Toy Story 3: The Video Game's toy box opens up the world of the upcoming movie to exploration, experimentation and even a little bit of level creation.
I had a chance to check out the game, due to hit stores on June 17 for the Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, earlier this week during Disney Interactive Studio's big pre-E3 game showcase.
In the game you play as Buzz, Woody or Jessie as they make their way through eight levels designed to highlight key moments of the film. But you can also access a Toy Box mode.
All of the levels, and the Toy Box, are accessed by a boardgame-like menu. Dropping into the Toy Box puts you in a small town that serves as the hub for the surrounding open world's locations. While the campaign is linear, the toy box is broken up into a series of challenges and tons of exploration. To expand this world you need to go on quests to unlock toy sets. Each of the toy box's toy sets give you a new setting to run around in, new options for customisation, new characters and, most importantly, a new set of levels to work through.
I checked out Sid's Haunted House, which gave me a new way to colour the sky of the entire open world, a new weapon that can suck ghosts up and then shoot them into other characters to possess them and the haunted house itself.
After working my way up to the roof of the three-story house, I dropped into it, and a set of levels, through the chimney.
The levels inside were fairly simple, having me find missing keys, battle ghosts and solve a relatively simple puzzle to get back out of the house. It took about 10 minutes to work my way through the haunted house, and it was fun.
More fun, though is customising your town, something you can do by switching the item your main character is carrying to a toolbox. That allows you to walk to specific points in the world, like in front of a building, to change the look of objects with the items you've unlocked so far.
There are also plenty of little collectibles hidden all over the expanding map.
It's probably not the sort of game that will keep the interest of an adult for long, but I can see primary schoolers and tweens having a blast with the game.
If you pick up the PS3 version of the game you also will be able to unlock Emperor Zurg as a playable character. The PS3 version will also be one of the first games to include support for the PlayStation Move's motion controller.
Disney doesn't have a date for when support will hit, since an exact release date for Move hasn't been announced, but they say that sometime this fall the game's launch they will release downloadable mini-games that will be playable with the PlayStation Move.