The Skylanders franchise has grown into something quite spectacular. Activision has successfully pioneered a brand new genre of videogame. Spawning four games and now, two gaming generations, Skylanders Trap Force brings a new mechanic, just like the previous games. The second game brought us the ability to play as giant Skylanders, the third allowed players to swap the legs and torsos of Skylanders with Swap Force, and now we have Trap Team where the player can use special traps to capture and then play as villains.
Kaos is no longer the most threatening evil in Skylands. Not all that surprising given how incompetent he has been in the last few games. An ancient evil has been awakened and she is not alone. Cloudcracker Prison was the most secure building ever created, housing a wide array of powerful villains that were once twarted by The Trap Team long ago. Now that the Prison has been destroyed, The Golden Queen and her cohorts are free. Luckily, they were not the only things to be released from the prison. The shards of Cloudcracker have been formed into unique traps that can be used by any member of the Trap Team.
The story does a nice job of including what The Trap Team is and why you need to use them. The same has been for all the Skylanders titles. While the story is rather predictable, it is still a fun experience to see Kaos’ rise and fall.
The gameplay has stayed relatively the same from the last game, but with the inclusion of Trap Masters few things have been added and changed. Scattered around the various levels there are Traptanium Crystals. This is material that only Trap Masters can break and they either open a new area to explore or have some kind of item hidden within them. There are gates that only Trap Masters of that specific element can enter (like the element specific portals in other Skylanders games) and of course, all bosses can be captured with Trap Masters.
A villain will make some grand entrance and when you defeat them in battle, you will insert the element specific trap into the Skylanders Portal and complete the action. Yes, this means you will have to buy more figures outside of the Skylanders. The Starter Pack does come with two traps, three if you get the Dark Edition. While you can’t get everyone with the two traps they give you, there are still a good amount of characters to get. You can only have one villain per trap but you can swap them out at the Hub World.
In addition to the surprisingly long story mode, you can play two other game modes, Kaos Challenge and Arena Mode. Arena Mode makes you fight waves of enemies with specific conditions that make it more difficult to complete. My favorite inclusion is Kaos Challenge though. We now have a Skylanders Tower Defense game. While it isn’t the biggest thing around, it is by far the best minigame in the series to date. You protect a chest from waves of enemies and to help you will defeating enemies, there are elemental specific towers to build. Some pads are multi-elemental so you can build whatever tower you would like. Other spots require a specific element. If you have Skylanders from former games, this becomes a rather easy distraction. If you do not have at least one Skylander from every element, you will have a tougher time completing the challenges. If you power through the challenges expect to earn a lot of treasure and exp for your Skylander. After about three levels of Kaos’ Challenge I was able to purchase almost every skill for my Trap Master.
Which brings me to something that I dislike about this game, it is incredibly easy to level and get money. It makes the game a bit too easy. I am not even halfway through the game and I have maxed my Trap Master already, I am working on my standard Skylander that came with the starter pack, but like I said, it is crazy easy to do.
It doesn’t look like you can get all the achievements without buying a few extra figures but Skylanders Trap Team is still a complete game with just two Skylanders figures and two Traps. The new title brings enough originality to the table while still not forgetting it’s roots. It controls very well and the combat is rather smooth. There is a lot of content to play, certainly more than some other Activision games released this year * cough * Destiny * cough *. The game looks great on the newer generation of consoles as well as the older ones. If you have the wallet for it, I highly suggest you get this new generation of Skylanders.
I give Skylanders: Trap Team a 9/10. You can pick it up on the PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.