Skylanders proprietors Toys for Bob will step aside for the latest franchise installment, Skylanders Swap Force. Vicarious Visions is handling development this time, which Activision says will allow Toys for Bob the space and freedom to come up with their next thing.
The main toy gimmick of Skylanders Swap Force is simple: 16 new special figures have inter-connecting torsos and bottom halves. Once you've combined two pieces, you place the resulting amalgam on the portal to realize your creation within the game. I replaced the tentacle-laden bottom half of a squid with the electricity wheel of a robotic Skylander, making my new squid-machine hybrid much more agile. Tentacle feet aren't an ideal form of transportation on land.
Skylanders Swap Force is still early in development, so I wasn't able to see much in the way of gameplay – there was only one small area and a miniboss encounter, and it was a hands-off demo. Vicarious Visions has added jumping, though, one of the most requested features missing from the last two games.
Of course, Skylanders Swap Force is compatible with all the previously released Skylanders figures. Swap Force will also present 32 new core Skylanders figures – 16 are new and the rest are updated versions of older figures. Considering the potential of lost halves, Activision tells me its customer support team will be ready to help replace or otherwise assist with any issues the new figures incur.
The Skylanders Swap Force starter pack will come with a copy of Skylanders Swap Force, the new portal, two Swap characters and one standard Skylander. Old portals from Skylanders and Skylanders Giants will be incompatible with Swap Force.
Skylanders Swap Force will launch on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii and 3DS. The Wii version is being developed by Beenox, while the 3DS version is coming from n-Space.