Starlorz wrote:Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (FOC) is High Moon’s follow up their 2010 hit Transformers: War for Cybertron (WFC). FOC takes place immediately after the events of WaC and involves the same cast of characters with a few notable additions. For anyone that didn’t get a chance to play High Moon’s original Transformers offering, WFC, I’d highly recommend it. Transformers fans were given a thoughtful treatment of the Transformers franchise which fleshed out some watershed moments from Starscream’s defection to Optimus’ rise to Prime, and video game fans were treated to well-balanced first person shooter that made great strategic use of an innovative transforming mechanic. In other words, High Moon not only succeeded in creating the best Transformers game ever (which was not hard because the bar was set so incredibly low), but actually made a game that would have been great even without the association to a beloved franchise.
I’ve only had the opportunity to play FOC for a few hours at this point, but that is more than enough time to give you a run down on what has changed, what remains the same, and offer my initial impressions of the game.
What’s the same
There are a lot of elements from WFC which carry over to FOC. High Moon’s adept handling of the Transformers continues unabated. The dialogue stays true to the characters and is well written. I don’t mean that it’s well written like Shakespeare is well written, but in tone, style, and content it all sounds like the Transformers I grew up with. The voice acting continues to be spot on, which is what you’d expect given how many voice actors from the original series are used in the game. The robot and vehicle models remain sharp and contain interesting details like parts that move and shift when the player stands still. The art direction is consistently good. Personally, I really wish the backgrounds had a bit more color to them, but given that every time I’ve ever seen Cybertron in cartoon form it was grey with glowing bits all over, and that’s how it looks in this game, I can’t complain too much. The game itself still has two play styles: single player campaign and online multiplayer. The single player campaign is divided into chapters which are further divided by checkpoints. The multiplayer has several familiar modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and a few others. And as with most good FPS multiplayer games these days, you earn experience as you play that can be used to unlock new weapons and weapon upgrades. The cool addition that FOC brings to this system is that in addition to experience, you also earn money that can be used to buy different body parts or vehicle modes. I’ll cover this in greater depth in my full review. Transforming is still handled incredibly well. It sounds perfect (I would sometimes transform just to hear that sound on command) and looks amazing (one of the characters does a breakdance style windmill move to get into vehicle mode). But most importantly, transforming serves an integral strategic function for game play, especially in multiplayer. The multiplayer levels can be much larger than they would be otherwise, since everyone can turn into a fast mode of transportation. What you are trying to do at any given moment affects what kind of character is most useful. A Scientist in jet form may get you across the map fastest, but it has the weakest firepower once you get there. On the other hand the Titan packs a huge wallop, but takes forever to get anywhere. The interplay between the advantages and disadvantages of robot form and vehicle forms of the four different classes make FOC an incredibly fun, balanced and unique first person shooter.
What has changed
The graphics for FOC have been noticeably improved while simultaneously eliminating the frame rate slow down that occasionally happened in WFC. High Moon has also tweaked the controls, removing the double jump and secondary robot ability while adding a dash/sprint mechanic to the robot form. For a game that so often deals in close quarter combat, the dash/sprint ability is a welcome addition, particularly in multiplayer. Because your shields dissipate so quickly, if someone got the drop on you in WFC, you were pretty much doomed. But in FOC you can dash around the corner to try and get away without taking the time to transform . The four basic types of characters you can choose from have also changed a bit. The new types are the Infiltrator (a cloaking sniper type that transforms into cars and is quick but lightly armored), the Destroyer (armed with rocket launchers, medium armor and transforms into a truck), the Titan (heavy armor, heavy weapons, and slow tank-like vehicle) and the Scientist (lightly armored support class that transforms into a jet/helicopter). Again, I’ll get into much more depth in the full review. Another change is that instead of being able to choose from three different character options at the beginning of every chapter as you did in WFC, you are given no options. While this may seeming limiting, it has the advantage of forcing players to try different ways of taking on challenges. You can’t just choose the same kind of character every time just because you are good with them, but instead you are forced to experience the different play styles the game has to offer.
Overall, FOC is an improvement on an already good model. The game is better looking and the controls seem a bit crisper and more refined. From everything I’ve seen so far, this game should please Transformer fans and video game fans alike. And if you happen to be a fan of both, this will probably be another must own title.
