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Skylanders: SuperChargers

Speeding Around Gamescom With Skylanders: Superchargers Online Racing Mode
by Mike Futter on Aug 10, 2015 at 08:34 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS, iOS
Publisher Activision
Developer Vicarious Visions
Rating 9+

Each year, Skylanders introduces a new gimmick to keep the series fresh. This year’s inclusion of vehicles gives way to the one mode we saw coming a mile away: multiplayer racing.

What we weren’t anticipating is that Activision and developer Vicarious Visions would bring the game online for the first time. Fans jump online for racing on one of six tracks (split evenly among air, land, and sea vehicles). The mode is a streamlined approach to the kart racing genre for eight players (four human and four AI), without the depth of Mario Kart or Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

Power-ups (hidden within blocks along the track) are triggered automatically when collected, instead of saved for later use. Each vehicle has a primary and secondary weapon that can be used to whittle down enemy life bars, stunning them when depleted. These have limited ammunition and must be recharged after the meter is emptied.

The controls feel different depending on which type of course you’re racing. Sea vehicles can plunge under the water to avoid enemy attacks, but they can’t turn quite as tightly as air or land vehicles. Air tracks have more verticality, with target rings to fly through for speed boosts. 

Of course, you’ll need the appropriate type of vehicle in order to take advantage of the racing features. The game comes with a land-type car, so you’ll need at least one sea and air vehicle to use those tracks. More will be added through toy-based Action Packs throughout the year (rather than digital DLC).

This year, Vicarious Visions is also bringing online multiplayer to the campaign. The studio has worked to create an experience that mimics playing on the couch with a friend. That means that whenever one player swaps Skylanders, the transition sequence occurs for both. Players can drop in and out seamlessly without needing to restart, just like local gaming.

Because Skylanders is primarily a game for younger players, Vicarious Visions is taking security seriously. Players will only be able to invite people on their friends list. 

While the studio can’t tamper with system-level party chat, it has ensured that in-game voice communication for all modes is only between people who are on each other’s friends list. That means if your child invites two people that aren’t on each other’s lists, they won’t be able to speak.  

For those curious about returning characters, it’s important to note that for the first time there’s a significant reason to get new versions. Stealth Elf, Gill Grunt, and others are back, but their upgrade trees are entirely different.

This means you won’t be able to use these versions in older games, so don’t get rid of the earlier versions you own. It’s an interesting way to keep five year old characters (and their toys) relevant.

Skylanders Superchargers is out on September 20 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, and iOS. The demo was on current-gen consoles, and features may vary across platforms.

Products In This Article

Skylanders: SuperChargerscover

Skylanders: SuperChargers

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS, iOS
Release Date: