E3 2012: Skylanders: Giants preview

We've already brought you some information about the upcoming Skylanders: Giants. But here at E3, we got a presentation from Activision that shows off some more gameplay and characters. We've already talked to you about Tree Rex — a giant tree that has an area of effect slam attack, can shoot lasers from his arm, and has an elbow drop attack. We've talked to you about Pop Fizz — an alchemist that throws potions, has a poison attack, leaves potions on the ground that fight for you, and drinks potions to turn change into a beastly form and get stronger.

Before we get into some new characters, here is some information on Skylanders: Giants and the upgrades.

Obviously, Giants features new types of characters known as Giants. Old characters still work with the new game, but Giants interact with the world differently. Since they are bigger than normal Skylanders, they are slower than normal. But being bigger has its advantages. Giants can make use of the environment, like picking up a boulder to use as a weapon or moving huge blocks of rock out of the way.

Some of the Skylanders also have light cores in them. When you bring your Skylander figure close to the portal, they start to light up. Not only does it look cool, but it adds a level of strategy to your play. Pro Skylanders players will switch their Skylanders in and out, because when you bring in a light core Skylander, it will do an aoe attack as it enters the world and slams into the ground.

So, let's get to the new characters.

jet vac skylanders giants e3

Jet-Vac is an Air element Skylander. He has a gun that works as a vacuum to suck in treasure and enemies. He's a ranged character, so if you like to sit back and do your thing while a friend gets up close and personal with enemies, then Jet-Vac is for you.

Bouncer is a Tech Giant Skylander. He's a lot different than Tree Rex, and Activision made sure to point out that there's lots of diversity and types of Giants. Bouncer has finger pistols, rolls around on a wheel, and has a ton of personality.

skylanders: Giants bouncer

Cynder is an Undead element Skylander. Cynder returns from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure as a series 2 character. Cynder has a new powerful upgraded lightning attack.

The cool thing about the series 2 Skylanders is that they get upgraded paths. The Skylanders have different upgrade paths, and series 2 characters have the ability to switch between the paths. Also, series 2 Skylanders are the only returning characters from the first game that will get new abilities. Yeah, you have to buy them, but the new possibilities and abilities might make it worth while.

In all, there are 24 series 2 characters and eight Light Core characters — four of those are new characters and four are returning. Also, all characters — including characters from the first game that you own — will get a level cap increase from 10 to 15. Still, only series 2 characters will get the new abilities.

In addition to the need of different element Skylanders to get into different element zones — thus maximizing the exploration of the game — PVP is returning, including a new "Ring Out" mode. As the name indicates, the goal in this mode is to knock your opponent out of the ring. The game also features a new card game puzzle that is a tile-based strategy game.

That's all we have for you for now, but stay tuned for more information to come. If you loved Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, then Giants is looking to be very worthy of your time and money. Skylanders: Giants releases this fall on all major platforms.

You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