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Skylanders: Superchargers - gamescom Preview

Skylanders: Superchargers - gamescom Preview

The toys-to-life genre has become an undeniable success, spawning series and figurines from Activision, Disney and Warner Bros. The tried and tested formula for the genre, aimed at a family-orientated market, has offered games ranging in critical reception, and also toys that any fan of the I.P would love to collect.

At this year’s gamescom I got a chance to sit down and play a few races in Skylanders: Superchargers, Vicarious Visions latest take on the genre. I was competing against fellow journalists and also members from Activision, who were up for showing off the game and taking part. To start off with I was given a number of drivers and vehicles to choose from. Mixing a driver with a particular vehicle, be it car, plane, or a boat - gives respective enhancements that can prove beneficial in races.

The addition of vehicles and racing is one of the big selling points of the game and I had a blast playing. The driving felt fast and responsive but it also had a weight to it that required you to drift and anticipate turns in advance. Power-ups and speed boosts littered the courses and each vehicle has two weapons such as a ranged attack and a speed boost which damages opponents caught in its field. Weapons proved to be useful as you can stun other drivers to get past them. Boats and planes have slightly different controls, planes can bank left and right and also adjust altitude and boats can submerge in water.

Skylanders 2

The seafaring races, whilst fun, were my least favourite as they didn’t have the breakneck speed of the driving or flying. Once I got used to the controls and handling I found the races to be intense bouts where first place was constantly contested between players. I managed to gain top spot a few times only for victory to be snatched away from me due to an attack, or a sneaky shortcut taken by another racer.

The tracks are gorgeous and each racing zone has unique properties such as barrel rolling whilst flying, or submerging your boat in the water to avoid obstacles. There are plenty of shortcuts to take and boosts are easily acquired. The visuals are also stunning with the simple cartoony and colourful style providing ample spectacle in the races.

Skyladners 3

The toys themselves were scattered around the playing station and on close inspection looked detailed and well made. Gone are the static toys from the past, with moveable parts that now give children incentive to use them as regular toys as well as in the game.

The brief time I spent with Skylanders: Superchargers was fun and I can easily tell why it will be the selling point in this next entry. With the toys-to-life market laden with so many competitors it will be interesting to see how Skylanders: Superchargers fares against titles such as Disney Infinity 2.0 and Lego Dimensions. Whatever the case, though, Vicarious Visions latest take with Skylanders: Superchargers appears to be an inspired, well-crafted and enjoyable game.


Reece Armstrong

Reece Armstrong

Senior Staff Writer

Just a musician and geek all rolled into one who spends his days watching sandcastles melt into the sea

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