Activision's Mammoth Toy Franchise Looks Fantastic On PS4 - Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4 -
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Skylanders Swap Force

Activision's Mammoth Toy Franchise Looks Fantastic On PS4

Walking into the Activision area at Gamescom 2013 yields a sight that many would have scoffed at three years ago. A larger-than-life Skylander figure sits right in front of the entrance, and the title is afforded as much room as Call of Duty in the meeting area. Skylanders is big business ($1.5 billion to be exact), and this year's version matters more than ever to the publisher thanks to new competition from Disney.

Depending on your perspective, Skylanders is either ingenius or a money sink. This year's iteration introduces a new type of figure, brand new characters, and returning favorites in new forms with new powers. Vicarious Visions has been promoted from the 3DS version (now handled by n-Space) to the core console iterations.

Their first order of business was to add jumping, previously excised from the series for accessibility purposes. They also have the honor of bringing the franchise to next-generation consoles. Skylanders: Swap Force is running at 1080p on PlayStation 4, and it looks stunning.

Vicarious Visions has also added unique mini-game experiences to each level. In the demonstration, we saw snowmen loaded into a catapult to take out an enemy airship. There are also fishing, river rafting, and more that can be found throughout the game to break up the combat.

A number of new characters were unveiled, including core Skylanders Zoo Lou (a life elemental that can create birds to attack foes, a wolf pet, and a boar mount) and Slobbertooth (a life elemental dragon with a drool problem). Swap figures that were introduced include Boom Jet (air, bomb powers) and Grilla Drilla (life, turrets, mines, and a monkey assault).

Despite the ever-broadening pallette of characters, Activision remains firm about avoiding television and movies. "Games get underestimated as a form of storytelling," vice president of marketing John Coyne told us. "We see the game as the main vehicle for the storytelling of the Skylanders characters. Think about the time that kids spend with these characters and the world of Skylands, and it's the same if not more than they spend with their favorite movies or television shows."

Activision is keenly aware that the primary audience for Skylanders will age up (if not age out). Through innovation and solid gameplay, the publisher expects to retain those players and inspire the collecting phenomenon that has made the franchise a hit with many adults.

Skylanders: Swap Force (and the first wave of the 56 new and returning characters) will be available sometime in October for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and 3DS.

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  • No one says swell anymore.
  • "Think about the time that kids spend with these characters and the world of Skylands"
    I think he meant money and parents. Not Time and Kids.
  • am i the only person man enough to say disney infinity and skylanders look like garbage, and should only have been put on the ps2.
  • Activision has been very, very lucky with these huge, milk bearing franchises. I wonder how they'll meet their end.
  • A lot of people trash talking Skylanders I have to wonder what's the purpose on even commenting then? It's not like Activision doesn't release games for the hardcore, and as a company there are far worse publishers than Activision. I not saying they are great and I no fanboy: I just a hardcore gamer that happens to be a dad of 3, and I have to say I was skeptical on the $ grubbing surrounding Skylanders, and then I played it with my kids and I can see how they got hooked.

    I wish there was more depth into the gameplay, hopefully that'll change a bit with the next iteration; however, I never had a dull moment or regret with any Skylanders I ended up buying and I missed out getting them cheap for first generation so a lot of em I ended up getting off ebay. Although the games art looks meh, once you get into the game, see their facial expressions change, control them: it serious plays like your favorite action cartoon. The powers each skylanders get surprisingly (with the exception of two: and not including the different limited or lightcore editions of each character) are all different and fun to test out.

    Do they $ grab off skylanders? Considering the 3 different variations or more of Skylander Giants characters; hell yes they do. But it sells. So is that the fault of Activision or the parents that flock to it? Is it any different than Nintendo $ grabbing on Pokemon this and that despite only their core RPG handheld games being any good? No it's not. So if you are not into either, or into one but not the other, why should it bother you regardless how well Activision does off this anymore than Nintendo does well with Pokemon?

  • And I thought the names for Pokemon were corny... Slobbertooth? Really? Well it beats Muk.

  • It's sad to see a game like this make it's way onto PS4...
  • My 3 year old son LOVES this game. I have had to help at parts of course and the game really isn't that bad. Who woulda thunk it.
  • Does anyone on this site actually care about this thing?
  • BRING BACK SPYRO! Please. I want a good Spyro game focused fully on Spyro and not the dumb skylands.