Achievement Preview Spotlight: Skylanders SWAP

By Jonathan Barnes, 3 years ago
As achievement hunters, we're all collectors of some sort. Each and every one of our trophy cases is full of our favorite pops that we've been collecting since we joined TA. Recently, games have begun to include collectibles in their Special Editions. Science knows that I have more than a handful of awesome tchotchkes on my desk, and you probably do as well. Activision has upped the collectible game with Skylanders which puts the real-world collectibles into the game world.

This Sunday marks the release of Skylanders SWAP Force which will have you switching and swapping character tops and bottoms for maximum effect. But do the achievements have their own collectible nature? Let's find out.

Swap Force logo

Truth be told, the list for SWAP Force is a bit boring at the beginning. The first seventeen achievements are very much like this one:

Swamp Secured in Skylanders SWAP Force (Xbox 360)
Complete Mudwater Hollow on any difficulty

The only difference is that you'll be popping achievements for each of the seventeen levels and the gamerscore varies between fifteen and twenty-five.

Once we get past the beginning of the list, we have more of the standard fare which includes achievements for beating the game on three difficulty levels Normal (for 100G), Hard (for 150G), and Nightmare (for 200G).

The next achievement is pretty much a "gimme", but a bit of attention should be given to it.

Newsworthy in Skylanders SWAP Force (Xbox 360)
Newsworthy19 (15)
Use the signpost in Woodburrow to see the Message of the Day (online only).

Message(s) of the Day are becoming more common in online gaming as developers continue to try and find ways to engage their audience and keep them looped into the game. This achievement was clearly inserted so that gamers will know that this message will be updated daily, hinting at continued support.

There are four achievements tied to the "Time Attack" levels that incentivize you for continuing to play it. While there are pops for completing your first, earning a 3-star rating, and earning three 3-star ratings, the one that will probably take the most effort is this one:

Fastest One Around in Skylanders SWAP Force (Xbox 360)
Earn a 3-star rating in 17 Time Attack levels

Without having experience on this particular set of levels, it's hard to speculate on how difficult it will be to nail down all seventeen, but this is definitely something to keep in mind for completionists.

It's now time for the deflating news portion of this APS. The "Time Attack" setup that I just broke down has a similar achievement setup for "Score Mode" levels, "Bonus Mission" levels (except you only top out needing to 3-star five of them), and "Team Survival Arena" levels (only three levels need 3-starred).

While games like the Skylanders series tend to be ones aimed at younger gamers, this game just screams, "Complete me!" The toughest roadblocks to completion would be popping the "Team Survival Arena" achievements (although that can be set up through a gaming session) and beating the game on "Nightmare" difficulty. Aside from that, there is virtually nothing to stop a completionist from picking the game up and having fun with the kids in their life.

Skylanders SWAP Force is set for a release this Sunday.

If there's an upcoming game or DLC pack that you'd like to see featured in the Achievement Preview Spotlight, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.