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Transformers: War for Cybertron Preview

The Transformers series has always had a special place in many people's hearts and the recent live-action films have brought the franchise to a new generation. However, while both the film and television series have enjoyed commercial and critical success, Transformers games have been much more mixed. With Transformers: War for Cybertron being released later this month could this be the game that fans have been waiting for?

Transformers: War for Cybertron takes place before the Transformers have made contact with Earth and is set on their homeworld while the Decepticons and the Autobots battle for supremacy. Acting as an official prequel to the original series, there is clearly a lot of respect for the franchise with the developers eager to please the hardcore fans of the series as well as more casual players. The development team from High Moon Studios has worked closely with Hasbro to ensure that the story is both engaging and authentic to the Transformers universe and it certainly looks promising. With both Autobot and Decepticon campaigns, different character's backgrounds will be explored, looking in detail at Megatron's history and how Optimus became a Prime.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

The single player campaign allows you to choose one of three characters at the start of each level, giving you the freedom to experiment with different playing styles. Alongside this the campaign is co-operative for up to three players, who can drop in and out at any point, with the game's AI taking over if someone leaves. The gameplay looks like a solid third person action title and the opening levels where the Autobots defend their city against attacking Decepticon forces had some impressive visuals and set-pieces. Transformers: War for Cybertron has some nice subtle touches which help to create the unique universe. When selecting and swapping between weapons they actually transform rather than simply cycle and doors and elevators are all complicated mechanisms which fit in nicely in building an authentic Cybertron.

The third person gameplay seems to have some interesting mechanics to make use of the Transformers abilities, with some enemies requiring specific tactics to be taken down. Some of the opponents are heavily armoured at the front and in order to destroy them it is necessary to transform into vehicular form in order to gain the speed needed to outmanoeuvre them. Once you've managed this you can then transform and hit them with your most powerful weapons which seems like a good touch to help add variety and force you to plan your encounters more tactically.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

Transformers: War for Cybertron promises a selection of different level styles to help make use of the range of different Transformers. Instead of the game being purely a third-person action title there are certain levels which utilise characters with flight abilities. These missions involve some fast-paced space combat mixed with some third-person sections which seem more intense and frantic than the standard template. From an Autobot space combat mission there were sections with space dog fighting, a dash through exploding and collapsing scenery and a large boss fight with a Decepticon space station defender. While this didn't look particularly original it seemed to be handled very well and certainly looked impressive.

In an interesting move alongside the co-operative aspect to the title's campaigns there is now a dedicated multiplayer mode which we were lucky enough to get some hands-on time with on a variety of different game modes. The first was a standard team deathmatch mode which highlighted the integrated levelling and multiplayer bonuses which bring to mind the Call of Duty titles. The game is a class-based shooter where you design and create your own Transformer using a variety of different body shapes and colour options. The four classes are all multiplayer staples including Leader (commander and all-rounder), Scout (fast-paced hit-and-run class), Soldier (dedicated combat class) and Scientist (healer). However, fulfilling certain tasks and requirements as well as getting kills nets you experienced which is then used to level up. Once you obtain certain levels you can select a variety of perks and abilities that offer you advantages in the different game modes. This added a pleasing new dimension to multiplayer and using a combination of classes and perks worked well at beating the enemy team.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

The "Conquest" game mode is a King of the Hill style control point setting where different teams have to hold three flags to earn points. In this mode the Leader's perks were particularly useful with "War Cry" allowing your teammates to do extra damage while they are close by which is perfect for capturing and defending your team's control zones. The importance of having a selection of different classes was also evident with a Scientist repairing teammates and a Scout racing ahead to capture points while the enemy were distracted.

The final mode we played was "Power Struggle" where there is a single control point which moves throughout the level which must be captured and held to earn points. This was a much faster paced and intense mode with lots of close-combat and quick kills that was more suited to the Soldier class' rocket splash damage. Power Struggle also showed off the ability to transform allowing you to switch to your vehicular mode and escape the action to find some armour or to retreat to your teammates before switching back and joining the fight. The multiplayer was surprising as it was far more developed than the standard game modes that you would expect and was really rather fun to play. The extra modes promised sound interesting with a Gears of War 2 style Horde mode called "Escalation" which has you and several teammates fighting off waves of progressively harder robots.

Transformers: War for Cybertron promises a selection of multiplayer modes with an emphasis on traditional destruction combined with Call of Duty style levelling and perks, which seems like a winning combination. If the single player story and gameplay can deliver on the fans' expectations and provide diverse gameplay then this looks like it could finally be the Transformers game that people have wanted for over 20 years. With a release date of June 22nd 2010 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC there's a lot here for Transformers fans to get excited about.

Transformers: War for Cybertron 

evilgiraffeman | 8th June, 2010
Angelfromabove's picture
Great preview Giraffe
I like the idea of the co-op play in this, something a bit different.
Wedgeh's picture
There's a multiplayer demo of this on Xbox live now
oBladeo's picture
Just been looking at this game and it looks good. It's getting some good reviews as well all over the net.

Just added to download the demo

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