Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man, Captain Jack Sparrow and Yoda. Not only are all of these characters standing together for the first time ever, but they’re standing next to you. You’ve been given the keys to a toy box filled with super heroes, Jedi and timeless characters. Enemies litter the streets of New York, closing in on this unlikely group of heroes. Sparrow and Spider-Man get in a brawl with the Green Goblin while Mickey and Yoda fend off a band of pirates. Before you stands Darth Vadar, with Loki by his side. You prepare you shield/lightsabre/fists/hammer, or any other weapon of your choice and prepare for battle.
With the release of Disney Infinity 3.0 later this year, this toy-based franchise finally encompasses virtually every major franchise that the House of Mouse owns. There’s only one ingredient missing to bring these play sessions to life – virtual reality (VR). Whether it’s immersing you in the role of a specific character on the title’s sizeable roster, or giving the feeling of really playing inside a giant toy set, this is one franchise that would answer a lot of fan’s prayers with a VR adaption.
Disney Infinity allows players to crossover characters using the same toy-based system first seen in Activision’s Skylanders series. These characters resemble stylised, toyish versions of their original forms in order to keep them consistent throughout. The result is a videogame that feels like one big play set; something that could be hugely heightened with VR. It’s an effect that was first seen in Codemaster’s Toybox Turbos and later on in VR Bits’ Nighttime Terror. Watching these toys pop up in a virtual world and battle scores of enemies would be like filling in the missing link that was previously fulfilled by a child’s imagination. Not to mention that bringing Spider-Man to Hoth or setting the Jedi free in New York would bring to life some of the most farfetched dreams of hardcore fans.
The franchise could also allow players to assume the roles of some of these characters themselves. Imagine strapping into Iron Man’s Hulk Buster armour and facing off with the green giant himself, or wielding a lightsabre as Anakin Skywalker, standing next to the Avengers and fending off an army of Ultron robots. On the likes of the HTC Vive players would even be able to replicate many of these heroes’ actions for themselves, swinging lightsabres around freely and more. VRFocus has written ‘Make it a (Virtual) Reality’ entries on each of these individual franchises before, but the chance to see them all together in a virtual world for the first time is too good to pass up.
Disney Infinity is already a dream come true for many fans, but VR could take all of that one step further. This year’s entry might not be the one to adopt the technology but, perhaps in inevitable further sequels, the toy box could come to life.