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E3 2012: Skylanders Giants Hands-On

E3 2012: Skylanders Giants Hands-On


Skylanders is back and better than ever? Well, I’ve had some hands-on with the new game and I can say, I honestly don’t know, in a good way! How’s that you say? Well, I never played the original, as I was skeptical of the use of figurines and the extra cost. However, my time with the game at E3 has made a believer out of me. Let me explain why.

So the game is simple enough… Exploration, action, puzzles, platforming. The game controls well, the combat is satisfying and the puzzles are enjoyable to solve. However, there’s an added layer- Physical objects. In this case, figurines that represent characters you can use in game. Now, before you pounce, let’s make it clear that the game comes with three of the figurines and you are able to play through the game with only those if you so choose.

However, if are the collecting type, this game is a new hobby for you in and of itself. Each of these figurines can be placed on a stand which connects to your device. It then brings up said character into the game for you to play and use its unique abilities. Some are necessary for solving various puzzles and some you’ll often want to use just for the fun of it. Not to mention the fun of collecting all these small figurines if you’re into that sort of thing.

Where it gets even more interesting though is that each of these figurines is a cross-platform memory storage device. This means, as you upgrade and improve these characters, your progress is saved inside the figurine. You can then take that progress with you anywhere, and play it across any platform including going from an Xbox to a PS3 or even a 3DS! Take the figurine over a friend’s house, and you can play local co-op with them using your character with all his stats and upgrades in place. Now that’s amazing.

Now if you’re a fan of the previous game, then there’s some new stuff here for you. Obviously, you’re going to get new areas and puzzles to explore. However, the new types of characters enable new gameplay. That’s the titular giants who can do things like lift giant boulders and generally stomp things to a fine pulp. You’ll be happy to know that all of your currently owned figurines are fully compatible with the new title. Skylanders Giants is definitely a title worth looking into if you’re a fan of collecting, or just puzzle platformers. You can see it all in action in my demo below.

Carlos Chinchilla Originally ran his own site and has covered E3 and other industry events for half a decade. Weird and articulate, you can follow him on Twitter @HunterVenator


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