Skylanders SWAP Force changing the game with new, customizable characters

Skylanders SWAP Force Image
Not to be outdone by DisneyInfinity, Activision made an announcement today that shows they still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Being featured February 10-13 at Toy Fair 2013 in New York City, Activision revealed Skylanders SWAP Force, the next installment in the popular Skylanders franchise. It's an appropriate name considering that 'swapability' is the main feature of the game.

Skylanders SWAP Force will use a new gameplay mechanic called 'swapability' that lets you swap the top and bottom halves of the Skylanders toys to create your own characters. With 16 SWAP Force characters, Portal Masters will be able to reconfigure them into more than 250 unique combinations. What this does is mix and match characters' powers and moves, which you can then use in the game. If you don't feel like buying more than the Starter Pack for SWAP Force -- especially if you're like me and dumped a lot of money into a collection of Skylanders Giants characters -- you can use your entire collection of characters from both Skylanders Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders Giants, now with the added capability of jumping. Say what?!!! Jumping?! What's next...crouching?
Skylanders SWAP Force Image

Skylanders SWAP Force is an all-new adventure that takes place in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands; it's home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During a battle, some brave Skylanders were caught in the volcano's eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth. Don't fret, for the magic of the volcano gave those Skylanders the power to swap halves, turning them into a special team known as the SWAP Force. Returning is Kaos, back with another evil plan, and the only way to save Skylands is to reassemble the SWAP Force in their original form or in new combinations.

Like I said, there are 16 new SWAP Force characters, along with 32 core Skylanders characters (16 new Skylanders and 16 new versions of fan favorites) and eight new Lightcore characters.
Skylanders SWAP Force Image

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc., said: "With Skylanders, we didn't just create a beloved new franchise, we actually created an entirely new category that brings the world of physical toys and video games together like never before. And now with Skylanders SWAP Force, we are pushing the genre we created forward with another big innovation: customization. The idea that kids can customize their own characters in the physical world, and have their unique combinations recognized in the virtual world, is an idea as big as the concept of bringing toys to life itself."

I'm sure kids will get a kick out of combining certain characters top and bottom halves, and I'm curious to see exactly how customizable you can get with abilities (like whether you get to choose which abilities you want from each half). Skylanders created this new way to play video games, but with Disney Infinity about to get in on it, does swapping top Gamezoneand bottom halves offer enough 'different' and 'creative' gameplay? Like the other games, SWAP Force will undoubtedly have the great Skylanders humor, so I'm not at all worried about the game being good. We'll just have to wait until some hands-on time to see whether or not swapping halves of characters is as exciting of an experience that they're making it out to be. Regardless, more Skylanders isn't a bad thing.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at

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