Since pioneering the “toys to life” genre in gaming, the Skylanders franchise has generated over $3 Billion and sold over 250 million action figures. It’s become a yearly franchise for the game’s publisher, Activision, and this year at E3 the franchised announced the next step in the game. This year it’s about giving fans of two different gaming worlds moments they can both enjoy this Fall in Skylanders Superchargers.
We were invited to a behind closed doors demo at the Activision booth featuring gameplay walkthrough with developer Vicarious Visions and a close look at how the Nintendo Skylanders characters work.
In Skylanders Superchargers, Kaos has unleashed The Darkness to take control of Skylands. Fortunately, a special team of Skylanders known as the SuperChargers has been assembled to pilot an incredible fleet of vehicles with the power to travel through the destruction – over land, sea, and air.
Our demo took us through the main part of the game as we saw how the new vehicles work with the game. Everything you love about the previous games is here. Children and their family’s will see the puzzle solving, platform, and quirkiness these characters are known for. The new vehicle toys can be activated at any time but they really come into play accessing and exploring new areas of the Skylands. For example one area will only let you explore it if you have a water vehicle while another can only be traversed with an plane.
The demo wasn’t so much about the game’s story, but what this new element of gameplay would add. Each vehicle, when put on the portal for the first time, would show a unique animation that introduces it as the magic happens. Every one of these new types of toys also has the ability to be “supercharged” when paired with its corresponding Skylander. When Spitfire gets put on the portal with the new Hotstreak car, the game visually shows the hot rod beef up with new features and attributes including increased attack power for tougher bosses.
What will really set Skylanders Superchargers apart for Nintendo fans are two big additions to the game. Bowser and Donkey Kong are coming to Skylanders through special new figures. As someone’s kids say, don’t get it twisted. These aren’t just Amiibos with cross functionality. They’re Skylanders first. Donkey Kong and Bowser each have unique attributes in Skylanders Superchargers and each will have their own vehicles inspired by games like Donkey Kong Country including supercharged abilities. When playing the game with Donkey Kong, players get to launch unique attacks such as throwing barrels or leaving a conga drum mine for enemies. Turning over the Donkey Kong figure players can switch it from Skylander mode to Amiibo for use in supported Nintendo games such as Smash Bros.
Vicarious Visions have listened to players and consumers alike in making this new Skylanders game. If you don’t want to add every new Skylander toy to your hundred figure plus collection, you don’t have to. Every toy from every game will work on Skylanders Superchargers in some capacity. If you previously invested in Trap Team, even those special toys have a function in Superchargers. The new Superchargers portal has a slot for Trap figures. Though you will not be capturing your enemies in the same way as Trap Team; the toys will unlock different power ups in the game for the character on the portal.
Every Skylander can jump into any vehicle and the team has cashed in on any small element they could tweak in the game. For instance when you pair a bulky Skylander in a smaller vehicle it looks adorably awkward on screen as the team intended. Even Nintendo characters can ride in anyone’s vehicle.
A new starter pack with portal and two characters will be available at launch, but any portal will work with the game. You can buy a digital version of the game by itself and use previously purchased portals. Though only the Trap Team portal will be able to use trap characters. Only the Nintendo characters will be available in a two pack of toy and car but that price hasn’t been announced.
- $74.99 – Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack
- $64.99 – Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack
$14.99 – Individual vehicles toys
$12.99 – Individual SuperChargers character toys
PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system
Xbox 360TM Xbox OneTM video game and entertainment system from Microsoft iPad®
Nintendo Wii UTM
Nintendo WiiTM system and the Nintendo 3DSTM hand-held system will have a different, complementary experience
It’s remarkable what this franchise has accomplished since it spawned from Spyro the Dragon. Activision and the developers that work on Skylanders haven’t settled and they don’t take the new competition in the market lightly. While the Nintendo characters are exclusive to the Nintendo versions of the game; it does raise the question of possible crossovers with characters from those other platforms in future games. We can’t wait. Year after year the franchise has managed to deliver something that feels new and Superchargers is going to continue that tradition when the game releases on September 20, 2015.
Find out more about Skylanders on the game’s official website here.