Review: Skylanders Imaginators (PS4).
At the moment when Disney’s competition withdraws from the toys-to-life market, Activision releases the next installment of the Skylanders series. Skylanders Imaginators (PS4), released several days ago, introduces a huge novelty to the series – creating your own hero.
To create your hero, you need a creation crystal. We get one in the starter kit with the game, but if we want to create a character based on a different element, we must have a different crystal … that is, spend about PLN 40. There is nothing to hide here – Activision has found a way to earn even more on figurines and related items, especially if someone is just starting their adventure with the Skylanders series. People who have old figures can easily use them in this game, by purchasing only the aforementioned crystal. Anyway, the whole game is structured like that – with the basic set, yes, the whole thing can be completed, but we are doomed to one element of the hero and two types of masters (here called sensei). So if you want variety – pay. And maybe I’m not the target group of this series too much (because let’s face it, it’s a brand primarily targeted at children), but a few times during the game you could feel a slight bending of the stake on the part of the publisher.
Fortunately, Skylanders Imaginators (PS4) defends itself as a game. An extensive three-dimensional platformer with RPG elements added is a departure from what Activision came up with last year. Of course, no one abandons last year’s idea and the series of Superchargers figures allows Imaginators to take part in races on a special board that we fire from the big hub. This hub allows us to generally choose the locations on which we will play. The developer has also hid some secrets and random (well, sort of) events in it, and added optional levels in which we can perform missions endlessly, so apart from the main storyline, there is something to do here.
It took me over eight hours to finish the game, which for an easy game (because it is directed for children, so the level of difficulty must be appropriate) is an ideal result. Even for a moment the adventure did not last long. Much of this is due to the way the history was written. It is light, pleasant and with a sense of humor, which is interwoven with winking to fans of the series and with a lot of references to other games and the general market. The kids won’t necessarily get the jokes in the bigger picture, but this is where the older player will smile. For the younger ones, the boards were made – they are easy to walk through and even the secrets are hidden here so that no one should have any problems finding them. In addition, to squeeze even more out of a given location (and extend the fun time), additional objectives have been added, for which we will get stars and (similarly to other objectives) chests.
It is worth stopping at the crates. The trend of opening virtual boxes with random content is so popular that only the blind will not notice it. The developer also added them here. We get chests for completing additional tasks and going through locations, but we can also find them during the game. In the box, we get one of the four rarity levels of the crystal, which gives us an item for equipment or modifying the appearance of our character. There are a lot of these things, because the sets themselves have been prepared several dozen, so collecting is normal. Of course, microtransactions have been pushed here as well, because the rare chests that guarantee the best items at once can be bought for real money, but … it doesn’t make sense. During the game, you will calmly collect what you need. Even though there are a lot of items – several dozen for each character class (there are 10 of them and each fights with a different style).
The RPG layer is a bit too simplistic for me, but on the other hand, it will be perfect for a younger player. Four statistics define our hero. Character levels are gained by fighting opponents, but without using Skylanders figures, we will reach a maximum of 15. One figure introduced to the game raises this limit by one level, so at the beginning people with a rich collection of figures have an advantage, which is a kind of rewarding loyal fans who they loaded a lot of money into these toys. Anyway, no one tells us to play with the created hero with limited levels, because we can also put a Skylander figure on the portal. Such characters are usually stronger and you develop them with not assumed items, but with purchased skills. It is also worth mentioning the availability of a set with Crash and Neo Cortex, which allows us to play on the Wumpa Island board. This set is a bit more expensive and cannot be bought separately at the moment, but that is about to change in some time. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I only received the starter kit without Crash, I am unable to write anything more than what appears in our Gamescom playtest.
I played really well in Skylanders Imaginators (PS4). The visuals that are pleasing to the eye and the very good soundtrack help in the positive perception of the game. Unfortunately, the Polish language version is still missing, even in the form of subtitles, so it may be some form of a barrier for a younger player. Of course, dubbing would be perfect here, but we will probably never see it. A pity, because it would certainly raise the interest in the game among the younger ones, or at least make their reception easier. Because for a person my age, the English language version is not a problem. Just like the price of the starter kit – PLN 300 is not a tragedy, bearing in mind that we get a game, a portal, two figures and a creation crystal.