Building (Critical) Consensus: Skylanders: Swap Force

skylanders-swap-force-starter-boxDisney Infinity learned an important lesson this summer: When you come at the king, you best not miss. When they released the game this summer, while it was praised for the sandbox mode, it was criticized for technical issues and campaigns that didn’t allow crossover of characters between franchises which made the whole thing a bit of a cynical cash grab. Now, Skylanders is back with the third installment in the franchise.

With the third installment of Skylanders in as many years, many reviewers were concerned that the franchise would be tired and repetitive. However, Vicarious Visions’ new additions to the franchise with the character creation was a fun addition to the game, even if it seemed a bit simple to snap two figure pieces together. Young or old, the critics say that you’ll have fun with Skylanders: Swap Force. Your wallet, on the other hand, may end up in agony.

Digital Chumps (92%): As an adult, my completionist side was in need of gathering everything and finding all the nooks/crannies that were contained within the story mode. Even as I type this, I’m still finding new items to gather and new places I hadn’t noticed the first go around on levels. So, in short, yes It’s fun as heck as an adult. As for kids, they will adore the adventure, the characters that have been added and the different personalities that go along with them. They will find the level design right up their alley and not have a difficult time with it (well, not often). The entire week I’ve had with this game, I’ve been fighting my five-year old son for time with it. It’s been frightening how badly has wanted to play this, and not just the game, but also just with the toys. So, again in short, kids will adore this game. It’s far better than Disney Infinity and definitely more refined.

Joystiq (90%): Skylanders Swap Force is fun from start to finish, and outclasses its predecessors in depth and breadth of content. Compared to the recent Disney Infinity, Swap Force appeals to a broader range of players; the main quest is straightforward but challenging on the higher difficulty levels, and its optional content will keep older fans hunting for secrets long after the credits roll. If you’ve overlooked the series previously, Swap Force makes for a great starting point, and if you’re a parent, don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying the quest just as much as your kids.

Game Informer (85%): The amalgamated beasts that now roam Skylands open up new combat and traversal possibilities, and also add another much-needed wrinkle to this series’ well-worn gameplay formula. Creating your own monsters – even if it is as simple as snapping two pieces of an action figure together – is more fun than I expected.

IGN (82%): The swappable Skylanders and new challenges are smart, and the story is as funny and charming as ever. I particularly like the way the writers build on the epilogue of the previous game. More than anything else, Skylanders is just fun – but to get the most out of it, you’ll end up paying the price of the game a couple times over.

Game Revolution (80%): After expanding the stable of available figures with two-piece toys, it’s clear that Swap Force’s best asset is its versatile delivery of fun. It’s not limited by the M-rated audience gaming typically caters to. Kids, male and female gamers of all ages, and even my SO can find something to like in Skylanders and everything to hate in the virtual killing fields of Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on October 15, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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