Star Wars” kits available for “Disney Infinity 3.0.” There are fewer planets to explore, and if you’ve seen the movie you’ll be aware of lots of missed opportunities. The game is clearly hampered by an invisible directive to not tell too much.

However, this year’s “Star Wars” playsets have all been improvements over last year’s dull Marvel Comics adventures in “Disney Infinity 2.0″, even though little glitches and errors continue to seep through. Several missions in “Force Awakens” are annoyingly opaque about where they start, and your character will talk to robot sidekick BB-8 even when the cute little droid is nowhere near you.

The playset unlocks plenty of good gear for the anything-goes Toy Box mode, where you can build your own worlds using bits and bobs from everything touched by the Disney company. It’s just a shame that the developers’ hands were tied on adapting “The Force Awakens.” The feather touch makes this playset feel more like a trailer than a full-length feature.

This review is based upon product supplied by the publisher. “Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition” is available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U. Image courtesy Disney Interactive.

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