A Sneak Peek at the Transformers: ROTF Game!

In two months, one week, a day and some number of hours, Michael Bay’s highly-anticipated summer sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will finally be released, but Superhero Hype! got an advance demo of the new Activision tie-in game by Activision production coordinator Mike Mejia. The game will be released in stores one day before the movie on June 23rd. Activision has been working even closer with Michael Bay and DreamWorks to make sure that the movie and the game were intermeshed, so that they enhance each other.

There are a couple of distinct differences between the new game and the previous Transformers game, released in 2007 in conjunction with the first movie, the biggest one being that Activision has created a separate game specifically geared to the Wii platform, rather than just the same game across all platforms. (More on the those differences below.) According to Mejia, Activision played close attention to what gamers liked and didn’t like about the earlier game and made three big changes: The first is that they’ve allowed the player to choose a lot more characters on both sides of the battle, as well as a lot of different missions, rather than just following the same story linearly. Mejia confirmed that they’ve completely redesigned the robots’ transformations, so that the changes happen more fluidly without causing a loss in momentum during gameplay. For the first time, they’re also taking advantage of the Xbox Live environment allowing for full-feature multiplayer games like “Death Match” and “Capture the Flag” that can either be played via factions (user chooses which side and can only work with others on their side) or non-faction. Mejia described the latter as a way people can simulate “playing with their toys” in that basically anything goes.

Being that the sequel is shrouded in secrecy, the Activision reps couldn’t say too much about the voice cast for the game–which apparently includes a few people not in the movie–nor could they talk about how many Autobots and Decepticons you will be able to play nor the other robots that will be available for purchase via Xbox DLC (downloadable content). None of that has been announced yet, but we got a great look at some of the things you’ll be able to do in the new game and the overall gameplay in various modes.

At the end of the last movie, Megatron was defeated, and since then, Starscream has taken over the leadership of the Decepticons as various incursions have been popping up all over the globe. The humans are now working closer with the Autobots to stop those incursions, particularly the human’s military unit NEST (standing for Networked Elements: Supporters and Transformers), all of which comes into play in the new movie and game.

The first mission we were shown takes place in Shanghai and takes full advantage of the new gameplay feature as you have a choice of a number of Autobots or Decepticons with which to play the level. Mejia went with Ironhide, and the level intro showed Tyrese Gibson’s Sgt Epps briefing Ironhide on his mission as he lands on a roof in the city and immediately starts battling against the Decepticon Sideways (the one in the trailer we see turning into an Audio RI inside a building). Each of the robots in the game has their own special abilities and specific weapons, Ironhide having a gun turret that can be laid down to provide extra fire. Ironhide’s transformation did seem more fluid than with the previous game as the Autobot was able to change back and forth to his jeep mode with ease, as well as being able to climb up buildings in his robot form.

We were then shown how that same mission might be played from the other side, as we went through the same level as Sideways, a completely different experience in that the Decepticon not only fought Ironhide, but also had to take on the Autobot’s military assistance. His objective and M.O. is considerably more destructive–his special weapon is a landmine–and it essentially enhances the playability of each level depending on which robot you decide to play it with.

Mejio ran us through another level using Bumblebee, showing how the robots will integrate with humans in the game; in this case, it was Shia LaBeouf’s Sam, who becomes a part of that particular mission. After that, we were given a demo of Starscream’s new flight mode in a scenario where he attacks a fleet of aircraft carriers.

The big question on our minds when we came to this demo was answered as Mejio showed us presumably one of the later missions in the game, where Optimus Prime faces the Devastator, the enormous amalgam of six Constructicons that appears briefly in the trailer. The Devastator looks AMAZING, completely to a scale that makes the 30-foot Optimus look puny, and the game gives us a really good look at the amount of enhanced detail that went into its design, as Mejida paused the game and used the camera controls to zoom in and around the enormous robot to show that the giant adversary was just as detailed from every angle. Seriously, if the Devastator looks this good in the video game, we can only hope that it’ll be even more amazing when we see it on the IMAX screen; it’s certainly one of the more impressive and imposing game bosses we’ve seen in a long time. (They couldn’t say whether the Devastator would be playable or whether we might see it in its six individual components sometime earlier in the game, but let’s hope so.)

Afterwards, we were given a brief demo of the Wii version, which looks and feels very different, although is also much closer to the previous version of the game in some ways, being more linear than the Xbox version and with fewer choices along the way. What’s enhanced is the ability to play with two players at once, taking advantage of the Wii’s Co-Op capabilities for teamplay, where a second player can jump in at any time and help the robot facing the level. In the case of Ironhide, the second player gets a Remote Weapons System that can create a shield in front of the robot or provide added fire, as well as share energy in case the primary player is running low. There will also be an “Arena Mode” in which two players can each play a robot taking on hundreds of adversaries. We were also shown the same Starscream level we saw earlier in Wii mode, again using some of the same Co-Op features, but also taking advantage of the Wii nunchuk controller, which can be used to make Starscream do elaborate rolls while in jet mode. The important thing to note is that the levels in the Wii version follow a similar story as the main version and presumably the movie, although we were told there were things that one might only see briefly in the movie that are expanded upon for the game.

The Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game will hit stores on June 23, followed a day later by the Michael Bay movie of the same name (Sorry, that one you can just watch, not play.) You can already pre-order the game for all the varying platforms from Amazon.com and check out more screenshots from the game at the newly-launched official site, though you’ll just have to take our word on how cool the Devastator looks.

Source: Edward Douglas