Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Preview


posted 2/20/2012 by Travis Huinker
other articles by Travis Huinker
Platforms: 360 PS3
Activision and High Moon Studios recently held a press event in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Game Director Matt Tieger discussed various improvements that have been implemented and showcased an assortment of new levels in the sequel to Transformers: War for Cybertron.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron takes place directly after the previous game's events and this time around the story will focus more on an interwoven story between the Autobots and Decepticons. The story takes place during the dark and apocalyptic days before the mass exodus from the war-ravaged planet of Cybertron. Set with a much darker tone than the past games, Fall of Cybertron will have gamers partaking in battles on an epic scale as each side fights to gain control of their dying world. One point that should be emphasized is that the game has no connection with the recent movies, but could be considered as a precursor to the events in them.

It was evident from the presentation’s beginning that the developers were determined to fix and improve upon all of the complaints from the past games. The major improvements included increased gameplay and level variety, reworked AI, and more emphasis on the narrative. With thorough knowledge of the Unreal engine, the developers at High Moon Studios have been able to introduce levels that contain giant spaces. Along with those improvements, Tieger assured that the “meat and potatoes” of intense action and vehicle usage are intact in the upcoming game. The amount and intensity of action-filled sequences shown in the hour of gameplay surpassed that of most recent games and films. The developers at High Moon Studios clearly know how to create levels that offer both an impressive amount of action and narrative.

The levels shown were some of the most impressive aspects of the presentation, primarily due to their increase in scale and variety. War for Cybertron received complaints for its level design that was often described as repetitive for its generic-looking corridors and dull color palette. Both have been fixed with the introduction of environments that are now massive in scale with unique aesthetics for each level. The game’s world has also received a much needed injection of color that clearly sets each level apart from one another. Along with the improved visuals is the continuation of room-shaking sound effects that rival most Hollywood blockbusters. From the crush of metal feet against the ground to the brutal impact of explosions, Fall of Cybertron will be a treat for those who dare to crank the volume level.

Technical improvements aside, the most important information for fans is that new Transformers that will be in the sequel. The highly requested fan favorite Grimlock will be making an appearance in War for Cybertron with an entire level dedicated to him. Grimlock is quite an unique Transformer when compared with other characters in the franchise. Since his robot form does not contain any guns, the primary weapons are a giant sword and shield that easily slice through enemies. Grimlock continually gains rage throughout battle, which allows for transformation into the fire-breathing T-Rex Dinobot form. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the game will introduce the Combaticons into the narrative. Each of them can combine with one another to form the giant Bruticus robot, which can decimate any foe in its path. Another interesting Transformer added into the mix is Jazz, a character that focuses on the use of a deploy-able grappling hook for quickly traversing around the environment.

Many of the levels are being designed around the abilities and unique transformations of particular characters. The level based around Optimus Prime has gamers using a special ability to direct artillery strikes upon various targets. Character abilities, including Jazz’s grappling hook and Grimlock’s T-Rex Dinobot form, are all now activated through the right bumper. With the ease of use and enjoyment of the special abilities, they will become second nature when controlling each of the characters.

In addition to the unique abilities of each character, gamers will now be able to activate Teletraan I defense network terminals that allow for buying and upgrading new weapons. One particular weapon demonstrated in the presentation included a lightning gun that increased its spread of damage with each new upgrade. Throughout levels, gamers will gain currency after destroying enemies that then can be used at the terminals. Blueprints will scattered throughout levels that once found will unlock new weapons at the terminals. The developers stated that terminal weapons and upgrades will be universal for all compatible characters.

The emphasis of the development team is foremost with the single-player narrative and thus only a small sneak peak was shown of the multiplayer aspect. In addition to the return of leader, soldier, scientist, and scout classes, Fall of Cybertron will introduce a wealth of customization options allowing for fans and gamers to create their very own Transformer. Every major part of the chassis is interchangeable with an assortment of parts, colors, and even options to render armor texture from metallic to matte. The parts will most likely be connected to leveling in the multiplayer portion. Fortunately, the parts will merely be cosmetic and not tied to any actual statistics. Thus, multiplayer will remained focused on skill and forgo the current gaming trend with acquiring top level items and gear for ensuring victory.

After viewing the presentation and speaking with the developers, it's obvious that High Moon Studios cares a great deal about the Transformers universe and producing a game that is entertaining for its fans. From the improved gameplay and visuals to the exciting new cast of characters, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron should impress both franchise fans and gamers seeking some explosive action when it transforms this fall.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron will be available this fall for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Activision paid for travel and lodging expenses for the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron press event held in Las Vegas, which included a presentation of the game.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

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