Skylanders: Swap Force
|Developer(s):|| Vicarious Visions |
Toys for Bob
|Released:|| October 13, 2013 (US) |
October 18, 2013 (EU)
October 16, 2013 (AU)
Fall 2013 (PS4 and Xbox One)
|Platform(s):|| Xbox 360 |
- “Swappable. Unstoppable.”
- —Skylanders: Swap Force tagline
Portal Masters embark on an all-new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano's eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth. But, the magic of the volcano gave these heroes a remarkable new power — the ability to swap halves — turning them into a special team known as the SWAP Force.
Meanwhile, Kaos is back with a new evil plan. And now, Portal Masters everywhere must reassemble the SWAP Force — in their original form or in new combinations — and send them back to Cloudbreak to save Skylands!
Due to the game being developed by Vicarious Visions, Swap Force now possesses a jump ability for all Skylanders, a mechanic that was unavailable in the previous console titles. If the Skylanders fall off a path, they don't get hurt, and are simply reset back on the path, making the game very forgiving with the young target audience.
Vast Possibilities for Play
Skylanders SWAP Force features 16 new inter-action figures with new powers and a fresh play pattern – dynamic swapability – that lets kids create more than 250 unique character combinations, giving them more choice than ever before over how they fight and move in the game. With each new addition to their Skylanders SWAP Force collection, Portal Masters unlock an exciting world of possibilities.
More Play Options
For the first time, Portal Masters can experience new dimensions of gameplay including the addition of jumping. And, seasoned fans can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants. Skylanders SWAP Force delivers a diverse and dynamic, story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini games, and drop-in/drop-out co-op - all set within compelling environments.
All New Characters
More than 50 collectible characters including: 16 new SWAP Force characters, 16 new Skylanders characters, 8 LightCore™ Skylanders characters, 16 new versions of fan-favorite Skylanders from the previous games, each featuring an all new “Wow Pow” upgrade power.
Portal Masters will embark on a brand new adventure, encountering never-before-seen enemies and challenges, as well as meeting memorable non-playable characters who can help the Skylanders defeat Kaos and his minions in the Cloudbreak Islands.
Unique Swap Force Zones
Skylanders SWAP Force characters feature traversal abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – each of which can be explored in new areas of Skylands that are centered on these new play mechanics.
Enhanced Graphics Quality
Swap Force’s high-resolution graphics bring to life amazingly detailed characters and richer environments to deliver a high level of visual fidelity that immerses players in the game like never before.
List of Swap Force Skylanders
- Wash Buckler
- Magna Charge
- Stink Bomb
- Night Shift
- Blast Zone
- Freeze Blade
- Spy Rise
- Hoot Loop
- Free Ranger
- Rattle Shake
- Trap Shadow
- Grilla Drilla
- Doom Stone
- Rubble Rouser
- Fire Kraken
- Boom Jet
The story begins with Master Eon introducing the player to the world of Skylands as well as its protectors, the Skylanders. The veteran Portal Master then reveals the backstory of a special group of Skylanders known as the SWAP Force, who protected the Cloudbreak Islands and its magical volcano that regenerates the magic in all of Skylands every one hundred years. During an epic battle against a swarm of Fire Vipers summoned by a dark figure, the SWAP Force were caught in the eruption of the magic volcano, which granted them the ability to swap halves, but in the process banished them to Earth.
In the present, Flynn is on vacation at the Cloudbreak Islands to see its next one hundredth eruption. He is encountered by Tessa, a fox girl riding on a large bird named Whiskers, and thrust into another adventure when Kaos ordered a group of Greebles to attack Tessa's village before the volcano celebration...
