E3 2016: Is Skylanders Imaginators a Fresh Start For the Franchise?

E3 2016: Is Skylanders Imaginators a Fresh Start For the Franchise?

Richard Walker

You're not the only one able to make bespoke Skylanders, however, as Kaos can also create his own Doomlanders that you'll be pitted against in another adventure to save the Skylands from Kaos' latest reign of terror. Happily, you can make your own created Skylander – known as an Imaginator – a veritable beast, choosing from hundreds of heads, chest parts, arms and tails, with the smallest details all available to be tinkered with to your heart's content.

You can change your character's eyes, pupils, ears, height, head size, upper body and muscles, adding finishing touches like auras (a stinky green fart cloud, for instance), different gear and colours. Each piece of gear you equip to your character also imbue certain advantageous stats to your Imaginator, and you'll find new pieces of gear to unlock, hidden away in Imaginite chests or as enemy drops.

You're also able to choose your Imaginator's battle class, element they're aligned with, their powers and weapon technique. The example we're shown is a Life Bowslinger, able to turn into a sheep, with their own heroic, booming voice that can also be customised alongside their own spoken catchphrase (comprising hundreds of different words you can mix and match), sound effects and theme music.

Once your Imaginator is in the game, it has its own character portrait and feels like a real Skylander. “That's because it is!” Toys for Bob tells us, before showing how you can take selfies with your custom built character and save them to show to your friends, if you're so inclined. “We want to give players as many options as possible,” the developer adds.

Long-time Skylanders fans will also no doubt enjoy the return of characters like Eruptor and villains who've now realigned to fight alongside the Skylanders against Kaos. These include Wolfgang, who also assumes the role of the game's Undead Sensei, able to impart wisdom to your Imaginator, adding the lob shot Bowslinger technique to your arsenal, as well as the ability to rank up to level 17.

As for newbies, we're shown new Fire Sentinel, Ember, a Fire Sensei who like Wolfgang will grant new abilities and enable you to level up to a higher rank than you otherwise would. Additionally, each Sensei character is capable of unleashing some over-the-top powers, including a 'Sky-Chi' that has Wolfgang crowdsurfing on undead hands; an ability that sees the Sensei making short work of the Splaterpillar boss he's facing off against.

Defeating the boss unlocks a new weapon, and our demo concludes with a quick look at another of the game's new Sensei characters: none other than iconic video game marsupial, Crash Bandicoot. Crash is Imaginators' Brawler class Sensei, able to throw out TNT crates, unleash his classic spin attack, ground pound, and perform a powerful yo-yo Sky-Chi ability. He looks mental, but the intrinsic spirit of the character seems faithful for the most part.

Skylanders Imaginators is a great idea for any fans of the series who've conjured up their own creations on paper or in their imaginations. It's also the first game in the series to allow for some real creativity, the closest its come since Skylanders: Swap Force. With competitors Disney Infinity and LEGO Dimensions featuring its own creative twist on the toys to life genre, it seems that Skylanders Imaginators will introduce a unique one that's entirely its own.

Fans of the series will no doubt have a lot of fun assembling and bringing to life their own invented Skylanders, saving them to the Creation Crystal to show off to friends. As a core conceit, Skylanders Imaginators' looks like it could be a winner, but given how pricey it remains and how big LEGO Dimensions is going with its second year of content, the odds could well be stacked against it.

Skylanders Imaginators will be heading to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U on 16th October in North America and 14th October in Europe.

  • so tired of this franchise and it's cost me so much money. no more. thanks.
  • Yeah, this one seems really great!!!! Keep them coming. and so nice to have a Crash Bandicoot figure!!!! and finally we have villains figures (altough they are reformed villians now LOL)
  • another $75 starter pack then whatever for extra characters unless you go dark then like what $100 again or did they go up in price too? myself I'll probable get this if can pre-order it and slowly pay it off by release but for extra characters I'll be passing as they just keep adding new ones and each time they cost more and more then last group
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