Would you play a multiplayer video game in which you only controlled one limb of a character, while your friends controlled the others?
Matt Tieger, lead designer of the War for Cybertron games, said that this is an idea his team has thought of, but it doesn't seem like it would ever work. Consider the gamer who would play as the Mixmaster of Scrapper, the Constructicons who formed Devastator's legs. Said Tieger: "They guy who is the kneecap, what does he do?"
No humans. No Michael Bay. Two campaigns. Three-player online (only) drop-in/drop-out co-op Transformers with a link to the past and a Gears of War amount of gunfire. Happier?
Last week, the developers of Transformers: War For Cyberton began the live demo of their summer game with an audacious claim. "The goal was not to make the best Transformers game ever," Matt Tieger, lead designer of this new game was telling Kotaku. "The goal was to make a great game that was a Transformers game."
War For Cybertron is a fictional fresh start for Transformers, launching as a game made by High Moon Studios and supported by new toys from Hasbro. It's an all-robots take on Transformers that puts the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron at the crisis point of their civil war. It is an action game spread across what Tieger said are two entirely distinct, seven-chapter campaigns, one for the Decepticons that sees the forces of Megatron rise to revolution, and one for the Autobots that sees a figure named Optimus lead the resistance and become Optimus Prime.
Transformers: War For Cyberton on the Nintendo DS is being made by Vicarious Visions, the veteran studio behind other, recent well-regarded portable 3D Transformers action games. Like the previous ones, the new entry will be sold in Autobot and Decepticon versions, though this time the games won't link to a web-based meta-game war between the owners of each.
Diablien wrote:For years now, Hasbro has been breaking from the mold and creating their own private viewing event corresponding with the date for the official Toy Fair Expo held in New York City. This tradition continued in 2010 with a presentation covering Marvel, Transformers, GI Joe, and Star Wars that was an invitation-only event geared towards media outlets for each of brand. Of course Seibertron.com was on-hand to bring a plethora of coverage through videos, photos, and up-to-the-minute update messages. However, coverage of one particular aspect of the presentation was left out - Activision's exclusive look at their upcoming title "Transformers: War for Cybertron."
The entire event was allowed coverage except for Activision's segment, which still contained some proprietary elements that were now allowed to be recorded or photographed. In lieu of any visual coverage, we will attempt to relay what was shown in as much detail as possible.
To start off, this game may be the Transformers' reaction to GI Joe's "Resolute" cartoons series that is aimed a bit more towards a mature crowd. The themes expected to be covered in "War for Cybertron" will be quite serious. In the live game play demo we were shown, death and destruction are at the forefront of the story. For example, Zeta Prime, who is assumed to be the previous leader of the Autobots, has died and Optimus has taken up command for the first time. Apparently, Zeta Prime will be the video game equivalent of the recent comic book fiction's Sentinel Prime. Regardless, the old leader is dead and Optimus is, like always, willing and ready to take up command.
The opening scene consists of Optimus, Ratchet, and Bumblebee traveling down an elevator and discussing the current situation. Megatron is making a major advance and Decepticon warships have surrounded the city. Bumblebee wants to get out there and "show Megatron a thing or two" but Optimus explains that Megatron will not risk decimating the Autobot's capital city of Iacon with a full-on assault, since he wishes to conquer and use it for himself. This appears to allude to Megatron's motivation in the game, which has been promised to be explained by Activision's reps. The biggest surprise during this opening scene was when Optimus hails Jetfire on the halo communicator. Not only is he mentioned by name, but Jetfire actually appears on the Halo screen! Jetfire explains that he needs cover fire. Prime, Ratchet and Bumblebee leave Autobot HQ to reactive the city's anti-air guns amidst the Decepticon onslaught. This is when the game play begins. As a giant warship crash lands at the Autobot's doorstep, Decepticons begin pouring out and pummeling the Autobots with heavy fire.