- Carlos Alazraqui - Duff, Hot Dog
- Laura Bailey - Persephone, Ninjini
- Troy Baker - Rattle Shake, Sunburn
- Christine Baranski - Kaos' Mom
- Abarham Benrubi -
- Bob Bergen - Wind-Up
- Jeff Bergman - Zap
- J.B. Blanc - Spy Rise
- Steve Blum - Chop Chop, Tuk
- Thomas Bromhead - Dino-Rang, Drill Sergeant
- Robert Cait - Fryno
- Joey Camen - Boomer, Free Ranger, Terrafin
- Cam Clarke -
- Ryan Cooper - Wrecking Ball
- Chris Cox - Glumshanks
- Kathryn Cressida - Scratch
- Elizabeth Daily - Sprocket
- Grey DeLisle - Mesmeralda, Smolderdash
- Darin DePaul - Gill Grunt
- John DiMaggio - Wash Buckler
- Benjamin Diskin -
- Robin Atkin Downes - Hoot Loop
- Jake Eberle - Rubble Rouser
- Chris Edgerly - Pop Thorn
- Greg Ellis - Magna Charge
- Gideon Emery - Zoo Lou
- Keythe Farley - Eruptor
- Dave Fennoy - Slobber Tooth
- Keith Ferguson -
- Chris Fries - Grilla Drilla
- Bobcat Goldthwait - Pop Fizz
- Marc Graue - Blind Beard
- Daniel Hagen - Master Eon
- Jess Harnell - Blast Zone
- James Horan - Cluck
- Richard Steven Horvitz - Kaos
- Danny Jacobs -
- John Paul Joyce -
- John Kassir - Ghost Roaster
- Josh Keaton - Spyro
- Tom Kenny - Stink Bomb
- Matthew Yang King -
- Maurice LaMarche - Night Shift
- Lex Lang - Grim Creeper
- Tobie LaSalandra - Cynder
- Misty Lee - Star Strike
- Kip Lennon -
- Mark Lennon -
- Patrick Lennon -
- Jonathan Lipow -
- David Lodge -
- Yuri Lowenthal - Fright Rider, Softpaw
- Peter Lurie - Prism Break
- Paul Mercier -
- Candi Milo - Chieftess
- Lani Minella - Sonic Boom
- Dave B. Mitchell - Sharpfin
- Sumalee Montano - Cali
- Matthew Moy - Shroomboom
- Masasa Moyo -
- Julie Nathanson - Chill
- Daniel Neil - Thumpback
- Alex Ness - Double Trouble, Drobot, Lightning Rod
- Elle Newlands - Avril
- Nolan North - Dune Bug, Mayor McBoom
- Chris Parson - Wham-Shell
- Jim Piddock - Willowbark
- Tara Platt - Punk Shock
- Enn Reitel - Time Keeper
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Stump Smash, Tree Rex
- Bumper Robinson - Bouncer
- Rino Romano - Scorp
- Salli Saffioti - Whirlwind
- Dwight Schultz - Ignitor
- Patrick Seitz - Hot Head, Rip Tide
- Roger Craig Smith - Boom Jet
- David Sobolov - Bumble Blast
- Andre Sogliuzzo - Camo, Voodood
- Kevin Sorbo - Crusher
- Tara Strong - Flashwing
- Cree Summer - Roller Brawl
- Keith Szarabajka - Flameslinger
- Fred Tatasciore - Slam Bam, Warnado, Zook, Fiznik
- Richard Tatum - Countdown
- Courtenay Taylor - Hex
- Mitch Urban - Snagglescale
- Kari Wahlgren - Tessa
- Patrick Warburton - Flynn
- Audrey Wasilewski - Stealth Elf, Whisper Elf
- Rick D. Wasserman - Rufus
- Billy West - Fire Kraken, Freeze Blade
- Scott Whyte - Marshall Wheelock
- Travis Willingham - Doom Stone, Eye-Brawl, Gorm
- Dave Wittenberg - Trigger Happy
- Marc Worden - Trap Shadow
- Robbie Wyckoff -
- Michael Yurchak - Hugo
- Keythe Farley - Voice Director
- Amanda Wyatt - Voice Director
Swap Force actually started out as an original Vicarious Visions concept about how the developers could build on the greatness of Skylanders - playing together, building your collection, and the value of the collection. Also, what's fun from a toy standpoint: not just what's better on the video game side, but what makes for an interesting play pattern on the toy side? The toy design is actually led by Vicarious but I-Wei Huang, Character Director, and Paul Reiche III, Founder. have a close interaction on iterating with the designs and making them home in the Skylands.
Less than a year after having two major projects cancelled, the team at Vicarious Visions didn’t quite know what they were going to do in the third main entry in the Skylanders franchise. “We knew that we wanted to do something that built off of that and added new magic to bring toys to life,” Vicarious Visions’ Jeremy Russo explained. "One idea we kept coming back to was mix and match. The idea of taking apart different characters and recombining them to create something unique."
