Activision’s Dark of the Moon Video Game First Impressions
The Allspark's own Kalidor was able to get a hands on preview of the upcoming Transformers Dark of the Moon Games by Activision. You can click Read more… for his impressions and screen shots on the Nintendo 3DS as well as for the X-Box 360 / Playstation 3 / PC version of the game. Click the links below for their respective screenshots:
You can also view this trailer of the 360/PS3/PC version below and discuss the news on our forums.
The Dark of the Moon movie is just around the corner, and with every summer blockbuster movie there must come a companion video game. The Allspark was able to preview the Dark of the Moon game by Activision in a hands on session.
As it is with other iterations, there will be an Xbox 360, PS3 and PC version of the game as the primary focus, with a different companion title available on Nintendo 3DS and Wii. These two versions are very different from each other and fill a specific niche.
In the case of the Nintendo platform versions, Activision went the route of a racing game. You have 2 modes, but unlike traditional Transformers games, one of those modes is not a robot mode. There is the standard vehicle mode and the Stealth Force mode. Stealth Force toys have been on the shelves for some time but they aren't typically found in the Transformers section but rather in the cars and trucks aisle. For the most part, these toys have been largely overlooked by fans and collectors. The Stealth Force concept lends itself very well to the video game platforms though – as a natural evolution to Transformers abilities, it makes sense that even in car mode they can reconfigure themselves. I did not spend a great deal of time playing this game, but as a platform racer goes it is pretty by the numbers. You drive around a course and try to reach checkpoints before the time runs out while battling foes with your vehicular weapons.
The big draw of the evening was the next gen console version of the game. Similar to War for Cybertron in some ways, there are in fact a lot that makes this game different. This game also introduces us to the Stealth Force mode in addition to the normal vehicle mode and robot modes. There is a single player campaign and various multiplayer PVP deathmatch type games. In story mode, you have a single story path that focuses on one character at a time from each faction. The missions are based around that character's specific skill set and create another chapter in the overall tale. For example, in one mission chapter you take on the role of Ironhide in the gritty urban setting of Detroit as you blast your way through the level to rescue Ratchet. In another, you play as Mirage who must use his invisibility power to stealth past enemies through a jungle as he makes his way to a hidden and ancient temple. What horrors await him there remain to be seen. In yet another chapter you play as Megatron, heavily damaged from his final encounter from the end of Reveng of the Fallen. The Autobots have found where Megatron is hiding as he tries to repair and heal the damage. His systems are not at full power and he cannot Transform, and it is the player's job to fight off the invading Autobots and lead him to safety.
Overall, the story mode will provide players with insight into the characters and focus on aspects that surround the movies without necessarily being directly involved in the movies. This means playing the game won't spoil the movies, but will certainly add to the experience.
I spent hours in multiplayer and it was a lot of fun. Like War for Cybertron, you can pick from a variety of character types that represent classes. There are the Scouts, Hunters, Leaders and Warriors. You can play as the default character models or customize your colors for each Chassis (Autobot and Decepticon). Each character has a robot mode and a vehicle mode, and the vehicle mode is loaded to the brim with weapons and can even strafe. Or, you can accelerate at a high speed to return to your normal vehicle mode and quickly escape your foes. There is a primary and secondary special power unique to each chassis that has a recharge time to use. If you've played War for Cybertron you'll find that there are some differences in the controls, but it is easy to adapt and combat is very fluid. If you are new to Transformers video games and want to play because you're a fan of the movies you'll be fine as well. My impression is that the game is very casual friendly and can be picked up and enjoyed by virtually anyone who likes video games or just Transformers.
Being a movie tie in game, you won't find the depth that was present in War for Cybertron, but Dark of the Moon can certainly stand on it's own and is an improvement over previous movie tie in games. The single player story mode will tie in nicely to the film and the multiplayer aspects will make it a game that you'll want to pick up from time to time and enjoy. As movie tie in games go, Dark of the Moon has the advantage of being produced by the guys and girls who truly enjoy the Transformers franchise. They worked very closely with both Hasbro and Paramount to make a game that everyone involved can be proud of. And a game that you and I will have trouble putting down.
When we get our hands on the full version of the game we'll post a full review. In the mean time, so far, we like what we see and look forward to the June 14 release date.