As the game play began, one of the first things that became apparent was the massive amount of detail given to the environment. Cybertron is alive with activity. The world is dark, cold and metallic, at least the parts that aren't currently on fire seemed that way! There are plenty of obstacles to hide behind to evade fire and the environment appears to have tons of destroyable materials. Optimus was transforming with ease and ramming Decepticons. It was also demonstrated that projectiles could be fired from the front of the vehicle. Although it was not completely clear, there seemed to be some sort of overheat gauge for being in vehicle mode, so there may be some sort of limit on the amount of time a player may stay transformed.
On to level two for the Autobots, which revealed even more unexpected characters - Aerialbots Air Raid and Silverbolt! Them, along with Jetfire are in orbit around Cybertron amidst hordes of planetary debris. Something has definitely gone wrong because this level made the asteroid field in "Empire Strikes Back" look like a snow flurry. In jet mode, the characters were dodging and destroying debris and could even transform to run across some of the larger sections of debris. It was explained by Activision that each level has 3 characters that will be playable specific to the mission at hand. This opens the amount of characters up to wild speculation. We already know that we will be seeing Soundwave, Starscream, Megatron, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Optimus, Jetfire, Air Raid, Shockwave, and Silverbolt, but just how many others? The next level reveals a surprise guest…
The last level that was previewed to the crowd at the presentation was a Decepticon boss battle. Megatron has the Autobots close to their darkest hour and that leads them to activate their last line of defense. You guessed it - Omega Supreme! Fighting against Omega were Megatron, Soundwave, and surprise guest, Decepticon Breakdown! Breakdown's head looked to be the spitting image of his G1 self. This level was only shown for about a minute but from what we saw, we will be having a lot of great moments in this video game. This Omega Supreme seemed much more G1 than the fully rendered trailer version, but I may be mistaken. Omega appears to be in a pit in the middle of a large room that the Decepticons can run around to take shots at him. Omega fires volleys of missiles at the Decepticons while Megatron barks orders at Breakdown to "stop whining and start firing." Omega's personality is G1 all the way and the voice is about as close to his 80's cartoon version as one could ask.
Activision told us that multi-player support for the game is going to be a very important factor. The 3 available characters for each mission allow for additional players to jump in and out at will. Although not specified, campaign may be playable via online. Other features that were observed from game play were that Optimus appeared to be able to jump and use a boost that could propel him in a variety of directions. There also seemed to be some sort of "power-up mode" but it was not obvious how this mode was activated whether by damage, or item collection. Optimus was glowing pink and it could be surmised that his attack power is increased during this mode.
Characterization of each character is incredibly detailed. The voice acting appears to be top-notch and we can expect this game to be the new gritty origin of The Transformers. Ratchet appears to be a bit of his movie persona, perhaps even the same voice actor. Bumblebee is a much spunkier version of the character. He seems to be arrogant and fool-hardy and Optimus Prime seemed to have to keep his head in the right place. Jetfire is a very bulky white and red bot. He seems very reminiscent of the Classics mold. Unfortunately, the Aerialbots were difficult to make out other than their faces, which each appeared reminiscent of their G1 counterparts. Soundwave has acting as the voice of authority on what to do next, such as pinpointing where Omega Supreme's weak points were. His voice had a very successful vocoder effect that should make Soundwave fans very happy. Megatron's voice may seem new to fan of the series, but his new authoritative demeanor will be very easy to get used to. As an added touch, when other characters speak or call out story-telling voice clips, a drawing of the characters' face plus name appear in the bottom right of the screen.
When the lights turned on and the game left the screen, applause filled the hall. "War for Cybertron" marks a progressive move for Hasbro's marketing for the brand. After having utilized cartoons and movie avenues of promotion, the next logical step to reinforce the Transformers lore is to target the video game crowd. Today's youth spends a lot of time immersing themselves in their games, very similarly to how a fan may watch their favorite movie over and over again. With each new piece of material revealed about the game, the fever surrounding it increases. "War for Cybertron" may be more than the next greatest Transformers video game, it may in fact become one of the best games of the year and is there a better way to move Transformers into a new decade?
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