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First Impressions: Skylanders Swap Force

Posted by Andy Robertson

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

Light-Core

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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User Comments (24)

rjejr

#1

rjejr said:

We have the first 2 games and about 30 characters but weren't going to buy this one due to needing the new portal and swappable characters. If we can use all of our old characters, including the Giants, then maybe we'll pick this up someday when we can get it really cheap. That shouldn't take to long w/ Disney Infinity coming out ;-)

Now where are my Pokemon Rumble U toys?

Edit - OK, my kid made we watch the 28 minute video and now we want it. His birthday i sin Jan., should be cheap by then.

Rief

#4

Rief said:

I am highly interested in the Skylanders Games, but i have to pay the full price for them, and then have to buy these expansive figures?
Not that i don't like the System with the Figures and all, i really find it very interesting, but they are just too expensive.
And as a collector, i would want them all.
But seriously, 50€ for the Game and about 10€ per figure, with about 30 Figures in existence, that would make 350€ to have the full game.

MrGawain

#5

MrGawain said:

Activision are unknowingly making a rod for it's own back by releasing too many figures. When my nephew got the first game and about 8 lvl 1 figures, he had to work hard for over a month to level his figures up, meanwhile collecting more figures. The 2nd game he finished the game within a week, owning all the original figures and a bunch more new ones. Every new figure is essentially an extra life EVERY LEVEL, and those from the game before are already pretty powered up. Including variant my nephew now has 50-60 figures all at least at lvl 10, some lvl 15. I expect him to finish the next game in a weekend due to this amount of firepower, and I doubt he'll enjoy it as much as he did originally.

What the game really needs is a level playing field where too powerful characters are levelled out, and there is a restricted amount of figures that can be used in each level- maybe a restriction on which specific characters you can use (either by generation or type). Otherwise a lot of kids are going to get disinterested in completing such an easy game.

We all know that this fad will finish at some point, but Activision's challenge is figuring when to end it, instead of releasing a costly game with costly accessories that could end up going unsold.

SkywardLink98

#6

SkywardLink98 said:

Sounds interesting for sure. The first game was pretty fun, and this seems to change enough up to warrant a new purchase.

@Rief Well, it's not entirely Activision's fault because when you need figures the prices are bound to be high.

rmeyer

#7

rmeyer said:

This game looks great, but the problem is kids were bored with the second skylanders. I want to play it and beat it, but if the kids would rather play Disney since its new and characters they are familiar with I see Activision having a tough time holding on. Especially if Disney is preparing for war.

Undead_terror

#8

Undead_terror said:

There is a kid I know who loves these things, but told me that swap force looked stupid, I wouldn't know the difference.

Rief

#9

Rief said:

@SkywardLink98 True, but that is the flaw with that entire concept. While the concept is great, the execution has a big flaw. Now, if i could get a pack of five Figures for 10€, i would buy it.
I know, the price includes way more than just Material-costs, and that the price i named is way too low to make money with it, every sold pack would mean a loss.

But thats just the thing about it, a concept, no matter how great it is, is worthless if it has such problems with the execution.

MadAdam81

#10

MadAdam81 said:

I'm looking forward to Disney Infinity -something the wife and kids and I will all enjoy playing. Best thing about it is that each thing you buy adds way more to the game than in Skylanders, and has better characters too.

SkywardLink98

#13

SkywardLink98 said:

@Rief True enough I suppose. Skylanders is for people that can afford to do this sort of thing or who have incredible self control so that limits the audience by a lot.

GamerJunkie

#15

GamerJunkie said:

Good game for kids 12 and under. The usual Nintendo focus.......

Its good to have stuff for kids, but Wii U needs more stuff for gamers(avg. gamer age is 25+ just incase Nintendo has forgotten).

SteveW

#17

SteveW said:

This game looks great! all the Skylanders games have excellent gameplay, I'm not convinced of the Disney Infinity game...and not having the ability to take your Disney characters into any area is a mistake.

hydeks

#18

hydeks said:

This game looks cool, I've loved the other two Skylanders, but I'm way more interest in Disney Infinity than this.

GamerJunkie

#20

GamerJunkie said:

@Jukilum Um Skylanders is for little kids..... You can say you are an adult that plays it, that's fine, but it is meant for children. Activision makes the game and calls it a kids franchise. Here is one example:

Activision Exec on 'Skylanders' $500 Million Hit Kids' Franchise (Q&A)

"Activision Publishing has focused on the lucrative children's market over the past two years with a hybrid toy and video game that has captivated the market."

from: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/activision-exec-skylanders-500-million-411597

GamerZack7

#21

GamerZack7 said:

I hope that Dino-Rang, Warnado, Sunburn, Wham-Shell, Camo, Ghost Roaster, Voodood and Boomer finally receive reposes in Swap Force. It's so hard to find many of them on the after-market for a reasonable amount. I only intend to get one version of each character, excluding a few overlaps from series one, so it may as well be newer versions. Make it happen, Activision! :)

andregurov

#22

andregurov said:

It may be a kids game, much like Scooby Doo is a kids show ... but I'll keep enjoying both. That having been said, this one may be a Skylanders game too far, seeing as they are releasing one every year and the eventual cost is much higher than just a game on disc.

erv

#24

erv said:

There's a nfc reader in the gamepad, right? Nintendo WILL do this with pokemon later on, and it will sell craploads of it.

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