The third game in the Skylanders phenomenon features characters that can transform.
Skylanders: Swap Force comes with 50 new toys, 16 of which can be split in two and mixed together to form different Skylanders combinations.
In a demo shown to MCV, a water character called Wash Buckler was given the wheels of another character called Magna Charge, allowing it to go faster but retain its water guns. There are 256 different Skylanders possibilities out of just 16 models.
That's not all, Activision is also introducing 16 new Core Skylanders, 16 new versions of fan-favourite Skylanders (with new upgrade powers) and 8 new LightCore Skylanders. All previous Skylanders from Spyro's Adventure and Giants will work in the new game and characters can jump for the first time.
The thing about Swap Force and swapabilities, is that it works from a toy play stand-point and a gameplay standpoint,” founder and studio head at Vicarious Visions Guhu Bala told MCV.
It is cool to switch things out and it looks great as a toy. And it offers a type of creative play that we can really reward in the game.
Before you could have different heroes for different parts of the game, so if you need to be stealthy you could use Steal Elf, if you wanted to go big and powerful you can go Crusher or one of the Giants. They all work in this game. But with Swap Force we go the next level. Now you can really customise to your play style preference, and as you grow your collection, the power of that customization grows exponentially as well.
"It also reinforces the playing together part of it. Children aren't at the point yet where everyone is an anonymous competitor online. It's really about the schoolyard, the living room, where the relationship is with your friends in person and with physical things. And Swap Force really fits with that and reinforces that. It takes what made Skylanders great in the past two games and takes it to the next level.”
The new Skylanders title comes shortly after Disney announced it would be taking the hit series on with its own Disney Infinity, which features characters from the Disney universe including Monsters Inc and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Skylanders has been a global phenomenon. Last year in Europe is was the third biggest video game franchise behind FIFA and Call of Duty, with 19m toys sold across the continent. 6.2m was sold in the UK alone.
Skylanders: Swap Force will launch on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Although the rep on hand did suggest more platforms could follow.