Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

October 05, 2014

Also on:

PS4 Xbox One

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.8

Summary:

In Skylanders Trap Team on the PlayStation 4, the evil Kaos has discovered the location of the notorious Cloudcracker Prison – and in blowing it up, unleashes some of Skylands most dastardly and volatile villains. Meanwhile fragments of the secret jail, made of the magical substance Traptanium, are blasted down to Earth.  As the hero you must recapture the escaped inmates and search high and low for the baddies, return them back to Skylands to fight for you and defeat Kaos before it’s too late.

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8.0 / 10
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by Activision
Release Date: 11/15/2013

Details

Technical Information

  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine(s):
    • Havok
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 44 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-08-14

Jamie_Hall

Writer

PS4

7.6

Skylanders Trap Team was developed by the team at Toys for Bob for release on pretty much every major console. We’ve been playing through the series on our PS3 and felt almost obliged to snag a copy of the Trap Team title for the PS4. Trap Team looks to further push the world of the Skylands into the public conscious while simultaneously selling more toys to creatively starved children. We’ve been a fan of Spyro for almost a decade and every time that we had been asked to come back and visit his colorful worlds we have found something at least entertaining for us. This game mixes the childish nature of the series with an allure that is just as effective on adults. We couldn’t wait to dive back into the colorful world of the Trap Teams.

The Skylanders series is starting to grow a little thin from being stretched over so many releases. Almost an annual series like EA’s Madden titles or Treyarch’s Call of Duty, Skylanders has to bring something new every time that it hits the shelves in order to keep us from growing jaded. No matter what gets released as long as it bears the Skylanders name then it will likely sell well to a young crowd while parents clamor to get their hands on copies. Every Christmas season we see a new release that promotes big sales numbers and all but assures a follow up. Annual releases almost by definition are not unique but we have found ourselves giving the benefit of the doubt to Skylanders. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this new entry.

First of all upon loading up Skylanders Trap Team you will notice that it looks almost exactly like the previous titles in the series. The Skylands here are fully realized in colorful 3D with fun animations, nice depth, and great texture work done on all of the characters. The narrative behind all of the action is simple enough for just about any child to follow but in doing so it makes it harder to sell to older audiences. Essentially Kaos, who is of course the villain, is back at it doing some pretty bad stuff. Kaos has released a ton of crazy villains from their cells and now they are all working together to do Kaos’s bidding. Simple and relatively uninspired but it sets the stage for the action to come.

So far we have described Trap Team as an almost boiler plate clone of Swap Team but there are differences and some of them are pretty integral to the core of the game. Looking at the word Trap will give you all the clue that you need. In Swap Team the big gameplay change was your ability to swap between different members of your team. Now in Trap Team you are able to use a variety of different trap techniques, including magic, life, and tech, in order to capture enemies. Match up your trap technique with the right 'brand' of enemy and you will capture them after you defeat them. Traps act like a Monster Hunter or Pokemon system in that your trapped monsters will be shot up into the sky for your disposal as you need them. When you aren’t playing as them the creatures will be confined to a tiny 3D portal that features an avatar grumbling at you. During your play through you can switch to your different trapped teammates as needed, filtering between the different 'types' as you would in Pokemon in order to field advantages.

Trap Team also stands high on the shoulders of what the Skylander series has done so well for so long: accessibility. You can easily sit down in front of your Trap Team copy and find yourself in the groove of the action within ten minutes or so. There is virtually no learning curve thanks to a simplistic control scheme, easy to understand gameplay mechanics, and map designs that funnel the player in the right direction without ever feeling like they are on the rails. Of course the gorgeous color palette captures the eye and the strong sound design enraptures the ear, as well. Speaking of sound, the voice acting is once again an elite aspect of the title. Each member of your team is full of personality and every character on the screen gets a few good lines in as you play through. You can tell that these characters were designed to sell toys because they each have such unique personalities from one another.

Getting back to the core gameplay mechanics, as you trap foes you will unlock their quests later on in the game. In order to get your hands on these quests you’ll have to explore with your captured teammates. Eventually you’ll come to another portal that allows you to progress into their specific realm. The longer you play the stronger your team will get and the tougher your adversaries will be to get past. However, that difficulty curve isn’t very sharp and its gradual ascent allows for you to lean into the problems as they come at you.

Still there are some issues with Trap Team that need to be discussed. The biggest problem with the game also has to do with the core identity of the series: collecting. The point of the Skylanders series has always been to encourage players to pick up the external figures in order to use within the game. This causes Trap Team to have a level cap, sealing off all 'Life Portal' based levels unless you go ahead and by a Life Class critter separately. Sure it’s only a couple of bucks but there is something that rubs me wrong about needing to buy more in order to get everything I already bought.

As the title stands, Skylanders Trap Team is a thoroughly fun experience for gamers of all ages. Featuring lovable characters, great voice acting, and vibrant colors you cannot go wrong with grabbing this game.

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Jun 19, 2015
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By:

Activision

Release Date:

October 05, 2014

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