When I sat down to play Disney Infinity 2.0 at Gamescom, I didn’t think it would be one of the most enjoyable games in the entire convention. Much like version 1.0, Infinity 2.0 lets you play with your favorite characters from the Disney universe (and most other universes the company bought over the years) by placing small figurines with RF chips on a special device connected to your console of choice.

Version 2.0 is mostly focused on bringing Marvel Comics characters to the world of Infinity: The Avengers, Spider-man, Venom, Guardians of the Galaxy and many others. Those who don’t really care for the Marvel universe shouldn’t worry – Infinity 2.0 brings to life many more Disney characters. We where shown beautiful figurines of Donald Duck and Stitch.

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Avalanche Software listened to the feedback they got from players young and old, and made some real changes to the sequel. But first, it was really important to the presenters to make sure we tell the world that all the characters you bought for Infinity 1.0 will still work in 2.0. Play sets, however, will not since the game has gone a complete engine overhaul and the old environments would not support all the new changes and improvements made to the game, according to the devs.

Speaking of bigger and better things, the new starter kits will be definitely bigger, which probably makes them better. The Avengers starter kit comes with three playable characters, so you’ll be able to play with a friend right off the bat. It also comes with the Avengers Play Set (naturally) and two Avengers-themed Toy Box Game discs.

These game discs (which are more like a hexagon, but whatever) introduce new mini-games you can play in Toy Box mode, without going through all the trouble of building them. You have a Tower Defense game, where you must defend Asgard from an invasion of ice giants, and a kind of Dungeon Crawler. Power discs are also a new addition to 2.0. They will unlock new costumes for your characters (like Spidey’s black symbiote suit), award them with various buffs, grant them new and powerful attack and even summon allies to fight by their side. There will be 80 different power disc when the game launches, and since you can mix-and-match them (up to two discs per character), you’ll have plenty of new powers to find and try out.

The sequel’s new game engine allows the developers at Avalanche Software to build new and complex worlds – an ability they share with the fans in the new Toy Box. Once you’re in this extensive world-building system, you are granted many new tools that will streamline the creation process. One of these tools is the builder – a small character that roams the world and creates small buildings with a specific themes. For example, we were shown one of Peter Pan’s lost boys: he wandered around an area and created a new tree house every few seconds. The tree houses all blended together to create one big, sprawling level you can later edit and customize. Other builders will create different type of houses, and you’ll be able to drop several of them in an empty level and watch the magic happens. Another new tool is the racetrack generator – just place it the level and it will generate a new racetrack almost instantly. As I said before – the developers really listened to the community and tried to deliver everything they wanted.

When I actually picked up the controller and started playing, I went through the Guardians of the Galaxy play set with all the characters: Star Lord, Gamora, Drex, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Rocket Raccoon was my favorite character to play, mainly because his dual blasters were ideal for fighting robots and spacecrafts, but also because his figurine looks so good and detailed. It also felt really fun to see that a game aimed at children isn’t dumbed-down and can still appeal to a more mature audience.

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While playing with Rocket, I got to fiddle with an other new feature – the character skill tree. Avalanche told us many gamers complained that their Jack Sparrow plays exactly like their Barbossa, so now you’ll be able to upgrade your character along several different skill trees. Each character (including all the ones from the first game) has its own skills and abilities to choose from, so no two pirates will play exactly the same. It’s a rather shallow leveling-up system, but it works.

All these new characters, features, tools and highly collectible figurines will be waiting for you when Disney Infinity 2.0 comes out on September 18 in Europe, and September 23 in North America.


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