Gaming: 'Skylanders' goes big with 'Trap Team'
A new version of "Skylanders" lets players capture villains and play as them - adding a new dynamic to a game designed for children.
Out of all the annual franchises that arrive in time for the holidays, game Skylanders may be one of the most successful out there. It’s still a young series, but it has certainly captured a fair share of the market with the toys-to-life genre. Now heading towards a fourth game in the form of Skylanders: Trap Team, it’ll see that world increase massively once again.
So what makes Trap Team the next hot thing over Swap Force? As far as toys go, Swap Force had a great hook that allowed players to mix and match their characters to create new hybrids. According to the team behind Trap Team, the new dynamic of playable villains who can be switched in and out with the heroes will make this a Skylanders game to remember.
“We’re taking the toys-to-life category to heights that we’ve never seen before. We’re reversing the magic of bringing toys to life, by allowing portal masters everywhere to bring life to toys. We’re doing that with the introduction of a new toy type called Trap, and a Trap is made of this magical material called Traptanium”, executive producer Scott Kraiger explained.
This allows players to capture the most wanted villains of Skylands, and bring them out of the game and into the living room. Imagine fighting through all the crazy areas of a level, coming across a most wanted villain, defeating it and then placing in a Traptanium trap.
The villain can then be brought back into the game as a fully playable character who fights for good. Players can now play as the Skylanders, or play as these captured villains who they have turned to good.
Speaking of villains, there’ll be plenty of them to battle in the game. Fortunately for parents, they won’t have to buy a crystal for each bad guy encountered, and will need only one crystal trap per element.
‘Tag team feature’
“We’re going to have over 40 villains, each one will have their own personality and powers,” Kraiger explained. We’re also introducing a tag team feature. Players have a Skylander on the portal, and also have a crystal trap villain inside. They can switch between playing as a Skylander and playing as a villain or combine powers. Numerous new Skylanders and villains are going to be the hallmarks of this latest version of the game. That opens up a lot of potential in the gameplay department.
The Skylanders are the heroes of the franchise, but we also needed to make sure that the villains are interesting, fun and have a functional use for the players that want to use them.
One of the biggest challenges in terms of prototyping and iterating, is to find that perfect balance.
The key aspect of Skylanders isn’t the collectable side of the game, or the adventure. It’s that Skylanders is and always will be a game that is tailored for families. And that’s something that Kraiger wanted to emphasise when the topic was brought up.
The type of environment, heroes, characters and everything about the game is about creating a fun adventure for kids.
Ever since Spyro’s adventure started, developers Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions have tweaked the style and attitude of the numerous characters that they’ve created. And Trap Team will be no different.
“Every year we really challenge ourselves to create new characters that exceed the ones on the previous game,” he says.
Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, you have to admit that it looks visually great, with new generation systems really pushing the style and tone of the series. According to Kraiger, Trap Team will introduce even further levels of “extreme visual fidelity” to gamers.
Skylanders: Trap Team will be available on October 5 on current and new generation consoles. – Gadget.co.za