I look forward to getting the chance to play the game from start to finish. When I do, check back in for a full game review.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXPERIENCE THE FINAL BATTLES OF THE TRANSFORMERS HOME PLANET IN TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON
Activision and High Moon Studios Bring the Hasbro Canon Story to Life in the Epic Wars that Lead to the TRANSFORMERS Exodus from Cybertron
Santa Monica, CA - August 21, 2012- Fight through some of the most pivotal moments in the TRANSFORMERS saga with Activision Publishing, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI)TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON video game available now at retail outlets nationwide. Created by acclaimed developer High Moon Studios and serving as the official canon story for Hasbro's legendary TRANSFORMERS property, TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON gives gamers the opportunity to experience the final, darkest hours of the civil war between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS, eventually leading to the famed exodus from their dying home planet. With the stakes higher and scale bigger than ever, players will embark on an action-packed journey through a post-apocalyptic, war-torn world designed around each character's unique abilities and alternate forms, including GRIMLOCK's fire-breathing DINOBOT form and the renegade COMBATICONS combining into the colossal BRUTICUS character.
"This is where it all began, it's the epic story of the TRANSFORMERS leaving their home planet," said Peter Della Penna, Studio Head, High Moon Studios. "From day one, we knew we were going to create the definitive TRANSFORMERS video game, a phenomenal action experience combining a deep, emotional tale with one-of-a-kind gameplay that lets you convert from robot to vehicle whenever you want."
"This is the fall of their homeworld, and by far the biggest scale we've ever seen in a TRANSFORMERS game," said Mark Blecher, SVP of Digital Media and Marketing, Hasbro. "We could not be any happier teaming up with the great talent at High Moon Studios to deliver the official backstory of the colossal battles that led to the TRANSFORMERS' exodus from Cybertron. We can't wait to have fans and gamers experience this amazing title."
TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON features some of the most recognized voice talent in the franchise, with the iconic Peter Cullen and Gregg Berger, the legendary voices of OPTIMUS PRIME and GRIMLOCK from the original TRANSFORMERS animated TV series, reprising their roles for the game. Also joining the roster are voice-over veterans Nolan North (BRUTICUS, CLIFFJUMPER and BRAWL), Troy Baker (AUTOBOT JAZZ, JETFIRE and KICKBACK), Fred Tatasciore (MEGATRON, RATCHET and METROPLEX) and many more.
After experiencing the game's heart-pounding story campaign, players can take their skills online in competitive multiplayer. TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON features the most in-depth, advanced customization ever seen in the franchise, allowing fans to choose their head, shoulders, arms, legs, wheels, wings, vehicles, weapons, colors and much more to create the TRANSFORMERS character they've always dreamt of. Players can then take their personalized characters straight into blistering AUTOBOT vs. DECEPTICON multiplayer matches in a variety of game modes to prove their dominance. Additionally, fans can assume the role of their favorite named TRANSFORMERS characters in the four-player co-op Escalation mode. Teamwork is vital as they defeat increasing waves of enemies and band their resources together to purchase weapons and explore new areas.
Hasbro action figures based on several of the key characters in the style of the game including OPTIMUS PRIME, AUTOBOT JAZZ, and SHOCKWAVE are also currently available at select retail locations. More figures based on characters seen in the game, including the combiner BRUTICUS with be available later this year. The fan favorite character GRIMLOCK, will become available in spring 2013.
TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON is rated "T" (Teen - for Violence) by the ESRB and is available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.
For more information and exclusive updates, fans can visit http://www.facebook.com/TransformersGame or http://www.TransformersGame.com, and follow the team via Twitter @HighMoonStudios.
Activision Broadcast Media Center
Members of the media can visit Activision Publishing's Broadcast Media Center to download broadcast quality video, web-ready video and high-resolution images. Broadcast Media Center: http://www.activisionvideo.com.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company's world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Company's Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for markets around the world. The Hub TV Network is part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), in the U.S. Through the Company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, http://www.activision.com.
HASBRO and its logo, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2012 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.Game © 2012 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
We spoke with Dave Cravens, Senior Creative Director, High Moon Studios about the new Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game. I saw the game at E3 and Comic Con and it looks amazing. I want to thank Dave for answering our questions and also Kelvin at Activision for setting up the interview.
What have been some of your greatest challenges as well as triumphs in creating the game?
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again—I feel that we’ve created the DEFINITIVE TRANSFORMERS GAME OF ALL TIME. No kidding. We threw everything we had at this one, and then some. So to see it all come together in the end, that was very satisfying. Ultimately fans and critics will be the final judges, but I’m convinced we’ve got a shot to make some history with Fall of Cybertron.
Join AccessHasbro.com inside the Activision booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA to get the inside scoop on Transformers: Fall of Cybertron!
