Skylanders: Swap Force PS4 Impressions

By Adam Ma on November 22, 2013, 12:34PM EDT

One of the best parts about the Skylanders franchise is how slim the difference is from one console to the next, so that no gamer loses out due to exclusive content just because they have a different copy. Fans have enough to worry about hunting down all the rare collectables without having to be concerned about what version they have as well. That being said Vicarious Visions has been quite clear that Swap Force has been designed to take full advantage of the next gen consoles, so in a way those who have been playing on the 360, PS3 or Wii-U may be missing one small element to their experience.

Content wise players won't notice a difference as all versions of the game are practically the same. Everything from story, gameplay, voice acting and sound are unchanged; which is great if this is your first purchase of the title as it means you won't be losing out on anything from the other consoles. The portal of power does seem to load slightly faster on the PS4, but as load times are so well masked behind character introduction cinematics and zone cutscenes whether or not you'll notice any difference is pretty questionable.

Graphically the difference between the current gen to next gen is like night and day, not because the Xbox 360, Wii-U or PS3 struggle to put on a good show but the PS4 simply is capable of so much more. Everything present in the current gen versions of Swap Force is simply built upon, making the already stylized art pop out even further. The world is far more vibrant and colorful, and everything from environments to particle effects look absolutely fantastic. Swap Force was never a bad looking game in the first place either, it all just boils down to the PS4 having more raw power to apply to the visuals.

This of course extends to character models and attacks as well, which is the real deal breaker between any version of the game. Characters that have elemental textures like Blast Zone are far more detailed as a result the PS4's increased power and the same goes for any Skylander that uses big zone abilities or AoE attacks. It also adds a bit of extra definition to any swapped characters, since the top/bottom half details stand out all the more.

Taken as individual elements this visual upgrade is neat, but pulled together into a single package it's hard not to recommend the newer consoles as a result. A stylistically better looking game with no negative impact on gameplay, loading time, or resolution is difficult to argue against.

It's not enough to adjust our opinion of the game, nor the score we've given it already, but for anyone holding off to buy the game until now we would highly recommend taking advantage of the next gen versions if only to get that extra edge in the visual department. All other factors being the same it's an easy choice, and assuming you're going to spend the money on a brand new console anyway, Swap Force is a great example of what this next generation is capable of visually.

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