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First Impressions: Skylanders: Swap Force Courts Core Gamers

Posted by Andy Robertson

Trading up

Being talked through a game by the developer and playing it at home is a very different experience. To close this “reality” gap, Family Gamer TV went solo with a full level from Skylanders: Swap Force on the PlayStation 4 at GamesCom.

Let’s get the elephant out of the room straight away: jumping is not a big deal in the world of video games, particularly if its inclusion is a headline because it has been missing for two years. However, getting hands on with latest entry in Activision’s toy-driven experience really relays what a tailored a play experience this is. While Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was generally poo-pooed by core games and sequel Skylanders: Giants only managed to raise a few eyebrows from the gamer faithful, Skylanders: Swap Force wants to challenge more than just families.

This is no easy line to walk: make the game too hard and the kids will wail, make it too easy and no-one else will bother with it. Developer Vicarious Visions is tackling this challenge with not only a range of unlockable difficultly levels, but gameplay mechanics that scale with the ability of the player.

Take Magna Charge, for instance. As you can see in this Skylanders: Swap Force playthrough, he has a meter above his head. This fills up and overheats if you shoot too much. While this may sound like a minor feature, it means that this character is more challenging to expert players who can hammer the shoot button at lightning speed, while not impairing the slower shooting younger demographic.

The game also takes time to introduce each enemy in turn as you progress through a level like Winter Keep. This means that younger players aren’t overwhelmed by different foes, while experts can quickly dispatch them and move on. Then, at the end of the level, they are all brought together in a big boss battle. Neat.

For all of this effort, though, it will be interesting to see whether Skylanders can shake off its kiddie image and join the crossover ranks of franchises like Pokémon that are enjoyed by old and young gamers alike. Only time will tell. We’ll leave you with all of the latest gameplay footage and let you decide for yourself.

Are you looking forward to Skylanders: Swap Force? If so, which PlayStation platform are you planning to purchase the title on? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments (3)



Stuffgamer1 said:

This can't be properly compared to Pokémon quite so easily just because the majority of adult fans today grew up with it. What Activision is trying to do is draw us into a kids' series many of us simply won't ever care about.

Personally, I DID care about it first-gen...but I'm MORE than over it now. They aren't getting me back...period.



rjejr said:

I don't care what they do to the game, don't see it attracting the "core" gamer. And you know what, thats fine, there are a lot of casuals and families playing video games these days who are more likely to spend money buying all the toys than the core would.

My kids played the 1st and 2nd, my wife and I played the second - BTW it had difficulty settings available from the start - and we might skip this one in favor of Lego Marvel. Enough w/ the toys already. And those who want toys will probably move on to Disney. My kid wants the "dark" set for his birthday. Maybe next summer for 1/2 price if it crashes and burns.

Now I have to drive my kids to GS to buy Pokemon Rumble U. Oh look, more toys! Guess it's better they spend their money on that than, well whatever else.

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