Preview Skylanders: Trap Team First Look Preview – Gotta Catch 'em All!

Rocky Apr 24, 2014

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    Rocky Guest

    Prepare to open up your wallets once more, parents and fellow man/woman children. Skylanders returns for another year, with original creator Toys for Bob back on the scene, bringing a smart new gimmick to the table that'll have fans screaming and waving their money at over 50 all-new characters and more. Like Giants and Swap Force before it, the latest Skylanders has a clever hook, inverting the 'bringing toys to life' mantra that has informed the series from day one, 'bringing life to toys' via a new trapping system. Hence the catchy name, Skylanders: Trap Team, heralding the introducion of new Trap Master Skylanders and eight 'Traptanium' traps attached to each one of the game's elements.

    These traps are both in-game devices and physical toys that work with Skylanders: Trap Team's new Traptanium Portal of Power (yep, you'll need to buy another Starter Pack), enabling you to capture villainous characters and switch to playable versions of them in-game whenever you like. It's a neat concept, and one that adds a further 40 playable characters to the already expansive roster available in the game. That's in addition to the 100-odd characters already available from previous Skylanders games, still supported in Skylanders: Trap Team.

    Our first look at Skylanders: Trap Team sees new bow-wielding avian Trap Master 'Snap Shot' fighting Chompy Mage, a boss character with his own line in deliriously daft dialogue, who can transform into the embodiment of the springy-eyed puppet mounted on his left hand. A huge bouncing blob with a gaping toothy maw, the Chompy Mage's alter-ego can be beckoned at will once you've captured him, a task performed by deploying a trap in the game, while plugging the dinky plastic accessory into a recess on the Traptanium Portal in the real world.

    Hearing the blathering Chompy Mage as he's transported to his prison, the sound blasts through the TV speakers before seamlessly transferring to the trap, his protests still emanating from a tiny speaker on the portal. It's a trick that manages to eke a smile out of even a hardened cynic like myself, so imagine the glee that trapping an enemy will bring to a youngling fan of the series. And once a boss has been ensnared, they're forever ensconced within the trap, available to call upon and play as in the game's single-player or co-op adventure.

    Our presentation yields other enemies available to trap, including the troll-piloted Shrednaught; a slow moving tech element contraption fitted with a revolving chainsaw; and Chill Bill, a water element troll who can freeze bad guys in place. All 40 of the trappable Skylanders: Trap Team villains can be contained within each of the eight elemental traps (4-6 accommodated in each), at which point they can be tagged in at any time while playing as a Trap Master. Incidentally, have a trap connected to your portal, and imprisoned enemies will offer up humorous commentary and helpful tips as you play, just for the hell of it.

    As ever, Trap Team sees series antagonist Kaos up to his old tricks again, this time having discovered a legendary Cloudcracker Prison, a fortress built out of Traptanium that houses Skylands' most notorious villains. Looking to amass an army of baddies, Kaos inadvertently blows up the fortress, sending villains and Traptanium shards plummeting to the ground. These shards form the basis for the game's traps, and...well, you know the rest.

    As well as Snap Shot and his water-based projectiles, we're shown Food Fight, a diddy Skylander with a tomato gun, who can also roll around atop a giant tomato, dinky dinosaur Chopper, who has rotor blades attached to his back, and Wallop, an earth Trap Master who wields a pair of crystal mallets. Both Snap Shot and Food Fight are included with the Skylanders: Trap Team Starter Pack, which bundles the game, the two aforementioned Skylanders, the new Traptanium Portal and two traps for the usual price.

    Skylanders: Trap Team's art style is still pleasingly bold and chunky, edging closer to the production values and presentation of an animated series, though essentially it's business as usual for the series, albeit with a new adventure, more mini-games, new puzzles, collectible loot and such. Of course the addition of Trap Team's spiffy new trapping mechanic is the real innovation here, and as such it looks set to delight its target audience, not least because it allows players to assume control of 40 special enemy characters. Add to that well over 100 existing Skylanders that are still supported in Trap Team, as well as more than 50 new Trap Master and core Skylanders, and fans are guaranteed to lap up this latest instalment in the series all over again.

    Skylanders: Trap Team is out on October 5th in North America and October 10th in Europe for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4.




    Source - X360A

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