Star Wars: The Force Awakens Disney Infinity 3.0 Play Set

After being pleasantly surprised with the kid-friendly highlights packages that were the Twilight of the Republic and Rise of The Empire Star Wars Play Sets for Disney Infinity 3.0, The Force Awakens joins the party with a cheeky adaptation careful not to spoil anything from the big screen.
As the closet “The Force Awakens: The Game” incarnate on offer for the record-breaking beginning of the sequel trilogy, it retains the Disney Infinity mantra and can scarcely be classified as a tie-in. With Batman leading the charge for autonomous video games based in established universes, we’re unlikely to see a like-for-like game based on any of the upcoming Star Wars films.
With just one movie to explore in around five hours of gameplay, whereas the others poignantly selected key moments from each trilogy to condense into a similar timeframe, The Force Awakens still picks key moments to focus upon, skim over and omit entirely from Episode VII.
It’s a backhanded compliment-turned-complaint that’s not without merit. Disney Infinity has never been a faithful retailing of its properties. The prequel and original trilogy Play Sets jump between key moments obvious to any Star Wars fan, and hurry through an enthusiastic, but at times inaccurate, retelling – like you did playing with action figures on your bedroom floor.
In that sense, The Force Awakens might help kids at a loss as to some of the events of the busy film. Plot points occur slightly differently, but with the same implications, and some characters are given bigger roles, while others are diminished. This rearranging of events, to keep everything G-rated, might actually help kids better understand what happened in the movie. It verbally explains motives that were only implied by J.J. Abrams and clarified a few theories I had yet to solidify until a second viewing.
The leading quartet of the new generation — Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) – all lend voices to their plastic counterparts. Evidently, Harrison Ford’s $34 million in pocket change wasn’t enough to extend to additional voice work, and Princess Leia’s role is reduced to a brief hologram appearance, which almost makes her entirely redundant by cutting the emotional attachment to Han and desire to find Luke.
It’s this treatment of the source material that leaves me a little disappointed. Leia’s role is completely changed, Han’s personality as a relapsed smuggler is nowhere to be seen, and the key moments that gave The Force Awakens impact are omitted entirely. But as a result, you can play the Play Set without risking major spoilers. I can only assume that’s to allow kids enamored by the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, but not yet old enough to experience the more mature themes of the films, to play everything Star Wars in Disney Infinity 3.0 without spoiling it for themselves.While I have some qualms about how the story was selectively retold, that’s never been what Disney Infinity is about, and it still shines on the gameplay front. The Toy Box, which we’ve covered extensively, is now home to four Force Awakens favorites. Rey and Finn are included in the $40 package, with Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron available separately. All Star Wars figures from previous Play Sets are also compatible.
The main mission structure is an enjoyable blend of combat and basic puzzle-solving. The all-ages approach captures the Star Wars essence in a thriving but purposely restrictive hub world. The side missions, mainly fetch quests and races, can become repetitive, but serve a purpose in unlocking more loot for the Toy Box.
Combat prowess rewards commitment to each of the new characters to progress their respective skill trees. Rey is the clear favourite, armed with her staff and a blaster from the outset. The focus on blasters make third-person shooting the strongest of the three Play Sets, and introduces an element of tactical range attacks.
Finn feels weaker by virtue of using his fists in close combat, and weirdly eventually gets an awkward lightsaber added to every third strike. Against the power of Obi-wan and Yoda, and now Kylo Ren, welding them full time, it feels odd.
Space combat is afforded similar attention, though at different stages. The whole shebang begins with a frantic, but almost entirely automated on-rails segment, that gets proceedings off to a flying start. It’s fun to get behind the controls of a First Order TIE Fighter and always a pleasure to be reunited with the Falcon.
The Final Verdict
The Force Awakens Play Set for Disney Infinity 3.0 a playful reimagining of Episode VII, but a retelling, it is not. It skims its source material, and cuts out a lot of it, so fans expecting the same thrilling cinema experience will be left disappointed. However, its all-ages Star Wars fuelled gameplay is still a joy to behold, as Finn, Rey, Kylo, and Poe come to life vaguely to the backdrop of The Force Awakens, and well beyond it inside the Toy Box.