Skylanders Superchargers on PlayStation 4
As the toys-to-life genre of video games continues to expand, the reigning king of the space, Skylanders, is receiving pressure from all sides. With Disney Infinity beginning to find its stride and LEGO Dimensions getting ready to lay claim to a chunk of the pie, Skylanders Superchargers finds itself in a position where it must show why it manages to be the force that it is. And, to put it simply, it does quite a grand job of doing so.
Skylanders Superchargers adds new toys to the mix, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise since these kind of games are built around the little figures that drive them. But, on top introducing a slew of new characters to the universe they threw in some vehicles for good measure to not only give fans something new to collect, but to reinvent the gameplay in fun and exciting ways, as well.
The base game still works the same, you put a toy on the portal and you get to watch as it is animated on the screen for you to take on an adventure. We should mention that this is quite an extensive adventure. Where the competition opts for a more hands-on, creative approach, Skylander’s Superchargers is all about delivering a story by way of an adventure that will take fans through numerous sky islands with their own look, feel, and challenges. Whether you’re riding on the back of a Cloud Dragon, or running for your life since you’ve been shrunk in a garden, you’ll always find yourself somewhere that is both new and beautifully rendered.
Seriously, the game worlds are beautiful, and the delivery of both the story and adventure is top-notch. There is just the right touch of humor where it isn’t too heavy-handed, and a perfect mesh of color and effects. Then there’s the character/vehicle introduction when you first place a figure on the portal. Vehicles will give you showfloor rundowns putting on display exactly what makes that particular toy awesome and it brought a chuckle every time. All of these touches lend to the general amazingness that is the Skylanders Superchargers campaign.
And this isn’t some quick story for you to run through with all of your toys, it’s one that is well thought out with twists and turns, puzzles to solve, and enemy patterns to master. There are even a few really creative side-scrolling bits that help to uncover the past of this entry’s powerful enemy. What really makes each level pop are the various hidden paths and side activities/missions that are scattered around. The hidden paths are accessible to pretty much everyone who can find them, but the side activities/missions are sometimes locked behind vehicle types.
This content being locked behind specific types of toys would normally rub the wrong way, but it offers replayability to those who want to invest in more figures, but don’t want to just run through the same old content over and over (although there is quite a bit). Vehicles play the leading role in these side activities with Skylanders Superchargers using these new toys in the form of ground, air, and land types. Whether it’s racing, puzzles, or combat oriented, just pop the right vehicle type onto your portal and you’re good to go.
Any Skylander can use any of the vehicles introduced to the game, but the developers also designated specific combinations to give an added bonus to players, and that’s where the Superchargers part of the title comes in. The new characters that were introduced aren’t your ordinary Skylanders. They have a bond with one of the many new vehicles, and when used together, they Supercharge one another increasing their power, and altering the look of the vehicle in pretty cool ways.
Vehicles are also further customizable by finding parts throughout the game. These alter both the look and performance of the vehicle. There is no such thing as finding the best part, since each one alters your ride in Skylanders Superchargers in a different way. This offers a bit of strategy for those looking for it without overly complicating the flow of the game for the younger members of the audience.