By Matt Cabral
A clever collision of collectible toys and interactive adventures, last year’s “Disney Infinity” contained many moving parts, both of the physical and virtual variety. Its sequel, “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes,” will be no different, presenting players with a number of physical components—figures, Power Discs, Play Set pieces—as well as a possibility-packed in-game universe to unleash them in. Unlike Bruce Banner’s “angry” alter ego, however, “Marvel Super Heroes” won’t be nearly as intimidating as it might look.
While the title’s creativity-encouraging Toy Box mode and character-shaping Power Discs add a bit more depth—that we’ll dig into at a later date—to the average family-friendly game, its toy figures and Play Sets—when paired—work similarly to any other experience that’s put you behind a gamepad. The Play Sets represent standalone, story-driven games that’ll see fans participating in familiar action genre activities, from fighting bad guys and finding collectibles to piloting vehicles and solving puzzles.
The figures, placed on a portal-like peripheral—dubbed the “Disney Infinity Base”— plug into your game console, and become the stars of these self-contained Play Set adventures. Simply place one of the slick-looking sculpts on the base and watch them spring to virtual life on your TV display or PC monitor. Once inside, they can run, jump, and climb, just like any other agile avatar you’d control in a game. Of course, because they’re iconic Marvel characters, they can also unleash the sort of powers and abilities fans have come to expect from the comic book heroes.
What separates “Marvel Super Heroes” from the world-saving pack, however, is its sprawling cast of playable characters; rather than being restricted to a single protagonist, players can switch out their super heroes by simply swapping them on the base. Feel like battling Loki behind Captain America’s shield rather than Thor’s hammer? No problem. Simply remove the Son of Asgard figure from the base and replace him with the Star-Spangled Avenger toy. Even better, put both figures on the base and grab a brave buddy to help you out in the Play Set’s two-player co-op mode.
On top of featuring several fan-favorite characters, “Marvel Super Heroes” also supports multiple Play Sets. Contained within clear, plastic, six-sided game pieces, the Play Sets can also be positioned on the base. Individual Play Sets generally contain four-six hours of content and will be released on a regular basis. The original “Disney Infinity,” for example, featured six sets based on popular properties such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, and The Incredibles. Two Play Sets—The Avengers and Spider-Man—have been confirmed to launch alongside “Marvel Super Heroes.”
The game’s starter pack will be bundled with the Avengers set as well as three figures: Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow. Captain America, Hulk, and Hawkeye can also be let loose in the standalone Avengers adventure, but will be sold separately. The Spider-Man Play Set—which includes Spidey and Nova figures—will also be available for purchase, as well as individual supporting characters Nick Fury, Iron Fist, and Venom. With some very specific cross-over exceptions—like an optional Iron Man mission in Spidey’s adventure—the collectibles generally can’t play in their peers’ universes; Monster’s Inc.’s Sulley couldn’t pillage and plunder alongside Jack Sparrow in the original “Disney Infinity,” so don’t be surprised if Venom and Hulk don’t tag team Frost Giants in the sequel.
Fans of age-spanning series such as “Skylanders” and the “LEGO” games will feel especially comfortable in “Marvel Super Heroes” Play Sets. But even if you haven’t grabbed a gamepad since saving Princess Peach, the title’s pick-up-and-play accessibility will have you besting bad guys like a seasoned S.H.I.E.L.D. operative in no time.
Look for more installments in “Understanding Disney Infinity” coming to Marvel.com in anticipation of “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” arriving this fall!