As we head towards the summer months, another gaming war of the worlds is gaining traction, as the first shots are fired between the two big competing toy/games collections, Skylanders Trap Team and Disney Infinity 2.0 at giant games show, E3.
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Disney Infinity began as a Skylanders-esque figurine-centric platforming-action-adventure game revolving around the many characters of the Disney universe, with players having to purchase physical items such as figurines and power discs to unlock characters and new items, story elements and even entire worlds, respectively, in-game. The figurines themselves could store information such as acquired abilities and level reached, allowing players to take their uniquely evolved character with them to friends' houses, retaining all progress from their own game back home. Divided into two sections - the co-op Play Sets, which are more story driven adventures, many of which are sold separately, and the free form Toy Box mode, where players could design their own levels, either on their own in multiplayer, Disney Infinity 2.0 looks set to offer more of the same - and for a quick primer on how it all works, make sure you check out our Disney Infinity 2.0 guide here.
At E3, Disney lifted the lid on several huge Disney Infinity 2.0 announcements, which have set the internet abuzz. First, and perhaps most significantly, you'll now be able to play as characters in Play Sets other than their own. In a somewhat confusing concept, in the first Disney Infinity, each character could only be used in "their" Play Set world, so Lightning McQueen couldn't invade the Pirates of the Caribbean, and Sully couldn't wander into Radiator Springs, although all characters could play together in the Toy Box. For Disney Infinity 2.0, while the Disney characters are still locked to their own respective worlds, Marvel figures can be used in any Marvel Play Set, whether that's the Avengers themed New York that will come bundled with the game, or the newly announced Spiderman world (which we'll come back to later).
While the upcoming Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes will be available on iOS, PC, PS3, PS4, PS VITA, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, it's recently been revealed that there'll be a Collector's Edition of the game, which will to include the 6 members of the Avengers team (that is: Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Captain America) as well as a diorama to display them in, but will be exclusive to PS3 and PS4. While a lot has been made of the Hulk being an exclusive figure for the collector's edition, it's worth bearing in mind this is only a timed exclusive - buying the Collector's Edition will give you access to Hulk one month earlier than everyone else, but it'll be releasing as a standalone figure just a few weeks after the game's launch.
The other big announcement from the show was that of the brand new Spiderman Play Set, which will launch alongside the game, in a pack that contains Spidey himself, the Play Set piece, and, er Nova. With the new ability for Marvel figures to cross over into each other's Play Sets, not only does Spidey get his own co-op story driven adventure, but he'll be free to websling around the Avengers' home turf, and will even have his own storyline to pursue in their world (possibly serving as consolation for him not being part of the Avengers team officially - sorry, Spidey). The likes of Venom, Iron Fist, Nick Fury and Nova will also be joining the roster, and will seemingly be getting their own figures, making them playable, with cameo appearances by White Tiger, Black Cat and Luke Cage breathe life into Spidey's very own playset, complete with a metropolis of skyscrapers for the limber hero to websling across the city.
You can find the first trailer for the Spiderman Play Set below, for an adventure that looks like it's shaping up to be aiming for a markedly older audience than the first game... Just check out the teeth on Venom.