When you talk about Disney Infinity the conversation will always turn to the Toy Box as it makes up half of the game, the initial concept was the ability to create anything you could imagine and while there was a lot to do, it was not quite what we were told. 2.0 introduced a range of new options to help Toy Box Makers out, but there were still somethings missing, but now with 3.0 there are some new tools that offer up a wealth of new possibilities.
The first thing existing artists will note is that the Toy Box is faster now than it was in 2.0, going in and out of spark mode or creation mode as a whole is faster and more responsive, even when the worlds are packed full of objects, the game does not have any significant slowdown, unlike 2.0. Of course it’s not just the speed that is improved here, there are a wealth of new toys to experience and some additional pieces for existing sets to help build out your worlds.
Perhaps the biggest addition to the Toy Box Toolkit is the Spline tool aka the Path tool, which allows you to draw down a path for enemies, vehicles, blocks and everything else you can think off to follow. Which means you can create your own rollercoaster or even go ahead and create dog fights set in space, there is almost no limit to what the tool can do. Using the tool is fairly simple you just add your first point and then move to where you want the next and so on, then it’s just a matter of connecting what you want to the path using the wand. Once you have your path, you can change a lot about it, create sparks to highlight the path, change the speed of the object attached and more, it really is very powerful.
Some of the other new tools are going to be more for the advance toy box makers and will prove themselves in time, but some of the new fun tools are just that, fun. You can now place down giant music note pads that when you touch them will create a note, string enough of them together and you can create something special, if you happen to be musically inclined of course. There are so many new fun toys to try out, that a lot of the fun comes from just putting them in the world and seeing for yourself what they do.
The other new aspect to the Toy Box is the all new Toy Box Hub, in 2.0 the hub was very cramped, with a lot of players confused as to what to do, so the team at Avalanche decided to build a new experience and one that really helps explain each of the things you can do. The Toy Box Hub takes the form of a wheel, with each section of Toy Box experiences coming out from the centre like spokes, when you first start right ahead is the Main St section, this is the community section of the hub, if you enter the El Capitan theatre you can watch the latest episodes of Toy Box TV or enter Flynn’s Arcade where you can match up online with other Disney Infinity players for some new challenges.
Going clockwise from there, you have the movement section, which is about platforming and getting around the world, then the Farming area, where you can go and farm to help level up your sidekicks, then it’s the vehicle area which is all about the vehicle experience and then there is the combat space, where you can learn all you need to know to defeat the bad toys. Each area has its own special theme, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas and such and as you explore them for the first time the entire Hub will change to reflect the music of that space.
Each section of the Hub also offers a series of more advanced challenges for you to try, in combat it might be controlling a turret while you attempt to shoot as many targets as you can, or perhaps making it to the city of Agrabah on your magic carpet, these challenges will test your skills in a variety of ways, but they will also give you an idea of what you can create in your own toy box. Some of them will give you a slight challenge, whereas others, I am looking at you Neverland challenge will have you pulling your hair. As you complete the challenges, as with almost everything you do, you will earn sparks and again the blue sparks are needed to purchase toys for your own toy box.
One area I have not mentioned yet are the Interiors, spaces you can deck out anyway you like, designed to give you your own personal home style space, you can place down a rug themed to Captain America, with a big chair that looks like Venom, while having the walls covered in a Beauty and the Beast wallpaper. Interiors work about the same as they did in the last game, but there are not significantly more room options for you to choose from. You can again link your Interior door to a Toy Box of your choosing and then that Toy Box to another, allow you to create large intricate spaces. To access the Interior space, you just head down when you enter the Hub.
What makes the Hub so fun to play around in is that it is not a static space, there are things happening all the time, I have been just looking around only to see a parade start to happen from the castle, with giant balloons and floats and even fireworks. Enemies will venture out from the combat zone and cause chaos for the people still in the area and every now and again, fireworks will erupt above the castle and even your farm will grow without you there. There is a lot to do in the Hub and Toy Box and if you feel you might not be up for creating something yourself, you can use the Toy Box builders as well, drop down one and they will create what you wanted, this could be a race track and Ewok village or even some terrain, the options are pretty endless.
What the Toy Box does do is present you with a wealth of options, which might be a lot for people to understand and while the Hub does do a good job of introducing elements for you to experience, there is so much to see and learn about, there is just no way you can learn it all. The other downside of the Toy Box is they still have not fixed the alignment issues that pop up when you are building, placing down two blocks side by side and your fine, place any other two objects down and you will encounter problems of getting them to lineup, this is especially frustrating when you are trying to add some decorations to your Toy Box and you can’t put a bus sign on the foot path. The decorations that change theme are also incapable of lining up correctly, also there is the problem of gaps between terrain blocks. These are issues that have been there since 1.0 and it would be nice to see them resolved.
The Toy Box in 3.0 is much improved over 2.0 both in terms of access for new players, refinements to existing tools and new tools and pieces as well, the level for understanding has gotten harder to overcome with all the new additions and though some issues since 1.0 still linger, anyone who is willing to put in the time will find a lot of fun to be had in the toy box.