By Matt Cabral
As the outgoing, friendly face of the “Disney Infinity” franchise, Executive Producer John Vignocchi has become almost as famous as the pirates, princesses, and super heroes that star in his games. During our recent interview, however, he turned the spotlight on “Marvel Super Heroes” and the slew of fan-pleasing announcements surrounding the forthcoming toy/videogame mash-up.
On top of offering up deep-diving details on the recently announced “Guardians of the Galaxy” Play Set, Vignocchi spilled the beans on what other secrets and surprises Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, and Rocket Raccoon have in store for players also provided a peek at the first of “Marvel Super Heroes”’ second wave of collectible figures.
Marvel.com: So what can you tell us about the Guardians of the Galaxy coming to “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes”?
John Vignocchi: We announced that Guardians of the Galaxy would be coming to “Disney Infinity” in the form of a Play Set, the highest level of support we can give to a franchise. The Play Set will feature Star-Lord as well as Gamora; Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon will also be available, sold separately at launch.
Marvel.com: Can you share any specifics on the Play Set’s storyline?
John Vignocchi: Absolutely. The Play Set opens up with the Guardians having secured an Infinity Stone; they’re bringing it to Knowhere to give it to the Collector and Ronan the Accuser is in hot pursuit. It’s up to the Guardians to push back this assault and then eventually bring the fight to the Dark Aster, Ronan’s ship, to save the galaxy once and for all.
Marvel.com: Very cool! Does it fit at all into the movie’s timeline? Is it maybe a sequel or prequel?
John Vignocchi: It’s a little bit of an alternate storyline to the events of the film. What’s fun is that it does feature characters that make brief cameo appearances in the film.
Marvel.com: In terms of gameplay, what sorts of skills and powers can players plan on unleashing as the Guardians?
John Vignocchi: Well, they’re such great characters and they’re so diverse in terms of their powers; every one of them feels so different and brings something special to the table. In the case of Star-Lord, you’ll be able to upgrade him to dual-wield pistols. You’ll also be able to use his rocket boots in a variety of different ways, to do super-jumps and a brief hover; these are all things that fans of the film will see in the movie. Gamora can use her sword—she’s more of a hack-and-slash character. She’s also the second female character from the Marvel line that we’re bringing to the table. She can be upgraded and she has a special ability that allows her to completely carve through all of the different Sakaaran troops that you’ll encounter. Drax the Destroyer dual-wields knives; he’s just absolutely brutal from a melee combat perspective. You can also use his knives to scale up the side of buildings. Groot uses his limbs in a variety of different ways to attack enemies. He has a standard melee combat attack, but what I think is really special is that his ranged attack has him reaching into the ground and then his limbs travel through the ground and pop-up to where the enemies are at. Rocket Raccoon attacks enemies using his dual-wielded blasters, but he can also be upgraded for a grenade attack and more.
Marvel.com: Do their various powers and such complement each other in any specific ways?
John Vignocchi: Rocket and Groot do have a team-up move; that infamous scene in the trailers for the film, where Rocket’s on top of Groot’s shoulders in the Kiln, we have that same move; if you’re playing multi-player, Groot can pick up Rocket and Rocket perches on Groot’s shoulder and then attacks almost like a turret.
Marvel.com: And I’m guessing adding the Guardians have provided ample opportunity to introduce some cool new Power Discs?
John Vignocchi: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve got a costume change for Gamora. We also have Toy Box texture discs that will theme your Toy Box to either Star-Lord or Groot; the Star-Lord one is fun because it actually takes cues from the Milano, so it will skin it so it looks like the interior of the [ship]. We’ve also got lots of different vehicular discs and vehicles that you can unlock in the Play Set including a miniature Milano; any character, Guardian or Avenger or a character from the Spider-Man Play Set can fly in it; it’s really funny to see Venom piloting the Milano. We also have new team-up discs that allow us to summon in other Marvel super heroes. We have a team-up disc with Yondu, who plays a big role in the film; we have a Power Disc for him that allows you to summon an A.I.-controlled version of Yondu that will fight alongside of the Guardians in the Play Set.
Marvel.com: Will any of the characters from the previously announced Avengers and Marvel Play Sets be able to crossover into the Guardians’ Play Set?
John Vignocchi: Yes. New crossover characters for Guardians are Iron Man and Nova. Those characters have exclusive missions and content that explains why the Guardians have summoned them to Knowhere to help them fight Ronan the Accuser.
Marvel.com: Can fans expect any other Guardians content for “Disney Infinity”? Did we leave anything out?
John Vignocchi: Yes, the second Toy Box Game Disc that comes inside of the starter pack is a dungeon-crawler, “Escape from the Kiln.” There’s a very pivotal scene in the film where the Guardians meet and bond inside of the Kiln, so we decided to capture that as the Toy Box game. We utilize our procedural generation system to actually create different levels of the Kiln prison. You can play as any character, whether Guardian or other favorite Marvel characters within this game mode. You’ll also encounter different Marvel characters along the way that will team-up with you. You can upgrade them with different skills and abilities; it’s a really cool game mode.
Marvel.com: Speaking of other Marvel characters, we understand some new villains will be invading “Disney Infinity.”
John Vignocchi: Yes, our announcement of Guardians rounds out the entire first wave of the Marvel Super Heroes available at launch, but the first three characters of wave two are Loki, Green Goblin, and Ronan. There will also be more characters—besides the villains—added as well, but those are the first round of characters from wave two.
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