Review: Skylanders Trap Team

Skylanders Trap Team follows the story of the evil Kaos. This time, Kaos has blown up Cloudcracker Prison which has obviously released all of the evil villains. It is the Portal Masters job to use the Trap Master in order to capture the escaped villains and return order to the universe.

The story won’t be winning any Golden Globes however it’s solid enough to keep the key demographic interested. I have to commend the writers for finding a way to keep the story going without making it feel too shallow. Cut scenes are well presented and are sure to suck young gamers in.

Skylanders Trap Team looks exceptional on PS4. It’s without doubt the most colourful and vibrant game that i’ve played on the console. Most elements of the levels are destructible and react beautifully with a ton of particle effects scattered around the creatively crafted world.

I really have to commend the various Skylanders teams at Activision. The game runs extremely smoothly which is impressive for the amount of consoles that the game is available on. The game rarely has any slow-down which is a great feat considering that a lot of enemies are always on-screen at once.

There are now over 300 Skylanders and they’re still looking just as inventive as the first wave. They’re all extremely unique and interesting to look at and animation of the characters are always smooth.

I also played the game on an iPad mini and was completely stunned with how great the game looked. Sure, it didn’t have the polish and sharpness that the PS4 version did, but it was extremely impressive to me that the game was able to run at all, let alone look so good on a tablet device.

?The concept of last year’s Skylanders Swap Force let me a little underwhlemed. The gameplay was solid but the concept of joining two different Skylander halves to combine a new one didn’t feel as special to me. It took away from the overall personality that individual Skylanders have and it didn’t make collecting anywhere near as fun. I know that my nephew definitely didn’t grasp onto the concept either. The naming conventions and endless possibility just left him confused to the point where he wasn’t able to get as involved as he usually does.

I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Skylanders Trap Team. Not only do you have the usual new lot of Skylanders, there are now 40 trappable enemies that are all playable within the game. You get two different traps with the starter pack and more are available to purchase separately. Basically you’re able to trap certain enemies with the corresponding elements trap. You can then tag this enemy into the game whilst the trap is inserted into the new portal. It sounds extremely confusing but it works. It adds a whole new dimension to the game that I didn’t think was possible after four straight yearly releases.

My only criticism of the game remains that unless you’re willing to play the main game over and over again, there really seems to no reason to collect everything. The game is over in about 10 hours and whilst it is an absolute blast, there really is no reason to replay the game unless you want to test out more characters. I’d recommend that you get at least one of each element for both the traps and the Trap Masters to unlock absolutely everything there is to unlock. What’s included in the Starter Kit is enough to get you through the main game but you’ll be going past a lot of gates that you won’t be able to access.

When getting through the game, you will also notice that there are a lot of gates that have the symbols of two unannounced elements. These have now been confirmed to be Light and Dark elements but no release date has yet been set for these figures. I’m a little bit unsure about the strategy behind this. It’s extremely annoying to have sections of the game that can’t yet be started because the figures haven’t been released.

I was lucky enough to get to play the game on both the PS4 and on a Retina iPad Mini and the game plays tremendously on both. For the first time ever, I can happily say that it is the exact same experience on both platforms. I can’t think of a AAA gaming franchise that has been able to achieve this so successfully.

On the Tablet version, you’re given a bluetooth portal that still has a spot for the traps to go in. It syncs perfectly out of the box with absolutely no effort. Similarly, Activision have given you a Bluetooth controller that also works on AAA batteries. The controller also syncs straight into the game without any effort whatsoever. I must say, the controller is absolutely wonderful. It’s a scaled down version of a 360 controller and feels every bit as good. I hope that Activision allow this controller to work as a standard bluetooth controller down the line as i believe that it is the best in the market.

The game apparently has to be online to download new characters once placed on the portal. It is a small annoyance but won’t be an issue for most players. I’d rather that the game do this as it’d be ridiculous to download character data for over 100 Skylanders when most won’t get the full catalogue. The good thing is that you’re able to play the game with no portal attached and you’ll still have access to two Skylanders at all times. You’re also able to play the game without purchasing the Starter Kit through the use of digital packs. These are quite expensive though so i’d opt for buying the Starter Kit.