Transformers: War for Cybertron, released just last year, was the first truly excellent Transformers-based game to come out in quite some time. You’d think it’d be difficult to mess up a game about robots that transform into vehicles and blow crap up, but somehow the formula wasn’t quite up to par until War for Cybertron. Developed by High Moon Studios, it was a third person shooter that managed to make the game fun in both robot and vehicle mode, a feature that was sorely lacking in previous Transformers video games. The many nods to TF fanboys were pretty sweet too; who ever thought they’d see a Soundwave boss battle where he’s actually a boombox?
Apparently, Activision took notice of War for Cybertron‘s success and brought back High Moon Studios to work on Transformers: Dark of the Moon, based on the third movie in Michael Bay’s robot-smashing explod-a-gasm of an adapation. Having been a huge fan of WFC, I was looking forward to seeing this new one at GDC, and fortunately, my expectations were met, and then some.
At its core, Dark of the Moon is essentially the same type of game as War for Cybertron. The tight controls and seamless transition from vehicle to robot are all there, so the formula’s the same. There’s just a few things that have been tweaked that may actually make the game better. The major addition has been the implementation of “Stealth Force”, adapted from the movies. It’s a form in which a robot in vehicle form can deploy all its weapons and thus attack enemies while still rolling along as a vehicle. In Bumblebee’s case, panels open up in various locations of the beautiful Camaro to reveal mounted machine guns, chain guns, etc.
What this essentially means is that you can now attack other enemies while in your vehicle form, which adds an element to your attack plan that wasn’t present in WFC. You’ll also be able to strafe in “Stealth Force” mode, which sounds a bit awkward, but makes sense within the universe.
Additionally, there’s only going to be one campaign in this one, as opposed to separate Autobots and Decepticons campaigns that we saw in War for Cybertron. This was done to seamlessly integrate and intertwine both factions’ stories into one smooth arc, so people who decided to only play as one faction or the other wouldn’t be out of the loop storywise.
Speaking of which, Dark of the Moon isn’t a scene-by-scene adaptation of the movie; rather, it depicts the events leading up to the third movie. This was done just to add some much-need backstory to some of the robots, such as Megatron, who was left as a heap of scrap metal at the end of Revenge of the Fallen. Which is a welcome element, because I’m sure Bay himself won’t adequately describe what happens in that time period, if he even does so at all.
Beyond that, there isn’t much that’s too different from the previous game, and that’s not really a bad thing at all. Although this is being developed by a different team at High Noon, they’ve kept everything that works in War for Cybertron in this one, and added some details here and there to enhance the experience. I didn’t get a chance to see the multiplayer, as that’s still kept under wraps, but it’d be smart to assume it probably isn’t too different from WFC as well.
If you were a fan of War for Cybertron, keep your eyes peeled for his one. If you haven’t played WFC, you really should, as it’s a solid fun game that most people should enjoy, and equally look forward to this one. Regardless of whether or not the third movie will suck, you can probably rest assured that Dark of the Moon the game will be a solid experience.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon should be coming out a couple weeks before the movie comes out, so sometime in the summer of this year, for PS3 and the XBox 360. I’m keeping an eye on this one, so you should expect to hear more about this from yours truly. In the meantime, dig these new screenshots and get hyped up with this rad new trailer.