E3 2012 Preview: Skylanders Giants

June 17, 2012

It’s no secret that Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure has been insanely successful in two things: resurrecting the Spyro franchise and making publisher Activision a ton of cash. It’s been so successful that a sequel, titled Skylanders: Giants is now in the works, and Rocket Chainsaw had the opportunity to attend a special presentation detailing the game. If you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon, Skylanders’s big thing is the use of collectible action figures, which allows players to unlock more playable characters in-game, who each have different abilities. A great concept that isn’t exactly new; after all, every kid has at least one thing that they collected obsessively, but it’s something that hasn’t been done this successfully in terms of a video game before.

Not much is known about the story at this point, but we know that this time around, the character Chaos will take the lead as the main antagonist. Naturally, the story will also have a focus on the Giants in the title. During gameplay, these characters can interact with the world more than standard Skylanders – for example, by picking up environmental objects like rocks and throwing them. We were also shown that despite the size of the giants, two of them can fit on the portal at once. Perhaps this will be put to good use in the co-op and player vs. player modes, especially in the new mode we were shown, titled Ring Out.

Parents will be pleased and relieved to know that the old toys will still work in Giants, although new variations of old characters will have new powers and different poses. Of course as you would expect, there are lots of new ones, including some that use new technology. For example, we were shown Prism Break, a character that uses the LightCore technology, which lets him light up as he nears the portal. We met another new character named Pop Fizz, who uses potions as attacks but can also drink them to become a Hulk-esque berserker character. There was also one named Bouncer whose power to shoot from his fingertips seemed a bit more mundane in comparison. The level cap for characters has also been raised to 15.

It’ll be interesting to see what other features Skylanders: Giants will add before its scheduled release date in October this year. Nevertheless, we don’t doubt that it will be a hit with kids again. Parents, start saving.