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What is Skylanders Trap Team?Skylanders Trap Team is the fourth game in the toys-to-life series, and the first to reverse the process that sparked a new gaming genre.
As well as bringing toys to life, Trap Team sees Activision, and developer Toys for Bob, bring life to toys, with villainous characters now able to be ‘trapped’ within special crystal ‘Traps’. Once imprisoned, these characters are converted to the good side and can be thrown back into the game at will as new playable options.
Set in the same Skylanders universe as Giants and Skylanders Swap Force, Trap Team sees series villain Kaos return, having freed his band of wrong-doing cohorts from the infamous Cloudcracker Prison. You play as a combination of standard Skylanders and new Trap Masters – more powerful characters with a variety of ‘Traptanium’ weapons.
As well as adding a new dimension to the game, the ability to capture baddies has a wider purpose. Playing as these mischievous characters introduces new features and powers to your arsenal. What’s more, you can jump instantly between a Skylander and captured character, an addition that will help you overcome more challenging levels.
Based on our early play, we found this to be a slick process that really helps separate Trap Team from past Skylander offerings. There will be more than 40 villains available for capture at launch, including personal early highlights, Broccoli Guy and Pinyatta – a giant, candy spewing, colourful monster.
This new trapping feature does come with a catch, however. The introduction of these additional crystal Traps means a new Power Portal – the games character-enabling base station – is needed.
Although it does render your previous portal redundant, the Traptanium Portal does have a pretty cool party piece - its in-built speaker. This adds a new dimension to the game, with quippy one-liners and off-the-cuff comments often appearing to come from the ‘trapped’ villain, independent of the TV audio.
This need to buy a new Power Portal is likely to annoy parents already worn down by the pester power associated with the collectable toys, but Activision is keeping things relatively affordable. A £64.99 bundle package will be available from the game’s October 10 release date, pairing the game with not only the new speaker-packing portal, but a couple of Traps, a new Skylander and a Trap Master.
Pleasingly, all past Skylanders toys, from all three previous iterations of the game, will be compatible with Trap Team and the new Traptanium Portal.
As with past Skylanders games, all Trap Team characters are based around one of a number of elements. As such, a water villain can only be trapped within a water crystal. Again this means you will be forced to fork out additional cash to make use of the full gaming options.
On to gameplay, and Trap Team is more of what you would expect from a Skylanders title. Visuals are vibrant and detailed, with the cartoony characters all featuring intricate designs to match their quirky characters. Action is fast and fluid, with simple controls letting you smash, dodge and power you way past foes.
Most importantly, Trap Team has kept the Skylanders series’s sense of humour. Giving us a couple of laugh out loud moments during our brief playing time, the characters are sharp tongued and witty. The perfect combination for keeping gamers young and old entertained for hours.
Further extending the longevity of Trap Team, the game is filled with all manner of side missions and mini games. We only sampled a couple during our hands on but found they broke up play brilliantly, and helped keep the gameplay fresh.
From our hands-on time with the game at E3 2014, we picked up on a couple of irritating quirks. Switching between characters comes with the phrase “I’ll take it from here”, which quickly becomes an overheard drag. Some cut scenes also felt a little forced.
First ImpressionsSkylanders Trap Team continues the series’ trademark humour and sleek gameplay, while adding core new features. The ability to trap, share and play with villains offers a whole new dimension to the game and brings a freshness that should see Skylanders stay on top in the toys-to-life market for at least another 12 months.
Read more: Disney Infinity review
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