E3 ’11: The magical world of Disney
We take a stroll with Disney at E3
One of the more unusual stands that I stopped by at E3 was that of Disney – unusual because it felt like I really had been transported into some kind of magical realm. Artists sat in a garden and sketched famous characters, people lazed about playing games – the only thing missing were singing birds and talking candlesticks. Anyhoo, I sauntered around to have a look at what Disney was cooking up for the gamers, and as if on musical cue, the games were rolled out one by one.
The first game I was treated to was Disney Universe, which turned out to be an adorable bundle of joy. Rather than play as a specific Disney character, you play as an ambiguous creature whom you dress up in one of the many Disney character costumes from your favorite Disney films. From Nemo to Stich, there will be over 40 costumes to choose from, each with a specific weapon that can be upgraded as you play. The gameplay is quite straightforward as platform games go, and the level design features recognizable areas from Disney films – our demo featured a factory level from Monsters Inc, complete with endless rows of moving doors. It looks and plays very well, and oozes the charm that Disney is well known for.
Next I tried my hand out at Cars 2 – a surprisingly slick racing game based on the upcoming movie. The action was certainly on par with any racing game that I’ve played, but still manages to retain the charm and character of the movie characters. Animations were also very slick and smooth, and it’s clear that this title will tempt even older gamers to try it out (as illustrated by the line of adults behind me). In addition to regular race modes, the game will feature some competitive modes that will have both kids and adults vying for pole position. From my brief time with the game it looks superb, and will certainly appeal to both younger gamers and adults alike.
I then moved on to one of my favorite franchises and it’s latest installment in the shape of LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean. Since I had already reviewed this game some time ago, I watched in amusement as people went absolutely mad and broke everything they could in every level, eager to collect the precious studs. I also watched some gameplay footage for Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, based on the hit TV show. The game looked to be another riot for fans of the playful duo, and showed off some simple yet elegant cell shaded characters and levels.
At the end of my tour past the magical Disney garden filled with artists, I looked back on all the smiles and excited gamers and cheerily grinned along. After all, why should the kids have all the fun?