Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Preview
For many action fans, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is the movie they’ve been waiting for this year. Of course, because the game adaptation of the first movie turned out badly, they’re probably not planning on picking up Revenge of the Fallen at their local game store. However, after scouring the Internet for details concerning this sequel, we have some good news: first of all, it seems we’ll get a more polished and refined control mechanic this time around (definitely good news), and secondly, development duties have passed to Luxoflux. This is encouraging, because their work on Kung-Fu Panda last year remains impressive; it was one of the best titles based on a film that we’ve ever played. Therefore, the combination of these two positive pieces of analysis lets us embark on this preview with hope and optimism. Really, that’s how we should approach any preview, but you’ll have to forgive us for being human.
First and foremost, we’ve heard that this sequel will boast a much bigger roster of characters, which will in turn allow the player to experiment more often. The first game based on the movie gave us the option of playing as the Autobots or the Decepticons, but that’s where our choices ended; this time, we’ll have more control over the flow of the gameplay. Freedom is a very big word in this new generation, and rather than the linear, repetitive nature of the first title, Revenge of the Fallen should be much more open-ended. While most gamers will likely nod their heads in satisfaction at this bit of news, we do have one concern: whenever they decide to implement more in the way of “freedom,” a developer can easily lose focus and direction. As a direct result, the player sometimes feels lost and even a little bored when they’re not following a cohesive storyline. But we have confidence that Luxoflux will make the mission structure both accessible and dynamic, in that while we can choose to some extent, we’ll still follow a fairly set route to the climax.
We’re also big fans of overhauling the transforming feature itself. In this sequel, you will of course transform to alter and enhance your attacks, but you’ll also change shape to deal with particularly tricky terrain. Hence, we’ll take advantage of our robot’s full capabilities; after all, about half their amazing skill centers on a certain form of maneuverability that makes them special. How can you possibly ignore this aspect of the Transformers? Well, they won’t ignore it; they’ll embrace it, and with the addition of a full online multiplayer mode and the aforementioned player choices, it means our excitement level has increased significantly. And let’s not forget that the game should focus on the core of the conflict: the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. With the biggest roster of Transformers ever, with each robot using their massive bodies for both platforming and battle, isn’t that enough to pique your interest? Heck, who even cares about the humans at this point? All we need is a streamlined control mechanic for those transformations and basic actions, and we’re good to go.
But moving beyond the basics for a moment, did you realize that if you transform at exactly the right moment, from car mode to robot mode, your attack will get some sort of momentum boost? And did you also know that you can fill up your Overdrive meter, which, when full, leads to an unlimited amount of firepower for a brief time? There are all sorts of cool stuff to ponder, and that includes a Twisted Metal-esque mentality, where some weapons may be attached to your car form, making you all the more effective. Many of your favorite Transformers will be on hand, ranging from Bumblebee to Starscream, and we’ll also get a few new Autobots as well, including Sideways, whose car form will be that of the very hot Audi R8. Furthermore, you won’t always be facing the some objective or same type of “destroy everything in sight” mission; the designers should give us a goodly array of diverse quests. This could have us trying to reach a certain location with Sam (you know, that kid in the movie) in our possession, or encountering more in the way of platforming elements.
In the end, we’ve already seen Luxoflux do a damn good job of bringing a movie into the video game world with limited to minor trips and stumbles. Travellers Tales didn’t cut the mustard with the original Transformers, but it appears that the sequel is in capable and competent hands. Revenge of the Fallen may be the very definition of “bigger and better,” and if you stop to think about it, that’s usually all we want from a sequel, yes?
4/16/2009 Ben Dutka