Toy Story 3’s biggest appeal is Toy Box Mode, an open world you can customize to your heart’s content. It starts out in the Old West, and gives Sheriff Woody an opportunity he’s never had before - to be an actual Sheriff. As you take down you dastardly banditos hellbent on ransacking the town, you’ll gain money. And this is where things get interesting. You can start adding buildings… which then attract more familiar characters and townspeople… who then offer you branching missions. The more you do, the more items you can customize. And the more you customize, even more gameplay opens up which you can tackle at your leisure.
Double jumps, dash attacks and projectiles make for a solid little platformer, only now the developers are working free from the film narrative of the film and basically letting you play in Andy’s brain. You’re looking at hundreds of objectives - hidden treasure, heroic rescues and high altitude puzzles, just to name a few - that branch from the breezy decisions you make. You start out buying buildings, outfits and weapons, then eventually vast new environments, like Zurg’s space fortress as well as a haunted land of demonic toys created by sadistic tinkerer Sid from the first Toy Story… which you’ll then travel to and from with unlocked vehicles. Oh yeah, and Bullseye.
We couldn’t believe it, either, but Toy Story captured not only our attention, but our imagination. The Toy Box mode alone looks like it’ll offer a crap ton of value. The very idea beautifully embodies everything that makes Pixar and Toy Story special. Toys are only as fun as what you, individually, do with them. There was even a magic goop that could shrink or enlarge objects. To what purpose? No idea really, but it certainly symbolizes the game’s approach of presenting you with a billion things to do whatever you want with.
Toy Story 3 is a no brainer for the kids, but taxpaying Pixar nerds are in for a real treat, too. Playing as Woody, we got to use the iconic Luxo Jr. ball as a weapon, and were then told that the in-game store will also feature content from the entire Pixar universe! Wall-E, The Incredibles and Cars?! We were told “yes” on all counts.
May 7, 2010