E3 Reaction: Skylanders: Trap Team May Have Converted Us to Franchise Fans

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I didn’t realize how big the “Skylanders” franchise was until I saw the gigantic collection of figures my friend’s son had, which was enough to fill a giant bag. With the first entry in the series, the aim was to give kids toys and bring them into their video games. Now with the fourth game in the series, Skylanders: Trap Team, players will be able to take the characters from the video and pull them into an interactive toy with the latest edition, the traps.

In the game, the Cloudcracker Prison has been destroyed by series villain Kaos and with it comes the release of all the villains into the world of Skyland. Players are tasked with capturing the villains once again, and when they do they can use the trap to take control of the villains during gameplay. I will admit it’s pretty entertaining to hear the villains go from the screen into the trap item on the new portal, which features its own speaker and allows the villains to taunt you from inside the trap.

The characters of “Skylanders” are undoubtedly what keeps kids coming back to the franchise, and it’s easy to see why. Featuring the unlikeliest sort, the latest batch of characters for “Trap Team” includes the likes of Food Fight, a tomato-gun toting artichoke; Krypt King, a mummy character that can telekinetically control his giant sword; and Painyata, a giant piƱata warrior with a lollipop hammer who can also barf candy. In total about 50 new characters have been created for “Trap Team,” and it’s going to be hard to pick a favorite.

One thing I really like about what Toys for Bob and Beenox are doing is combining the over-the-topness of extensive toy lines and mixing it with quirky gameplay to create a fun event for the entire family. It’s just self aware enough that despite some of the characters seeming corny, it comes off as awesome on screen. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play as a werewolf that dispatches enemies with his guitar?

The biggest improvement to the game is in the visuals. Previous versions of the game were hindered by the limitations of past generation consoles, but the demo we witnessed was played on a PlayStation 4 and looked amazing. Skyland is a colorful world full of a number of strange and bizarre inhabitants. Fans are doing themselves a disservice by not playing on a next-gen
console.

I’m not much of a “Skylanders” player, save for when my friend’s kids want to play it, but I’ll admit that the allure of this latest title piqued my interest in the series. Not only is the gameplay simple and fun, it’s a beautiful game with unique and fun characters with nearly unlimited replayability.

Skylanders: Trap Team will be available for the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and 3DS on October 5.

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