E3 2015: Impressions of Skylanders SuperChargers

e3-15-skylanders-superchargers-impressions

We had the opportunity to sit with David Nathanielsz, Executive Producer with Vicarious Visions, to get a good look at the upcoming Skylanders SuperChargers.

Each year they try to move the genre forward and this year it’s vehicle based gameplay. The nice thing is that all of the vehicles can be used in the real world. They’re meant to be played with so the don’t come on a base like other Skylanders figures and in the case of the ground based vehicles, like the car, the wheels work as well. The water vehicles aren’t meant to be bath toys however so be careful which little hands they get into.

Kaos is back with his most powerful weapon to date, The Doomstation of Ultimate Doomstruction, which is literally eating the sky. To defeat him, the Superchargers will need to be pulled into action with their vehicles.

SSC_E3_SuperCharged Hot Streak

The level we saw had you searching out the Cloud Breather Dragon. Initially, it looks like a standard Skylanders game but you’ll start to see some differences as you move through the levels. We started off with a new vehicle, Reef Ripper. When placed on the Portal for the first time, you’ll get a look at the key features of the vehicle. Eight of the SuperChargers characters are fan favorites from the earlier games that have been reimagined from the ground up with new weapons and power-ups.

Terrafin was placed on the Portal with the Reef Ripper vehicle but the vehicle obviously wasn’t used until we got to a water section of the game. Terrafin can still dive underground but he has new missile attacks and other attacks.

SSC_E3_Sky Slicer

Push Block puzzles are back with the added wrinkle of orientation to get things right and secret areas are around as always. New Luck Chests drop random hats, legendary treasures, soul gems and such. These were made random to accommodate the many players that like playing levels over and over again. This way, on replays you’ll get a whole new set of loot.

When we reached a watery area, we were given a quest to clear the blockages and drain the water. While we used a submarine, there will be speedboats, hovercraft, jets, helicopters, race cars, tanks, and more. Your vehicles have both a primary and secondary attack and if you add a second Skylander to the Portal for co-op play, one will be the pilot and the other the gunner. So yes, two characters and one vehicle will all fit together on the Portal.

Each of the twenty new Skylanders has a vehicle that they’re paired to. You don’t have to match them up but when you do the vehicle becomes supercharged, changing the look, adding more health, unleashing more powerful attacks, and more, so it’s in your best interest to pair the right characters and vehicles. Each type of vehicle has different types of gameplay with racing, open world exploration, and such. There’s even a level where you enter a magical book which changes things up to unique 2D gameplay.

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As we watched the car section it quickly felt like Skylanders: Twisted Metal which was a good thing. There’s a drifting mechanic as well so you can drift in circles around stationary targets. The vehicle called Hot Streak and the new Skylander, Spitfire, come in the starter pack and you can play through the entire game with just those characters. All of the other vehicle play in the water and in the air are in optional sections that appeared to be pretty substantial in terms of their content and length.

The interesting thing is how the levels and gameplay change depending on what you do. For example, if you didn’t have a water vehicle to drain the village area that we saw previously, you’d need to platform across the rooftops and have a different experience. It really lends itself to replayability.

Another nice thing is that you don’t need to buy the starter pack to play the game. If you have a previous version of Skylanders you’ll be able to buy the digital version and any characters/vehicles you want. The Portals from the previous games will work with Skylanders SuperChargers.

SSC_E3_Terrafin 2

The Portal that comes in the starter pack includes Trap support. While you can’t trap villains in the game but if you have a collection of traps you can put the in the Portal trap space and get weapon boosts for vehicles and if there are villains trapped inside them you unlock unique and rare Skystones cards.

All twenty vehicles and SuperChargers can be purchased separately or in pairs and all 300+ characters from previous Skylanders games are supported and I’m impressed with how the game changes dramatically with the vehicle based gameplay.

SSC_E3_Reef Ripper 1

Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on September 20, 2015 for the PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, Xbox One™, Xbox 360™, Nintendo Wii U™, and iPad. Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS will have a different, complementary experience.

Pricing will be as follows:
$74.99 – Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack
$64.99 – Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack
$14.99 – Individual vehicles toys
$12.99 – Individual SuperChargers character toys

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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