This week, Activision let us preview Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Unlike the most recent Transformers game, War for Cybertron (also developed by High Moon Studios) which featured a brand new story, this one is a movie tie-in, meaning that very little of the storyline has been revealed. Got to keep those spoilers under wraps!
Here's what we do know. The events in the game take place before those of the upcoming film and you can fight on the side of good or evil as either an Autobot or a Decepticon. Game play felt fairly similar to War for Cybertron, so fans of that game should be able to jump right in. You'll have a variety of locations to check out, including the jungles of South America, Siberian military facilities, Detroit cityscapes and more.You have a wide choice of playable characters, including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Soundwave and Mirage and nice variety of weapons like multi-fire cannons and slow-firing plasma bursts that will shred your opponent to satisfyingly tiny little bits of metal. Optimus has a fantastic cyber blade that you may have noticed in the movie trailer. You've got cannons and machine guns in vehicle form, grenades to throw, a powerful melee move and all sorts of wonderfully destructive goodness.
There is a single-player campaign for Autobots and Decepticons, and multiplayer, but sadly, story co-op mode will not be making a return in this version. Check out the multiplayer trailer below. You'll notice that the graphics aren't quite as detailed as the last game, but trust us, the robot transformations look great.
Multiplayer includes Team Deathmatch, which you can play in either robot or vehicle mode. Here, you need to balance the slow moving, but damage dealing larger robots like Optimus with the weaker, yet quick moving smaller ones and flying bots like Starscream. You're divided into classes, including Commander (our favorite) which gives you Optimus Prime (we didn't play as a Decepticon here) leading your group, Warrior, Scout and Recon. You also have the ability to pause and change your character upon respawning.
There is also Conquest mode, in which you and your team mates battle to take control of three points on the map and guard them from your enemies. We really enjoyed what we got to play. Film franchise-based games get a bad rap, and largely, they deserve it. But this one just feels like a whole lot of fun.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo DS on June 14th, 2011.