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Gamescom 2013: Hands-on with Skylanders: Swap Force


Portals, magnets and interchangeable characters is was awaited the various gamers at the Activision booth at Gamescom 2013. If you haven't heard of or played any of the Skylanders titles, you might be as confused as I initially was when I first picked up the PlayStation 4 controller at Gamescom last week. Given some time, that confusion quickly turned to curiosity and then to outright fun as Swap Force reignited that childhood desire of a familiar show slogan "gotta catch 'em all".


Swap Force is an platform-adventured styled game with a one hell of a difference, that is where the portal comes in. Your avatar or character selection is completed by taking a physical Skylanders figurine and placing it on the portal. Once this is completed you will be able to play with the physical figurine, that you just placed on the portal, in game. Each character comes with its own special powers that apply to the characters upper and lower torso. These parts of the figurines can be interchanged, thus combining the characters abilities to create a new character.


The level design of Skylanders will take you upon a linear path, however there are several side paths that are accessible to certain character abilities. Such as the racing side mission that will only be available to this that possess a wheel at the the bottom torso of  the character. These types of side missions are located throughout the Skylanders world and leave you scrapping around your available figurines to see if you have the available piece to take on the task. If not, then its either you skip the mission, lend from a friend or drop some coin at your favorite gaming store.

Each level comes with its own special missions, I had the chance to play on a snow covered terrain where the special mission was to catapult snowmen towards floating ships. These add a much needed variety to the gameplay that can seem a bit monotonous at times to those with limited character selection. 

The mechanics and controls of the game feels extremely easy to use, and the added feature of being able to jump in swap force is a welcome inclusion. Character movement and animations are truly amazing to see with each figurine you place in the portal, as each has its own unique way of fighting and moving through the stage. This allows for strategic changes between figurines, that will assist you in either taking down big bosses or just getting through a stage a tad faster. 


As mentioned earlier, our testing session was done on the PlayStation 4. This meant that we managed to play the game in 1080p and it looked amazing.  When it came to the character design, you could tell that there was a high amount of attention to the intricate details of the model you played with. You felt like you were in an animated movie when playing Swop Force, with an environment that matched the mood for the location you found yourself in. 



Swap Force is a decent  amount of fun for adults, but will be an absolutely amazing experience for kids. As the power of trading figurines has now doubled as the characters can be split in two. I can see tons of school kids trading the top or bottom half of their characters with their friends in attempts to finish locked missions. If you find yourself with a love for gaming and collecting, then you will love this game. 

Will you be picking up this title when it releases in mid October?

Let us know by commenting below or hitting us up on Twitter or Facebook. 

Holden's Twitter  MWEB GameZoneTwitter Facebook

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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