For every rule, there is an exception. 'I before E except after C', England's performance at international football events, movie tie-in games being rubbish: they all have their aberrations, and in the case of the latter, Toy Story 3 is that rare event.
Yes, the main story mode is exactly what you'd expect: gentle platforming with simple puzzles, numerous levels based loosely on the movie's plot, and some really bad voice acting (although it does try harder than most: Tom Hanks has been replaced with Jim Hanks, his brother). The only variety comes from the quirky on-rails section. It'll take you four or five hours to completely rinse this, and were that it - as is so often the case with these games - you'd probably be staring at a rating of 6 at best. If you're perceptive, however, you'll already have noticed that shiny big 8 in the corner of the page, and will be wondering how it's justified. Welcome to Toy Box mode.
This is a free-roaming sandbox mode where you can go wherever you want, solving missions and unlocking content. Imagine GTA if it had Playmobil men instead of prostitutes, and space aliens instead of space dust, and you'd be in the right ball park. As you take more missions, helping out familiar Toy Story faces like Hamm, Slinky and Stinky Pete, you gain coins that can be used to buy more toys for the area. As you unlock more toys and locations, the possibilities for messing around grow and grow. Younger players will spend hours just running around, completing missions and customising the buildings and toys.
The game's not perfect: the voice acting is jarring considering other aspects are to such a high standard, and some of the later story levels are a bit too fantastical and don't really give the feeling that you're a toy in the real world. These are minor quibbles, however, and as a whole Toy Story 3, much like the movie, is a fun experience for both young and old alike.
A surprisingly fun tie-in that'll keep kids busy
- Fantastic Toy Box mode
- Solid, if short, story mode
- Cheerful graphics
- Controls are easy to pick up
- Horrible voice acting