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POSTED 25/10/13


SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE

Activision
PS3 (also on Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS)

Oh you’d better swap (SWAP!) before you tear me all apart...

Umm, this whole new SWAP thing actually involves tearing your Skylanders apart. Sam Brown, you don’t know shit about this stuff!

Actually, we didn’t either before this encounter with Activision’s world-conquering ‘Game or toy?’ thingy. We admit to having judged it all a bit of a scam, based purely upon rampant uninformed cynical conjecture. We recently checked out the conceptually similar Disney Infinity though and, despite some lingering cynicism, it had much to offer. So, can these Skylanders compete with the might (and magic) of Walt?

Well, honestly, if we were to fill our shelves to bulging point with collectible figurines that double as in-game characters that you plop on a USB-connected base, we’d prefer ones we know. Yet, if we’re playing the associated game we’d rather it was super-slick and hyper-engrossing. SWF nails the latter.

It’s very Ratchet & Clank, with elements of ‘My First RPG’ – a fairly typical third-creature 3D collect stuff platforming adventure, but with lots and lots of shiny. Being the third incarnation, much finessing has (apparently) happened. This is the first time that characters can jump (really!), but the big thing is that which we alluded to while desperately scrabbling for an intro. While old ones still work, many of the new figurines have magnetised tummies, so they can be torn asunder and mixed and matched like some sort of crazed Dr Frankenstein lab orgy. These creations are, naturally, mirrored in-game.

While we remain highly cynical of the ‘gotta collect ’em all’ expensive toy element – many areas are inaccessible without certain character types beyond the three pack-ins, and the game could have been as good without a reliance on sculptured plastic lumps - this is no shonky money grab...

It’s a polished one.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.