Skylanders Swap Force is headed as a launch title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a representative from Activision confirmed to Polygon at E3 today.
Vicarious Visions' first entry in the video game/toy hybrid series will be released Oct. 13 in North America for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Xbox One is expected to be released this November, and PlayStation 4 is slated for a holiday release.
We sat in on a demo today that showed the game's new characters and their swappable nature and how the game hopes to mix up the franchise.
The demo began with a reminder that all existing Skylanders toys will be compatible with the upcoming game, but focused on the 16 new characters.
The first feature toured was born of user testing. Activision discovered that the number one feature that kids requested was jumping, and Skylanders Swap Force will be the first entry in the series to include the mechanic. It was left out of the first two games because the developers were concerned that it would blur the distinction between characters. Vicarious Visions has even incorporated platforming elements into the game that were previously unavailable.
The game's core conceit is what the developers call "dynamic swappability," a features that allows players to detach each Swap Force Skylander action figure at the wait and recombine it with the upper body of another Swap Force Sklylander character.
Each half of the body has its own power. As the action figures sit on the Portal of Power that connects the real-world objects with the game, you can remove and recombine them in real time, which triggers a cut scene that introduces the new character who could have, for example, the teleportation ability from the lower half of one character and the ranged battle of another.
The game also includes new Swap Force Zones, which are based on each of the eight abilities of the new Skylanders figures. In the demo, a character walked up to a gated Swap Force Zone gate that required the climb ability. Placing Wash Buckler, an octopus pirate, onto the Portal of Power allowed the door in the demo to open, trigging a mini-game in which the character made his way up a wall vertically, avoiding enemies and falling objects.
Skylanders Swap Force will also allow players to earn loot to unlock 20 bonus missions in the game. Battle Mode from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure and the Survival Arenas from Skylanders Giants will also return.