I'm sad to hear all the negative reviews! I LOVE what I've seen of the demo! based on the Demo ALONE I'd rate it higher than WfC!
I hope to compile a review video before the game hits about why these reasons are.
Some of them are thus:
While I was long ago depressed at hearing the drop of co-op, I'm far more pleased with the gameplay and story of the campaign this time around, and the audio recordings that add to the story, and blueprints that add to your arsenal in the Teletraan store MADE me want to go back and replay the level! I still haven't found one of the recordings and want to search for it again to hear what it has to say. This is far better, IMO, than the destructible Abot and Dcon logos of the past. These collectibles actually add value to the rest of the game besides completionist props.
On the gameplay, I'm VERY IMPRESSED with the controls! My first day I was a little tentative as I played the first level, but it was set up well with the learning curve, and I picked up the controls quick enough to feel confident when I got to vortex's level (until the end where the AI thrashed me a couple lives, LOL). The new controls really shine in multiplayer, as they make the bots so maneuvreable. I really enjoy the weapons, after I've read up on them and found out what they're good for. The customization is fun, especially the elite, dino, insect & gestalt heads which really shocked me. I LOVED finding out about Dragstrip and adore his alt mode.
On the colors, I said it during WfC, I'll say it again - I have a hard enough time keeping track of which team I'm on and who's the opponents (though I'm very slowly getting better) that extra colors would probably kill me mid-match. Between both factions I can usually find something that inspires me on a character creation level. I understand the frustrations on not being able to make the perfectly customized transformer - but I'll leave that for the mmo. I'm not concerned about always being in a fight with possibly ambiguous enemies on the mmo.
I see tons of ways that HMS has listened to and improved on WfC extending far beyond the Host migration - the customization of parts being one of them. More and varied weapons, better distinguished (no class has the same weapons or anything, even alt mode speeds are different! [FINALLY in a TF game]) and more balanced classes (the only class I'm not good with yet is the destroyer, which at least I can still break even on the KDR), the deeper, more involved and intriguing story in campaign (IMO, I'll leave it at that)....In playing this demo, it far exceeded my expectations. HMS went above and beyond to me.
And, It Is Him, you can get the Sideswipe skin by choosing his chest when you get to level 6 or whatever.
Some of his parts, and his entire "rig" are locked, but you can definitely unlock the chest, head, arms, & shoulders.
Same with Ratchet.
I can't wait for the 10th when they raise the level restriction so we can get to those other weapons and character parts and upgrades. I cannot wait.