Disney Universe: Initial Impressions

by: Dan -
More On: Disney Universe
Another game hitting retail today was Disney Interactive Studios latest creation, Disney Universe. Even though I have put up some news on the various costumes and playable areas in the game over the last month or so, I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to get a mediocre movie tie-in, a collection of mini-games or something that had the potential to give Disney Interactive a hot new IP with some legs. After spending many hours within Disney Universe, I think we are looking at the later as the game most certainly isn’t a movie-tie in despite all of the Disney character costumes and play areas.

To this point, I have played about 1/3 of the time in single-player campaign and 2/3 of the time in 2-player co-op with my son and I am so far pretty impressed with the game. The controls are simple to use, the levels challenging, yet not insanely complicated and each area is simply gorgeous. The plot (Disney Universe hijacked by the evil HEX) and cut scenes that support it lend to an even better gaming experience by tying things together.

I will say that the game is definitely geared toward kids of all ages and is very family-friendly, as your players never “die”, they just continually respawn. In addition, the Disney characters suits you dress your little dude up in add some ambiance, but the game seems like it could have been made without these character skins and done just fine on its own. But to me, the integration of the Disney play areas and using signature features of each are the coolest design aspect so far. Cannons, pirate ships and rigging in the Pirates area and the doors and scream canisters in Monsters Inc., are just a few of these cool details.

As I continue working toward a full review, I am not sure how much different the additional levels will be and how my rating of the game will evolve. However, you can expect to find out in the near future. In the meantime, check out the Disney Universe launch trailer.

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