Disney Interactive recently announced that Disney Infinity 3.0 will continue to be expanded this Fall with three new Play Sets that have yet to be announced. But on March 15th, the final component of the initial announcement was released, Marvel Battlegrounds. Labeled as a Play Set, this new game comes with a single figure, Captain America - The First Avenger.
The first thing you need to know about Marvel Battlegrounds is that Disney is using the term "Play Set" loosely here. Play Sets usually contain a full story with hours of game play. The story mode of Marvel Battlegrounds takes barely an hour to complete. To avoid confusion, I wish they had considered this a Toy Box Expansion Game, ala Toy Box Takeover and Toy Box Speedway as it has way more in common with those two than it does with any previous Play Set.
Taking a queue from Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the short story finds Loki and Ultron teaming up to collect all of the infinity stones (how fitting for Disney Infinity). Their evil plan includes making robotic clones of Marvel superheroes that need to be destroyed along the way. Maria Hill guides you through levels from Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Thor as you make your way through robotic clones to the final battle against Ultron and Loki.
The short story is a lot of fun and manages to incorporate every Marvel Infinity property from the past, plus some new ones. And there is a surprise character at the end of the story that should tie in to Phase Three. However, story mode is not the real reason to play Marvel Battlegrounds.
The real reason you should get Marvel Battlegrounds (and the reason why this plays more like a Toy Box Expansion) is that it's really a 4-player fighting game akin to Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers series. Versus mode allows you to select any figures you own to play as and you can select your opponents as well. If you don't have four players, you can chose from a mix of figures in your arsenal or from a selection of demo characters, which Disney will change regularly to keep things new for fans who don't own all 28 figures.
Speaking of the 28 Marvel Infinity figures, each of them needs to be used in the Challenge mode to unlock items in your Toy Box. Playing this mode also unlocks playable levels in Versus mode. And some of the characters even unlock alternate costumes, which can be selected in Versus mode. Highlights of these new looks include grey Hulk, Captain America's World War II suit, and Iron Man's Mark 42 armor. It's a cool way to make these characters feel different in Versus mode, although it's a bummer that these costumes can't carry over into the Toy Box.
The other thing that's completely different from any other Play Set that came before it is that Marvel Battlegrounds does not automatically gain your figures experience points. Instead, you rack up a bank of points that you can then manually assign to figures. It also ignores any Skill Tree upgrades you've made before to level all figures. They each have their special moves automatically unlocked in the game and rather than vital statistics in the top corners, a circle above their heads lets you know where they stand. You also are unable to use Power Discs during the game, but Marvel Power Discs drop into battles at random. The first player to touch it gets to use it, so you gotta be fast!
To get more information on the Captain America - The First Avenger figure plus the four brand-new Marvel figures released alongside Marvel Battlegrounds, go to the next page.