Like a certain caped crusader up until very recently, the Transformers IP hasn’t had much luck in the gaming space, with generally mediocre attempts over the years despite the no-brainer concept. That could change, though, if the new game from High Moon Studios delivers on its potential.
Transformers: War For Cybertron was announced at the end of last year with a teaser trailer, showing pre-rendered carnage taking place on Cybertron. Details were scant at the time; Game Informer had the exclusive preview in a recent issue which revealed some interesting information. The game uses the Unreal 3 engine, and has a gritty, war-torn look a la Gears of War. The design of the characters lies somewhere in between Generation One and the Michael Bay films aesthetics, with changes not only to the characters’ looks but some of the transformations as well – Megatron’s alternate form is a hovertank, Optimus’ is a hovertruck without a trailer. In fact, all the ground vehicles have been changed to hover-something or other, to allow for a shared control scheme between the two forms1.
Today a new trailer went up, with realtime footage using the game engine as opposed to pre-rendered CGI. While we still have no gameplay to make first impressions, one thing’s for sure: High Noon makes some epic trailers. I’m not exactly a diehard fan of the series, but I did grow up with the original animated show and toys, so I am excited by the promise of this title. A few gameplay impressions have gone up, Stephen Totilo’s at Kotaku gives a cautiously optimistic recap of the demo he witnessed. I only hope the game turns out better than the last game people were cautiously optimistic about.
As Totilo explains, there are two campaigns, the Autobots and the Decepticons, with up to three-player online co-op. Players choose from a selection of Transformers each with its unique weapons, vehicle and abilities. In the demo shown to the press, Optimus (not yet a Prime) had an area-of-effect stat boost called War Cry. Transformation between forms is done with the touch of a button and is smooth, keeping the momentum going. Joystiq remarks how the game plays a lot like linear third-person action games such as Ratchet and Clank.
High Noon may not have the best credentials with their previous less-than-stellar efforts in Daywatch and The Bourne Conspiracy, but they recognise the task at hand and assure that are trying to “make a great game” that is “true to the spirit” of people’s expectations. Transformers: War For Cybertron is due this May2. After the jump, said epic trailers.