After their last disappointing movie tie-in game that was obviously rushed, High Moon Studios is back to doing what they do best by returning to their own Cybertron series. High Moon’s latest looks and plays bigger and better in every way to the amazing War for Cybertron that put the studio on the map a couple years ago when they proved that not all games based on other forms of entertainment have to be bad.
Skipping over the events of the last game based on the movie, Fall of Cybertron continues where War for Cybertron left off, taking place millions of years before the Transformers landed on Earth. As seen in the debut trailer and new E3 trailer below, the game will feature some new faces who play very differently to the Transformers in previous games. For the first time in a Transformers game, High Moon will be bringing the Dinobots’ leader Grimlock, a transforming T-Rex that breathes fire, onto the roster. Unlike other Transformers, Grimlock will help keep gameplay diverse by not having the ability to change into his alternate form at will and instead using a Rage meter that will build up in battle and allow him to transform into his T-Rex form.
Similar to War for Cybertron, other Transformers will also have their own unique play style and moments in the singleplayer campaign. Throughout the game’s story, players will be able to take control of different Transformers on both sides of the conflict. We got a look at Starscream, a returning Decepticon who can transform into a jet in order to fly around maps at will, turn on a stealth ability, and attach bombs to his targets. We also got to see another part of the campaign where Jazz and another Autobot engaging in a friendly competition to see who could traverse a level more quickly with the game’s new grappling hook tool all while killing Decepticons.
As if a fire-breathing T-Rex wasn’t enough, Fall of Cybertron‘s biggest new star is Metroplex, a Transformer the size of a city who we also got to see in action during our gameplay demo. Although he’s almost too big to even fit in the background, players can command him around when playing Optimus’ part in the campaign, allowing for airstrikes to be called down on groups of enemies and even the destruction of entire buildings as the city-sized Autobot follows the player throughout the map.
By adding such a massive new character to the game, High Moon has needed to also greatly increase the size of the environments, resulting in some of the biggest gaming environments ever on the Unreal 3 engine. But not everything is a massive new change; there are also nice little new features such as kiosks located all over the maps which now let players switch or buy weapons and upgrades while making their way through levels during gameplay.
Unfortunately, High Moon wasn’t showing off any multiplayer, but they’ve promised that more information will be released within the coming weeks and the amount of customization in multiplayer alone will allow players to spend hours just designing their own bots before they even jump into a game. Escalation, the series’ four-player take on Gears of War 3‘s Horde Mode, will also be returning with more tower defense-like options like GoW3‘s Horde Mode 2.0.
We got a chance to go hands-on with the game after High Moon’s demo and were very impressed. The controls have been improved to make character movement tighter and more accurate while still maintaining the unique feeling of being weighed down that should come from a two-ton hunk of metal trying to move around. With all the big changes for the better and the game series’ now built-in audience, hopefully this time around the multiplayer will be even more popular than before and get the credit it deserves. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is set for release on August 28 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.