Hands on first impressions - Transformers: Dark of the Moon

by: Russell -
More On: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Within the next week or so I'll have a full review up for Transformers: Dark of the Moon for the Xbox 360, but for now I figured I'd give some first impressions of my experience with the game.  Since the game just released today, I will say that this may contain a couple minor spoilers, but basically just with who you play as.

To start with, the main campaign is pretty good so far.  Through the first three stages you play as three different Autobots: Bumblebee, Ironhide, and Mirage, and we're not talking three characters that look different but play the same.  Sure the core mechanics are similar between characters, but each has their own weapons and abilities, making each mission a unique experience.

A feature new to Dark of the Moon is Stealth Force mode.  Think of this as a mode between robot and vehicle modes.  You basically enter vehicle mode, but have a lot more mobility than full-on vehicle mode.  You can move in all directions and fire two different types of weapons (typically a machine gun and something like rockets or grenades).  Granted I spent a lot of my time in Stealth Force mode as it was just downright fun to drive around and fire at anything I see, but it's also a good way to get away from enemies if you have the room to maneuver, plus you can still fire and do some damage while fleeing the scene.

As I type this I'm waiting to do some Xbox Live multiplayer matches, but I did do a couple private matches where it was just me running around the maps to check them out.  There seems to be only three multiplayer types: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Conquest.  The first two are self explanatory, while Conquest has teams trying to control three Energon nodes.  The team with the most points at the end wins.  There is also only five maps, and they aren't too bad.  Each is unique and offers different ways to hide and ambush your opponents.  My only qualm so far (since I haven't done any MP yet) is that there's really nothing destructible on the maps I've roamed around.  I'm not saying that everything should be blown up, but maybe even having the nearby vehicles be destructible, or something to help ambush an opponent, would make things a bit more interesting.

That's about it for now.  My full review will be up in the coming days after I've spent more time in campaign as well as Xbox Live, but for now, I'm really enjoying the game.  Don't let the fact the game is a movie-licensed game fool you.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon is actually quite fun.
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