Pick and Mix
Skylanders, one of Activision’s biggest selling franchises has returned once again to grace our TV cabinets with an all new title and toys. With Skylander Giants being quite a minimal upgrade from the predecessor, essentially just bigger toys – Giants didn’t really do much to bring anything new to the series. The release of Swap Force however paved way for an all new change to the series as Vicarious Visions are set to bring the Skylanders sequel many fans have been eagerly waiting for.
Entering into the world of Cloudbreak Islands, you as portal master must embark on a journey to defeat evil villain Kaos from terrorizing Skylands. Cloudbreak is home to a mystical magic volcano which erupted and pulled the Skylanders apart granting them the abilities to ‘swap’ out halves. This setup gives you as portal master the ability to change up the abilities ‘unique’ to the one Skylander to create an all new powerful character.
Landing into Swap Force for the first time, you’ll notice the incredible leap in visuals from it’s predecessor with characters and environments looking like something out of a Hollywood animated CGI movie. Voice actors such as the highly noticeable Patrick Warburton (Family Guy) gave Swap Force that extra humor and personality you’ll get out of a movie.
The core structure of Skylander still feels the same with Swap Force with the only improvements in design being the verticality (you can jump now) of levels and some extra additions of variant gameplay. The combat at it’s roots is still very basic button pressing fights. Swap Force introduction of character mixing is the only real big change to the game. Portal masters or err… I mean players will have the chance to swap out the new characters to try out different combinations. With the starter pack, you’ll be given Blast Zone and Wash Buckler – which you can play as just standard Skylanders but breaking them in half to mix up the character into Blast Buckler or Wash Zone brings an all new medium to the game.
Why have an octopus thing that does melee damage when you can mix it up with a robot to have this grenade throwing hovering robot thingy that absolutely wreaks havoc in combat. Yes, it may sound gimmicky at first but the curiosity of creating characters, especially with younger kids playing this game will make you go out and buy more characters to experiment with.
“..grenade throwing hovering robot thingy that absolutely wreaks havoc in combat.”
There are sections of the game still locked out unless you have the right elemental Skylander, great if you’re a veteran Skylander player but for those who’ve just started may need to invest in more characters to access the locked out areas. It kinda sucks to have this feature but most players will buy more characters for Swap Force when they can.
Swap Force provides plenty of exploration for players to discover as they are many hidden loot located around the levels which in return can be used to upgrade your Skylander’s powers. This brings somewhat of a role-playing element to the game allowing users to delve deeper into the upgrades for your Skylanders.
Apart from the campaign, Swap Force also features a variant of other modes such as Time Attack, Battle Arena where players have the opportunity to fight it out against AI or human foes. The matches are in the end as similar to the game itself as it’s just pure button mashing.
Skylander Swap Force is a welcome addition to the hugely popular game/toy collecting hybrid. It offers more content and the Swappable characters creates an all new level of customisation to Skylanders – something different from the usual static characters you’ll normally get. If you’re a huge Skylanders fan and you don’t have this yet then there’s something wrong with you. If you’re new to the series, then Swap Force is great place to start your adventure with.
*Review copy provided by Activision
Make room on your shelve. Skylanders is back and you will be buying more characters again! Swap Force is a definite must buy Xmas for the younger audience.