Games Review: Toy Story 3

FIFTEEN years after the original movie dazzled us with its computer-generated animation, Toy Story 3 provides a teary-eyed conclusion to a trilogy of films that cleverly dissected our childhood memories of long-forgotten toys.

FIFTEEN years after the original movie dazzled us with its computer-generated animation, Toy Story 3 provides a teary-eyed conclusion to a trilogy of films that cleverly dissected our childhood memories of long-forgotten toys.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please do, as it’s an emotional farewell to a series that gave us Woody, the cranky pull-string cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear, the self-adoring action figure.

Luckily for us, the videogame adaptation of Toy Story 3 is equally splendid. It begins with you playing as Woody onboard a runaway train which acts as a mini-tutorial to get you used to the controls. Once up to speed, you can then choose to continue with the story or jump into a special Toy Box mode.

As you’d probably expect, story mode replicates key sequences from the movie. Set over eight levels, it’s a mixture of third-person running, jumping, exploration and shooting. You can swap between Woody, Buzz and Jessie whenever you want with each character possessing their own unique abilities. For example, Woody can use his pull-string to grapple onto objects, Buzz can throw people and Jessie can balance on small ledges. With infinite lives and plentiful checkpoints, it’s not exactly taxing, taking four to five hours to complete at best.

It’s the open-world Toy Box mode that really captures the imagination though. With its Wild West theme and mission-based structure, it’s like a Disney remake of Red Dead Redemption without the swearing. Once again you take control of Woody, Buzz or Jessie, only this time they don’t come with any of their special powers. As the sheriff, you’re given missions by the townsfolk, ranging from rounding up cattle and tracking down robbers to performing stunts using a toy car and recreating images found on an old View-Master toy. None are challenging, but there’s a two-player split-screen co-op mode so parents can help out younger children if they get stuck.

As a movie tie-in, Toy Story 3 is a treat. Older players will appreciate the in-jokes and the open-ended nature of the Toy Box mode while youngsters will adore guiding Woody and Buzz through key scenes from the animated film.

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Publisher: Disney Interactive

Price: �49.99

Format: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS)

Age rating: 7+

Score: 4/5 Stars

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