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E3 2012: Skylanders Giants makes small changes to a strong formula

Sections: 3D, Action, Consoles, Conventions, Developers, E3, Exclusives, Features, Figures & Toys, Game-Companies, Gear, Genres, Originals, Previews, PS3, Publishers, Role-Playing, Wii, Xbox-360

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Skylanders ended up being a huge commercial success, so of course Activision was going to take advantage of that and make it into a series. Skylanders Giants is coming in Fall 2012, but everyone at E3 2012 can walk over to Activision’s booth and test it out right away. I highly recommend it because it means you not only get to try out the new game, but you also get to see six new figures.

Before I get into my play experience, let’s look over some of the new figures. The two “giants” on display were Tree-Rex, a life Skylander, and Bouncer, a tech skylander. Both had extra powerful attacks that can break down walls that normally are only shattered by bombs, but were slower than normal Skylanders. The other new figures were Crusher, Lightcore Shroomboom, Pop Fizz Jet Vac. Lightcore Shroomboom and Crusher were only on display, but Pop Fizz, Jet Vac, Tree-Rex, Bouncer and returning Skylander Cynder were at the demo station.

I began my adventures in an all new area populated by drow elves, life mages and a general who seemed to be an orc known as Brock. The goal was to reach Brock at the end. Gameplay proceeded as usual, with the figures I played with already having some of their special abilities unlocked. My favorites were Jet Vac, an air Skylander with a vacuum ability that could suck up items and small enemies, and Pop Fizz, a magic Skylander who was sort of like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character who used animated potions to attack and could transform into a stronger version of himself.

Right away, I noticed some major differences. For example, when you go into a specific-type’s area, the background music will change and the entire area will look different than a normal level. Also, the level cap has been bumped up to 15 from 10. Finally, most houses can now be entered. It was an interesting experience and being able to actually get into houses made it feel a bit more like an RPG.

While it did feel like more of the same, I have to admit the new Skylander Giants figures were impressive. It was especially cool when some lit up when they were on the portal.

Finally, I’ll close this out with some good news. Patrick Warburton will return to voice Flynn.

Site [Skylanders Giants]

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