For the next part of my four-part Skylanders SuperChargers preview, you’ll be inundated with various facts gathered from watching the preview and pressing for answers to a variety of questions. Some quick overall impressions of my first look at the game are also included as well as some new vehicle and level artwork.
Vicarious Visions has built and continues to build Skylanders SuperChargers from the ground up on new-gen platforms (the demo I witnessed was on PS4 and looked great) with each level constructed on a design hook. In another unseen level you fly on the back of a dragon that moves and shifts as you traverse it. There is also a farm with a shrink and grow ray that shrinks and grows creatures zapped with it on the level.
Select enemies are themed to the level on which they reside. For example, there’s a small enemy that eats a cloud in the Cloud Kingdom and then grows in size as a result. You can to try to take them out before they eat an entire cloud and reach full size and strength.
There will be different types of vehicle gameplay within each vehicle type. These include but are not limited to 2D side-scrolling and top-down arcade shooting. Vicarious Visions developed the vehicle levels like they had an open playbook and free reign.
Puzzles have evolved from previous Skylanders games. Laser puzzles are now rotational discs that Skylanders run on to turn them into the right alignment. Latter chapters add multiple discs to each puzzle.
Lock puzzles are now Livewire Locks. The puzzle I saw featured a goblin on a hovercraft where you move him through gears to get to an ignition switch. There were three optional sparks to get, just like the two in Swap Force. The objective is that all puzzles get a fresh new look.
Every chapter in Skylanders SuperChargers includes at least one land, sea and air section.
Cooperative play is fully supported in both vehicle and on-foot play. In vehicle mode, one person will be the driver while the other controls the guns or a special item like a vacuum that can suck up Gear Bits from a distance. The kicker is that the driver and gunner can seamlessly switch back and forth at any time during a level with a single button push.
Skystones is returning as Skystones Overdrive that builds upon the mini-game introduced by Toys of Bob last year. Lou states there will be “new strategies, moves, cards” and ways to collect the cards and build your own decks, but it’s too early to share specific details at this time.
There is a Trap-port on the new Portal of Power so yes, all those colorful Traps you collected from Skylanders Trap Team are compatible in SuperChargers. The catch is that you can’t play as the villains. Instead, each elementally-aligned vehicle will get a special weapon when the matching elemental Trap is used. Additionally, each villain gets a new Skystone that is unlocked when a Trap holding them is used.
There will be an option for those who choose to play the game via digital download and avoid having to buy the Starter Pack or new Portal of Power. More on that in the next article linked at the bottom of this one.
Each vehicle category includes multiple archetypes so that each individual vehicle has a unique look and feel. These archetypes include land race cars, dragsters, motorcycles, dump trucks, submarines, boats, hovercraft, jets, planes, helicopters, bi-planes, and more.
Vehicles can be purchased separately. I’d further speculate that two-packs with a vehicle and its corresponding SuperCharger Skylander will also be made available.
Lou’s favorite vehicle mod is Mr. Squeaks, an inflatable duck pool floatie propeller for the Dive Bomber submarine.
All your favorite collectibles like hats, Story Scrolls, and Legendary artifacts will once again be in play, but I wasn’t able to see any of them.
The Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack includes Spitfire, his ride Hot Streak, and Supershot Stealth Elf. You can play the game from start to finish with only the contents of the Starter Pack if you so choose.
My initial reaction to Skylanders SuperChargers following the demo is that yes, there’s a lot more plastic to buy, but the gameplay on both foot and in vehicles looks incredibly fun. While you can get a Happy Meal vehicle for a couple bucks that a kid can play withy, the SuperChargers vehicles can come to life and that makes them unique, even measured against the upcoming LEGO Dimensions vehicles that require being attached to a base in order to work in the game. These vehicles feel a little more “magical” without the need for a base.
Consumers are going to have to embrace the change of a heavier reliance on vehicle segments in the game. I suspect there’s still tons of platforming action to partake in, at least there was in the short demo that Activision shared.
Jump into Part 4 where you can read the official Skylanders SuperChargers announcement from Activision, learn the release date, and get a first-look at two more familiar faces getting a makeover for SuperChargers.
Part 3: Fun Skylanders SuperChargers Facts (you are here!)