I’m not going to claim to be the world’s biggest Transformers fan or anything, though I do remember watching the cartoon as a kid and I have checked out the Michael Bay films. I had never really been interested in any of the video games previously, though the demonstration given of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron never failed to impress. As the popular catch phrase indicates, this third-person action title is more than meets the eye.
Fall of Cybertron takes place millions of years before the Transformers ever arrive on Earth and thrusts you into the role of multiple characters. One stage in particular showcased Starscream behaving like the backstabber he is, felling his former allies and attempting to raise an army of his own. It was amusing to see their reactions in the wake of Starscream’s destruction, some of them being used to knock down walls. It was also fascinating to see how the character could transform on the fly and wreak havoc in the air as well as on the ground.
Another stage featured a character called Grimlock who had the ability to morph into a giant T-Rex. Unlike Starscream, his transformation ability wasn’t always available as he has to build up rage in order to utilize it. In his normal form he can dispatch enemies with a sword, though in his transformed stage he can breath fire and cause a swath of devastation.
Playing as Optimus Prime grants you the ability to perform artillery strikes as his main ability. The demonstration of his stage also revealed the ability to visit terminals that acted as stores for new equipment. So whatever weapons you carry with you are not permanently locked, you can switch up your gear as the situation calls for it. I was impressed not only by the variety of equipment, but seemingly how many characters there are to control and how much their core gameplay styles differ. There was even a segment with Jazz and Cliffjumper that showed how they could grappling hook their way around the stage.
Transformers will include a mode called Escalation that will allow for four players to get together and play co-op with each other. It reminded me much of the the Horde mode from the Gears of War titles, with players banding together to defend against a robot onslaught. The game seems poised to appeal to hardcore and casual fans alike by combining familiar faces with those that are a little more obscure, something that should appeal to long time followers of the franchise. Hopefully, the game will live up to those expectations when it finally releases.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron will be released August 28 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.