Behind Enemy Lines (E3 2014 Preview)
One more year, and I found myself at the Activision booth, checking out Skylanders behind closed doors with a couple of developers, this time from Toys for Bob, the studio that created the original Skylanders back in 2011.
It's been three years of little monster figurines and their on-screen adventures, and one can't help but wonder what's coming next to keep things fresh. After seeing Skylanders Trap Team, I think they're onto something.
Chaos is back causing chaos wherever he goes. You know, he wants to take over the world and all that. This time he blows up this traptanium rock, which breaks into pieces and scatters all over the place, allowing a bunch of baddies to escape. We'll have to find them and trap them to send them back home... eventually.
The game has a new class of characters, the trap masters. They're tough Skylanders that wield traptanium weapons. These can break through traptanium in order to open otherwise inaccessible areas, rewards, and such. For example, there's Wallop, who, you guessed, packs a wallop, and Krypt King, who remotely controls his sword and can even unleash a swarm of locusts out of his face (or lack thereof). Wolfgang is also a cool guy with an 80s vibe, sliding around the stage like a rockstar.
We also saw other fun, more lighthearted characters like Food Fight, an artichoke with a tomato launcher; Broccoli Guy, who can lay down a glyph to heal others; and Painyatta, a giant piñata wielding a lolypop who vomits candy at the enemy.
Enemy characters (like Buzzer Beak and Shrednaught) can also be caught and turned into allies, and that's the twist of Skylanders Trap Team. When you beat them in little mini-boss battles, you place the element-specific traps in the new portal and the villains get sucked right in. You can even hear them through the portal's speakers, a cool touch to submerge the player into the game a little more.
As always, combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving are the focus of the game. There are new mini-games too. However, what has changed most in the new Skylanders world is the new and expanded hub world, Skylanders Academy, which will grow as you advance in the game, with new rooms, areas, and lots of things to discover, as well as the Villain Vault and Persephone the fairy, who gives your characters upgrades in exchange for coins.
Skylanders Trap Team is a cool new release, indeed, that'll keep the young ones happy for months and perhaps years to come once it releases this October for most gaming platforms out there, the 3DS included. Oh, and it's still compatible with all previous characters / figurines.
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An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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