The mix-and-match concept, later becoming Swap Force’s main gimmick, was in its infancy at that point. The team hadn’t figured out much of the gameplay or logistics yet. Still, when Activision’s executives visited, the idea was approved. Russo recalled that Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg even called it “magical.” From there, the studio was off to the races to make the magic come to life.
“We initially split it into two groups,” Russo detailed. “We had engineers figuring out how it would actually work.” The original engineer-created character was essentially a mound of clay with an audio jack connecting two parts. It was crude, but effective at laying the base for how magnets would later bring it to fruition.
“Separately, we had designers and artists focusing on the game concept, like what this would actually mean to the player,” Russo said. “That was a lot of fun, but it was all just theory at that point. We knew we had something magical but we just weren’t making that connection between the hardware and the software at that point.”
Then Engineer Brent Gibson made what later became known as the “Frankenlander.” He went home, took apart a bunch of Skylanders and made a three-piece creation (or maybe abomination) using Spyro’s head, Prism Break’s torso, and Voodood’s legs. A video created by Gibson in the wee hours of the morning circulated around some of the team leads, showing, with no audio, Gibson taking Spyro’s head, and thanks to the magic of magnets, attaching it to the torso and the legs with one hand. It was the eureka moment of the entire project. The proof of concept that the Swap Force concept could actually work. And it happened before the first Skylanders game even hit stores.
Gibson was then instructed to make a few more of these beasts so they could use them as the basis for the new characters. No longer using his own home as the workshop, he worked in the New York studio’s own facilities. While cutting Skylanders into pieces for the good of the Cloudbreak Islands, Gibson managed to slice his hand open. Blood pooling in his hand, he tried to cover it up, until someone discovered him and then lead him to a garbage to dump his handful of blood and after that, the hospital. Gnarly scar in hand, Gibson was one of the key catalysts driving Swap Force from theory to reality.
Skylanders: Swap Force received mostly positive reviews. Venture Beat holds the game with the score of 90/100 and adds that 'while the inclusion of the jump button certainly makes for more varied gameplay, it also may add more challenge for the younger gamers in your household.' Game Informer gave it a 8.50, saying that the game 'handles the empowerment of playing god convincingly'. IGN gave Swap Force an 8.5, stating that the game 'delivers almost everything fans could want. There are fantastic new characters, a funny story, and a complete disregard for the boring rules that say robots and wizards shouldn't be part of the same world.'
- This is the first Skylanders game that includes the jumping mechanic in the console version.
- This marks the first Skylanders game to feature the HD mechanic.
- As a result, every character from the previous games were remastered in HD for SWAP Force.
- This is the first Skylanders game whose console versions aren't mainly developed by Toys for Bob, though Toys for Bob worked closely with Vicarious Visions on the game and character design.
- This marks the first Skylanders game to be released in North America before other regions. In the previous two games, Australia got the installments first.
- The 3DS version of SWAP Force is the first to include voice acting, something that was absent in the previous 3DS titles.
- Three concessions had to be made by developer Beenox in order to take a game optimized for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U, and make it work on Wii. The first was lowering the resolution across the board so the game ran at 480p, the maximum resolution Wii supports. This immediately scaled back the game's demands.
- Because most of the levels in Skylanders: SWAP Force are so large, the Wii version breaks select oversized levels into two parts that are loaded separately. Naturally all load times in the Wii version will take longer than on the other console platforms.
- Because of the Wii's hardware limitations, the graphics had to be scaled down to the point where some graphical effects are of lower quality. Some (like the fog in Frostfest Mountains) are even missing entirely.
- This is the first Skylanders console game to exclude the swimming ability.
- ↑ Skylanders SWAP Force™ "Mixes It Up" at Toy Fair 2013
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Skylanders Swap Force Adventure Packs and More Questions Answered
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force Fact Sheet
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force: Say hello to Activision's 272 new stars
- ↑ The Origins of Skylanders: Swap Force
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force leaps over its predecessors with jumping and platforming elements (review)
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force - Interchangeable Fun
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force Review - Everything and the Kitchen Sink
- ↑ Skylanders Swap Force Preview: Inside the Halls of Vicarious Visions