Toy Story 3 is a cute 3D escape game I used to play on my PSP: it not only ties in with the movie but also gives the players a whole new perspective on the narrative. It offers two gameplay modes, (1) the Story mode, which isn’t so much of a rehash of events in the movie but more of a re-telling of inbetween adventures it didn’t show, and (2) Toybox mode, a set of mini escapades you unlock that revolves around the idea of a toy’s perception of reality when they’re getting played with. Although (2) was meant to be a side game, it is arguably just as, if not more engaging than Story Mode. I liked the way they drastically changed the visual looks of this mode to match how toys perceived play time.
The levels in Story Mode are essentially escape games, which are equally exciting and stressful. Your main objective is made clear in a cut scene, and you control as well as take the third person point of view of a toy (usually Woody and Buzz) and try your best not to be seen by neither humans nor enemies. Subsequently, you try to survive obstacles brought by the harsh environment throughout the quest. The game rarely lets you attack, and your best weapons are adrenaline rush and hiding, a lot like what we’re trying to pull through with Posthumus. One level that I found particularly inspiring for our group project is called “Eye in the Sky”, where Woody tries to help his friends escape imprisonment from Lotso without getting spotted by cameras (portrayed in beams of light which you then try to avoid contact with). The amount of obstacles gets you so hooked in the game that you start believing you’re under time constraint. It also lets the player think, be smart about the resources around the room (such as that of moving boxes around in order to make a path and get to its destination), an element that is often brought up in our own game.
The game doesn’t really say or offer much with regards to its character models, as the design stays true (as they should) to what was portrayed in the movie. It is however helpful with simple animation ideas, such as that of the crouch and push maneuvers.
While most licensed games tend to either butcher its original source or make it predictable, Toy Story 3 is well thought-out and tries to instead add on to its already well-established cinematic universe. It may not have much to offer to Pixar fans who long for the universal themes provided by their films, but it is successful enough to unite kids and adults alike through game play.