With Skylanders Trap Team having been announced, and details coming thick and fast these videos help distinguish rumour and fact.
First, the basics. Activision and Toys For Bob return with the fourth installment of the Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Trap Team. Trap Team features 16 brand new Trap Master Skylanders and 18 new core Skylanders who are on the hunt for escaped villains from Cloudcracker Prison.
All of your existing Skylanders, plus the new Trap Team Skylanders have the ability to trap defeated enemies in crystal traptanium traps which then allow the you to play as those same captured enemies at any time. Traps are slotted into the all new traptanium portal to allow the player to both capture and release fallen foes. You'll even be able to hear your captured enemies talk to you directly from the traps when connected to the portal.
Currently we have these Trap Master Skylanders: Snap Shot (Water), Wallop (Earth), Wild Fire (Fire), "Arkeyan/Mummy" (Undead). We then have these Core Skylanders: Chopper (Tech), Funny Bone (Undead), Food Fight (Life), "Purple gremlin" (Magic), "Purple/black elf with bunches" (Magic), "Turquoise bird/dragon" (Air).
Finally we have these returning Skylanders: Gill Grunt (Water), Trigger Happy (Tech), Eruptor (Fire), Stealth Elf (Life), Jet Vac (Air), Shroomboom (Life) and Pop Fizz (Magic). Then there are the Trappable Villains: Chill Bill (Water), Shred Naught (Tech), Wolfgang (Undead), Chompy Mage (Life) and Kaos.
Beyond the characters that will be available in the game the different console versions will each offer different levels of graphics. The game stretches it's support across three generations of console hardware and we're going to see some noticeable differences in the graphical quality on each platform because of that.
To compare the different versions this video looks at the obvious graphical differences between five official screenshots from the three console generations, which we're loosely going to categorise as follows:
- Generation 1: Wii
- Generation 2: Xbox 360, Playsation 3, (& Wii U ?)
- Generation 3: Xbox One, Playstation 4
Although we can't be sure which of the three consoles the Generation 2 screenshots come from, we can be fairly certain that the Generation 3 screenshots are from the Playstation 4 given the comments from Activision about that platform being their current demo system of choice.
Also, looking at footage of Skylanders: Swap Force on both Xbox 360 and Wii U, it's clear to see there is no noticeable difference in quality, but that may change depending on the developer's experience with the platform.
While you'll notice quite a graphical leap from the standard definition graphical capabilities of the Wii in Generation 1, to the consoles in Generation 2, the leap to Generation 3 is far less noticeable. The Wii cannot compete on texture detail and it shadows are often absent when compared with more modern consoles. Generation 2 screenshots look far more vibrant overall, with characters and locations really catching the eye.
Looking at the Generation 3 graphics we see some less obvious improvements, but the excellent fabric/hair textures on character models, added detail in the background of images and general enhanced clarity overall makes the game look even more appealing.
The upside of the comparison is that even on the Wii, it appears that the charm of the game still shines through. After-all the real appeal of Skylanders is in it's characters and they're well represented on Wii, just not as detailed.
Skylanders Trap Team Starter Packs will go on sale on 10th October 2014.