Q: You’re already editing the Transformers line of comics for IDW as well as writing the Robots in Disguise series. What made you want to be the writer on this comic?
JOHN BARBER: Well, what really happened is when we started to work on the Art of the Fall of Cybertron book, this idea of doing tie-in comics came up. The digital world seems like the best place to do a comic like this—we’d had a tremendous success with the Transformers: Autocracy digital comic (still on sale, because it’s digital and it stays on sale!). And we thought, the audience of Transformers fans that love the games and might want to try a comic… well, the digital world seemed a natural fit. You don’t have to go anywhere, you just see the link and buy the comic on your computer, or your phone, or your tablet. And maybe these new people, who might not have checked out a comic before, will see something they like, and maybe they’ll want to check out some other comics, too.
So we decided we were going to do it, and because I was interacting with the guys at High Moon Studios already, and I knew about the Fall of Cybertron story, and people seem to be enjoying the Robots in Disguise comic… it seemed like bringing somebody else in would just create a position where I was acting like a middleman. So I came back and talked to my editor, Carlos Guzman, and to Chris Ryall, the editor in chief of IDW, and we figured it might be the best route to go, to have me write it and Carlos edit it.
Q: This comic is dealing how the Dinobots came to be in the game. Was it hard to ignore previous incarnations of them while writing them as brand new characters in this comic?
JOHN BARBER: I didn’t really want to ignore previous versions. This is all part of the mainline Prime continuity, so everybody’s trying to take the best parts of all of Transformers history and use what works. The Dinobots in the G-1 cartoons were always different from the G-1 comics, and this iteration pulls a little from each version—and elsewhere—and injects a lot of new stuff, without making them feel not like Dinobots, if that makes any sense. The essence remains the same. But, yeah—I’m mindful that these aren’t the exact same guys as are in the Robots in Disguise comic.
Q: Having tied up the continuity from the Transformers movie comics and novels, did you face any similar kind of challenge here?
JOHN BARBER: This is more of a straight-ahead action story, with some nods to stuff that happens in the novels. But, honestly, pretty small nods. This is really focused on the Fall of Cybertron game.
Q: The game obviously ties in with the continuity of the Fall of Cybertron game. How closely did you work with High Moon Studios to get everything right?
JOHN BARBER: I sat down with Dave Cravens for an afternoon—he’s the head writer on the game. We sat down and talked story and talked about what the comic could be, and we basically broke the story there. Then I’d email the outlines and scripts to him, and of course to the Transformers team at Hasbro. So we all did our best to get it right.
Q: From the characters you’ve written so far, who has been the most fun and who have you found to be more of a challenge?
JOHN BARBER: Well, I’d never written Grimlock before, and this version of him especially—this story is set before the Dinobots become the Dinobots, and Grimlock is a smart ’bot. He’s a tactical genius, not a monosyllabic dude like in the cartoon. He’s more like Simon Furman’s take on him, in a way. But he’s still really aggressive, and he still takes big risks, and he’s still got the arrogance of Grimlock. So getting that together, and making it work on the page (er, screen)… well, hopefully it comes through.
Q: We have a new artist to Transformers working on the book in Dheeraj Verma. How did you come to choose him for the project?
JOHN BARBER: Dheeraj had sent in some samples—he’s done a ton of comics work in India and elsewhere, but I hadn’t seen it before. So, even though he’s already an established artist of comics (and, coincidentally, of video game design!), he was effectively just sending the samples in, cold. And he had some movie-universe Transformers stuff, and a couple cool shots of Iron Man and War Machine, and I thought he’d bring something cool and dynamic to the series. He’s great at exciting storytelling, and he can do metal guys? That’s always an impressive combination.
Q: What kind of events and characters (other than the Dinobots) can we expect to see through the mini-series?
JOHN BARBER: The series is very focused on the Dinobots, especially Grimlock. But we’ll see Shockwave, Starscream, Optimus Prime, a little Jazz, Perceptor, lots and lots of Insecticons… and tons of action.
Q: Have you had an opportunity to play the game or see any of the footage from it? And what were your initial impressions of it?
JOHN BARBER: Oh, yeah—getting to see early footage was one of the most exciting things about this whole thing. The game looks amazing. If you liked War for Cybertron, well, here’s something bigger and more amazing… It’s just stunning, what High Moon and Activision are doing.
Q: Do you ever get to rest? Or sleep!?
JOHN BARBER: Only if you stop asking me questions!!! Seriously—thanks a lot. Hope you guys all like the comic!
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