Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds Game Poster Image
Basic brawler encourages kids to buy more Infinity toys.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Encourages light competition, rivalry among friends. Toy Box mode promotes creativity. Depicts fantasy combat as fun.     

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroes (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc.) ostensibly good, villains (Loki, Ultron, Venom) supposed to be evil. But since heroes fight each other just as often as they fight villains, not always clear who's on which side, why they're fighting.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn. Story mode has multiple difficulty levels.

Violence

Plastic toy versions of Marvel heroes, villains duke it out with punches, kicks, swords, hammers, guns. Characters grunt in pain, then break into bits, disappear when defeated.  

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players encouraged to purchase additional figures (for about $15 each) to expand character roster within game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds is a brawling game along the lines of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series. Play involves constant -- though relatively mild -- melee and weapon-based combat between plastic toys that break into bits and disappear when defeated. Heroes fight both villains and other heroes, so there's not much to easily distinguish good guys from bad; it's all about who wins each short battle. Competitive play supports up to four players locally, which can make for good competition and fun rivalries among friends. Note that kids will be familiar with most, if not all of the heroes and villains in the game, which could make them want to spend money on more of Disney Infinity's collectible figures, which are sold separately and used to unlock additional content within the game. Note, too, that this is an expansion play set and that the base game -- Disney Infinity 3.0 -- is required.

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What's it about?

DISNEY INFINITY 3.0: MARVEL BATTLEGROUNDS -- an expansion play set for Disney Infinity 3.0, which is required in order to play -- is a brawler for up to four players that pits heroes and villains against each other in rounds of combat that last a few minutes each. Battles take place in square arenas set everywhere from a train yard on earth to a fantastical place far off in the galaxy called The Middle of Nowhere. Players can punch, kick, shoot, throw, and block their opponents while charging up unique a special attack that can usually be unleashed once or twice per battle. Different modes have different objectives, which may include being the last hero standing, accruing the most time spent in a glowing circle, or eliminating as many enemies as you can in a set amount of time. A separate story mode delivers the same brawling action in the same locations, but with battles separated by short narrative sequences where a robotic doppelganger threat (used to explain why heroes are often fighting heroes) is revealed. The Marvel Battlegrounds play set also unlocks additional toys to be used in Disney Infinity 3.0's toy box mode. 

Is it any good?

With a trio of Marvel-themed action-adventure play sets already available for Disney Infinity 2.0, it's nice to see Disney go in a fresh direction with the brawler-themed game. The button-mashing combat should prove instantly familiar to kids who've played Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. games, letting even beginner players pull off cool moves simply by repeatedly hammering the attack button. And while players who have purchased more Disney Infinity Marvel characters will have more playable heroes and villains from which to choose at the outset, Battlegrounds allows kids who have only Captain Marvel (who comes with the play set) to try others for free. A different trio of characters is made available each week, and players can earn tokens in story mode that can be used to try any other characters of their choice.

But it does feel a bit less substantial than other Disney Infinity play sets. The story mode will take most kids less than an hour to play through, which means most of the value comes from the versus mode -- which only shines if you have one or more friends with whom to play. Plus, there are only two female heroes in the 26 character roster, which could leave some girls disappointed. But while Marvel Battlegrounds may not be the biggest or most robust play set yet released for a Disney Infinity game, kids who love the Marvel universe are bound to have a lot of fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Some games contextualize violence with narrative, while others -- like Marvel Battlegrounds -- let players get straight to the fighting; is one preferable over the other?    

  • Talk about gender representation in games. Marvel Battlegrounds has more than two dozen fighters, but only two of them are female -- despite there being plenty of female characters in the comics, so how do you think this makes girl players feel? What message does it send to boys?

Game details

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