Last month we reported that Jagex's Transformers: Universe MMO would be featured on the cover of EDGE magazine
as well receive an 8 page article within. That article is now available to read online. Click here
to visit the EDGE website and view the full article, we mirrored the screenshots below.
Rather than use a traditional MMOG-style tabbed-targeting control system, which involves the player manually selecting targets, Universe adopts a more action game approach, locking onto the nearest enemy in the middle third of the screen. The aim is to keep the game fluid, while affording control over what you’re hitting, with aiming reticles and subtle zoom-ins creating what Horton calls a “Top Gun-ny vibe”. Feedback on firing itself is satisfyingly meaty and powerful, while a weapon-specific power bar lends an active element to combat. Some ranged weapons require time to acquire a lock; some have cooldowns; others, like Vanquish’s hammer, charge up and only deal top damage when the bar’s maxed out.
We move on to a contested area, Cooper switching to a smaller bot, which transforms into a red sports car. Situated under a huge dam is an Energon field, ripe for the mining. The aim for both the Decepticons and Autobots is to drop Energon probes into the ground and then remain within 10 metres of them to absorb the Energon they extract. The closer you are to them, the faster they deal it out, so the game’s about keeping position as both teams race to collect 1,000 units first. Complicating matters is the fact that the process can wake Terrorcons, which attack both sides, and that greedy players can simply keep the Energon they earn for themselves.
It’s a fast-paced brawl with a clear objective, one that earns the winning team the opening of a new portal for a short period that leads to the next battleground, a broken, burning city. As such, as each faction wins battlegrounds, they get to move on to the next in a progression that’s managed by two storylines, one for the Decepticons and one for the Autobots. It’s another product of Horton’s background with GTA: “We can’t do this game without telling a story,” he says. But it’s not simply the result of a mandate from Hasbro’s legacy with expressing Transformers through narrative-driven cartoons and film, and nor is it Horton falling back to home comforts. “Obviously, all the stuff I did with Sam and Dan Houser was about that, but what we’re aspiring to make is a suite of different battlefields that we need to give context to. I’m not knocking a Quake level, but we don’t know why they’re there. I think story’s very important for that.”