Developer: Vicarious Visions |
Publisher: Activision
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game |
Genre: Toys to Life

Release Date: 09/20/15

Skylanders are back and this time they are going on Land, in the Air, and under the Sea in vehicles. With Vicarious Visions at the helm of development this year, they feel like this inclusion of vehicles is one of the biggest innovations yet in the Toys to Life genre. Each year Skylanders is released, the Developer in charge of the title looks to push the genre as far ahead as possible. And vehicles really do change the way you play the game.

First, a little more about the vehicles. After much testing, the decision was made to remove the vehicles from a base. In addition, Cars actually have moving wheels, Helicopters have spinning blades, and submarines have tails that wiggle. This may seem like a minor thing but this is the first time that we have seen Skylanders figures move and act like real action figures. Could we be a year off from having bendable/poseable action figures?

When placing a vehicle on the portal for the first time, the game will do a quick overview of it. This will showcase all the different areas you can customize and tweak. At any moment you can bring up a mod menu so you can tune the vehicles and change it up. You will also find that there are 20 vehicles in the game and 20 characters. 12 of the characters are new and 8 are returning–like Gill Grunt and Terrafin.

Vicarious Visions stressed the fact that everything you need to beat the game is included in the starter pack. While this means you will have to skip optional areas, it is reassuring to know that it is possible to beat the game from beginning to end without having to purchase anything else. Sadly, this means you will be missing out on the signature vehicles. Each character has its own signature vehicle. When you pair them up, both the character and vehicle become SUPERCHARGED!!

Like past titles in the series, all figures are forward compatible. There are over 300 Skylander figures now and I think my son has most of them. But this year there are two Skylanders I am really interested in: Turbo Charged Donkey Kong and Hammer Slam Bowser. These two Skylanders and their vehicles will work only in the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS versions of Skylanders SuperChargers. Also, these figures will not be sold separately. They will only come with the Wii U and 3DS start packs. 

Though there might be some other features announced in the near future, Vicarious Visions is staying quiet about any online co-op and competitive online modes. Fingers crossed that they implement online co-op. Even if they don’t, there is still drop in/drop out co-op on the same system. For two players, they will share a vehicle. The portal seems just barely big enough to support a vehicle and two Skylander characters on it. 

A little about the story. Kaos is back with the Doomsday of Ultimate Destruction. He is using it to eat the sky. Kaos has also captured Master Ion and it is up to the Skylanders SuperChargers to come in and save the day. In our demo, we were shown Terrafin. Instead of a melee character, like he used to be, he now shoots projectiles. 

Skyslicer, and air vehicle, is shown. Players get a full 360 degrees of control as they fly in the game. On the ground, in a car, we were shown some of that gameplay and players are up on a cliff and drive off the edge and bounce from Hot Air Balloon to Hot Air Balloon until reaching the other side. There, the area is wide open and gives players plenty of room to drive around and attack enemies. Also, as you drive around there are blue glowing gearbits that can be picked up. This is what you need to collect in order to upgrade your vehicles.

One other change to the gameplay that I wanted to mention are the boxes. In past games, these were simple puzzles where you pushed, shoved, and dragged boxes around predetermined paths. Instead of boxes, SuperChargers will features gongs that are cut in half. Players will have to maneuver them to match the gong up and then hit it to ring it and unlock the next area or have a door open up.

Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on September 20, 2015. On that date, there will be a special digital only version of Skylanders SuperChargers that will run $49.99. This is the first time that Activision has offered a digital upgrade at launch. I was told that you could buy the starter characters separately at retail if you opt for the digital upgrade.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 06/18/15

Screenshots for Skylanders SuperChargers First Look