Transformers: Dark of the Moon Preview
Lately, the Transformers video games have been solid, entertaining, and well worth the investment due to lengthy campaigns. We expect nothing less from High Moon’s latest, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which acts as a prologue to the upcoming blockbuster film. The story ought to be good, there will be a definite focus on certain Autobots and Decepticons and above all else, our favorite piece of news: the fact that stealth will play a role for the first time. Plus, the team has implemented an overhauled system that streamlines the integration between robot and vehicle control. This wasn’t a huge problem in past entries but in retrospect, it could definitely use some sprucing up.
The setting: three years after the events of the second movie, and everyone thinks the Decepticons are gone for good. But of course…they’re not. They never are. And the game starts with you investigating a rogue Decepticon signal in the city, which turns out to be a symbol of bid tidings. You will be able to use that aforementioned stealth ability, which you’ll utilize when in vehicle form; spotting and locking on to enemies from afar should be a huge benefit. We can’t be sure if every robot will have that skill, but Bumblebee definitely will. As for other familiar names, you can expect fan favorites Optimus Prime and Soundwave to play significant roles in this new sci-fi quest, and we won’t always be running around a busted-up, post-catastrophic urban landscape.
For instance, Soundwave’s level is in a lush jungle, where his ability to use sound as a weapon is greatly enhanced. He’ll have a new partner in crime – Laserbeak – and in general, this is the kind of diversity that should keep the player intrigued throughout. We’re not sure if they’ll use the same setup from Transformers: War for Cybertron, where players could choose to play Autobot or Decepticon-oriented missions whenever they chose; either all in chronological order or switching between the two whenever one wished. But that was a big favorite amongst the fans so it’s likely that choice-driven feature will return. And if you’re wondering, yes, we’ll be flying in Dark of the Moon, as Starscream will have his own level, too.
We’ve also heard about a special ninja Autobot called Mirage, who seems to specialize in those stealth elements due to his cloaking ability. Sneaking past enemy robots…? Man, that doesn’t sound like Transformers. But I’m not complaining in the slightest because it adds some flavor to a tried-and-true formula, and I trust High Moon to get the mechanics right. The only potential stumbling block seems obvious to me: they have to nail down all sorts of movement physics and control, including regular third-person action, vehicle/driving sections, and now, both stealth and flying mechanics. …that isn’t easy to do correctly. But these guys have proven themselves before so I remain optimistic.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is slated to drop on June 14.
5/5/2011 Ben Dutka