Critics are always going to be a little sceptical as to whether or not a film-to-game adaptation will ever work well, but oddly enough Toy Story 3 has really managed to pull it off in a new and original way.
As with any movie tie-in Toy Story 3 has a main story mode. Whilst very short-lived at a disappointing 2-3 hours, this mode follows the plot of the film allowing you to play through the world that Andy’s long forgotten toys inhabit. This can either be played as single player or co-op, but it doesn’t really make much difference to be honest. Co-op is split screen and whilst it is good fun to play with someone else, it can be a little disorientating, not to mention the fact that there are no specific achievements for playing Story Mode with another player. Being such a short mode, you never really get a feel for what on earth is going on, and by the time you’re starting to grasp the point of what you’re doing, it finishes. But hey, the graphics are pretty to look at, and the levels are mostly fun when you’re not cursing at the TV every time you fall off a ledge.
The real selling point of Toy Story 3 though is the Toy Box Mode set in a location named Woody’s Roundup. This mode is not particularly long if you sit down with it for a decent session, but it’s a lot more fun and satisfying than story mode. With an action adventure feel to it Toy Box Mode puts you in the shoes of Buzz, Woody or Jessie as you take control of a small town and try to rebuild it to its former glory.
There is so much to do in this section of the game, you will spend many fun hours completing missions and mini games for the townsfolk in order to earn more coins to enable you to unlock new toys, buildings and vehicles in Al’s Toy Barn. The more buildings that are unlocked, the more missions become available. None of these missions are difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but they are fun and that’s all that really matters in this game. There are various races dotted around the town for you to compete in once you have purchased each method of transportation. Unfortunately the steering on both cars is pretty terrible and gave me a real sense of motion sickness a couple of times, but they are still fun nonetheless.
One of the first buildings that will be available to use is a hat shop, and this gives you a small glimpse at the high level of customisation available in the Roundup. Every single member of the townsfolk can be designed to your personal specifications. Throwing a person at a shop allows you to give them hats, change their clothes and even change their hair. If the idea of a town full of Mexican style bandit aliens is your sort of thing, then it’s easy to do. If you would quite like a ghost town full of Frankensteins and zombies, then that is also easy to achieve. The possibilities are literally endless. Buildings are customisable in the same way and new items, outfits and decorations for your town can be found within the Roundup and Story Mode, some more difficult to find than others.
Along with unlocking buildings and vehicles, new townsfolk will become available for purchase. With more townsfolk come more missions, and with more missions come more coins. All sorts of characters will appear with new tasks, each weirder than the last, but it’s this quirky approach to the game that makes it what it is. There’s nothing quite like competing to see how far you can drop kick a civilian through an oddly shaped cactus, or hunting down lost muffins in really bizarre locations for a forgetful chef.
TS3 is a very simplistic game but with a co-op mode as well as a single player campaign and can be enjoyed by the entire family regardless of age or ability. If you are a long time fan of Toy Story, or if you just want something to entertain the kids with then definitely pick this up and jump into the fun.