Did you take the plunge into the next-generation consoles with an Xbox One, and are looking to play the market leader in toys-as-peripherals? Skylanders: Swap Force was the first (and currently the only) title on the platform. It’s a game I’ve now spent a fair amount of time with (which includes reviewing it for Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS). I was pretty new to the world of Skylanders initially, and if you are too you might want to give our 360 review a read for a crash-course on Activision’s burgeoning toy-fueled empire. Even now Activision hasn’t released every character yet, so if you think Skylanders Swap Force doesn’t have both parents and kids checking store shelves, you underestimate the power they hold. Now that I’ve had time to play the Xbox One version all the way through, there are some some criticisms I’d like to share with you.
Aimed squarely at young kids, the plot, controls and interface have a cartoon-like simplicity that appeals to children – including combat and character upgrades. The one feature Skylanders Swap Force on Xbox One was supposed to be better at was the sound and graphical presentation – the rest of the elements should have been brought over with no discernible difference. I don’t doubt that the people over at Vicarious Visions were trying to put their best foot forward with this, but some of the elements stumbled in the Xbox One release.
On the graphics side, the improved fidelity brings the world to life, and I’m happy to say that the game played really well otherwise. Truth be told, I’m not sure that you’d immediately notice the difference in graphics unless you look for them. The parallax textures certainly make the game crisper and looked like a cartoon brought to life, but without a side-by-side comparison it is easily overlooked. Light transitions, refractions and reflections were also noticeably sharper.
I experienced no crashes, slowdowns or delays in an entire campaign run-through and challenge and co-op combat levels. The scoring on this review in contrast to the 360 version is not due to any issues with the game, but instead a change in our reviewing policy. If anything, the Xbox One version would have scored higher on the same scale.