Yesterday, we got to head into New York City for the worldwide reveal of Skylanders SWAP Force. The third installment in the Skylanders franchise, the game will be backwards compatible with all current Skylanders figures, be releasing a horde of new Skylanders and new gameplay mechanics including swapability. For the first time, the team at Vicarious Visions will be heading the production of a Skylanders title.
As you’ll see in the trailer below, the new SWAP Force Skylanders will be two pieces, a top and bottom half. These pieces can be split and recombined with any other SWAP Force Skylander. When reconfigured, a new Skylander is created. For example, take the top of Wash Buckler, a pirate squid, and combine it with the bottom half of Blast Zone, a flaming robot, and you get Wash Zone who has all the combative powers of a pirate with the jet boots of a robot. With this new release, there will be 16 SWAP Force Skylanders released, which leaves 256 possible top and bottom combinations for players to explore.
When talking to the guys from Vicarious Visions we got some further insight into the game and the SWAP Force Skylanders. There are actually two separate “brains” in each SWAP Force Skylander. The brain in the top half will control the “personality” of the Skylander including experience, levels and money. Both halves will contain their own upgrade information though. That means that a player may take the money from one top piece and as long as it is combined with another bottom on the revamped looking Portal of Power, use it to upgrade the bottom portion of a different Skylander. The top half’s powers will focus on offense while the lower will revolve more around the character’s mobile abilities. In tomorrow’s footage, you’ll see the Jet Boots from Blast Zone in action. We were also told about Wash Buckler but didn’t see his climbing tentacles in action.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing stated, “With Skylanders, we didn’t just create a beloved new franchise, we actually created an entirely new category that brings the world of physical toys and video games together like never before. And now with Skylanders SWAP Force, we are pushing the genre we created forward with another big innovation: customization… The idea that kids can customize their own characters in the physical world, and have their unique combinations recognized in the virtual world, is an idea as big as the concept of bringing toys to life itself.”
In addition to the 16 SWAP Force Skylanders, there will be 16 completely new Skylanders being created as well as 16 resculpted classic Skylanders from Series 1 and 2 and finally 8 new Lightcore Skylanders. That means that with 56 new figures (32 of them being completely new) this will be the biggest Skylanders set to date.
Interestingly enough, the game will be running on a new engine to help give a noticeable facelift but the specific platforms the title will be released under are yet to be revealed. That could mean that Skylanders Swap Force is headed to the next generation of consoles come fall of 2013.
Oh, and because fans demanded it, they’ve added the ability to jump finally to the Skylanders world.
Check back tomorrow for a highlight video and photos from the event. Stick to the Flickcast for more on Skylanders SWAP Force.