First Impressions: Skylanders Swap Force

Family Gamer's Andy Robertson goes hands-on at E3

The head to head nature of Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity meant that E3 was always going to be a show down. With Disney buying up an impressive amount of floor space and advertising, Activision responded with more information, novelty and freebies than we’ve seen for previous Skylanders games at this stage of development.

At the Skylanders Swap Force booth could be found an impressive array of new characters and gameplay. Of course, this being a toy-meets-video-game proposition, these figures and in-game characters are make-or-break for the franchise. Add to this a new developer at the helm — not just of the game, but of the toy design too — and there is plenty of risk here for Activision.

So, the first big headline is that new character roster. There is a lot of information available online about all this, but nothing collated in one place. So we’ve dug through all our notes and videos for you to compile a list of all the Skylanders that have been officially confirmed so far for Swap Force:

Swap Force

Regular Skylanders


Series 3 Reposed

As you can see, there has been no shortage of imagination (or indeed high quality execution) at Vicarious Visions as they take the helm of this year’s game. Of the versions we played at E3, the Wii U version is by far our favourite. Being able to check the stats on the Wii U GamePad at the same time as playing simply creates a closer connection between the toy figure and your in-game character.

At E3 it also meant that we could get our first look at the stats and figures of the different Skylanders figures. While the other console versions on display had the stats menu disabled, on the Wii U we could get a run-down of which figure would perform the best.

We took the chance to get a full stats run down of the following Skylanders on the Wii U:

It was also interesting to see how sharp the game looked on the Wii U. To our eyes, this was the best looking version of Skylanders Swap Force at E3. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the PS4 and Xbox One games that Activision announced will be available alongside the Wii and Wii U versions at launch.

The final piece of news was that all the Skylanders figures would be getting a level cap boost in Swap Force. What started out in Spyro’s Adventure as a level 10 cap — and was increased in Giants to 15 — will in Swap Force be a level 20 cap. This creates a nice reason for you to dust off those old figures and use them in the new game.

Perhaps the best way to get an idea of how the new game plays is seeing it first-hand. To that end, we spent some time with Vicarious Vision’s CEO playing through one of the early levels of the game:

Skylanders Swap Force is scheduled for release in North America on October 13th and in Europe on the 18th.

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