The gameplay is very much like the original, complete with campy dialogue and a seemingly endless supply of small pick-up quests. Giants includes a difficulty meter in the beginning, allowing the game to appeal to multiple skill levels. As you complete quests and smash the baddies, the Skylander you are using grows in experience and earns cash that can be spent on leveling the skills of that character. Everything points the player to a series of boss fights, very much like the original Skylanders.
The hallmark of Skylanders is that it’s easy to play. And that’s the case with the newest release in the franchise, Skylanders Imaginators, which debuts October 13 on consoles and the PC.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Giants picks up very shortly after the original ends, with the big bad heading back to Skylands. For reasons that never really get explained, you have discovered one of the ancient Skylanders, known as a Giant. These characters are slower, but significantly stronger than the regular characters. As you play the game, you learn when the best points to use each character type are, but are never really forced to use any individual model.
Activision’s Toys for Bob studio started the toys-to-life market in 2011 by making hybrid toy-game products. And now, it is finally allowing consumers to create their own Skylanders characters. I visited Toys for Bob in Novato, Calif., and got some hands-on time with Imaginators. I created my very own Skylander, as you can see in the video at the bottom. Toys for Bob is betting that this kind of customization is the innovation that fans have been waiting for, and it will get the whole market growing again.