Two years ago Activision took advantage of the hype surrounding Hasbro’s popular Transformers toys and Michael Bay’s films by putting together an original storyline involving their home world.
"Transformers: War for Cybertron" introduced two great single-player campaigns (Autobot and Decepticon) while including ample multiplayer options, both competitive and co-op. [ 'God of War: Ascension' for PS3 Adds Multiplayer Gaming ]
It was a rousing success, and now the company is hard at work on the sequel, "Fall of Cybertron." Activision let us try an early version of the game for this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.
Like the original, "Fall of Cybertron" will enable you to transform between robot and car at any time, with a click of the R3 button on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers. No matter which form you choose, you’ll have great maneuverability, not to mention a strong supply of weapons, for bringing down your robot enemies.
The developer, High Moon Studios, has made everything bigger and better in this edition. "Fall of Cybertron" uses the Unreal Engine 3 technology, and the levels the team showed us are a lot larger than the first game's. One covers the length of an immense space bridge – think something the size of the Golden Gate – and that’s only a third of the actual stage.
In addition to a new game engine, "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" introduces new characters. For instance, the Decepticon Costructicon team combines together into Bruticus, who can stomp through city streets and blow up buildings like Godzilla terrorizing Tokyo.
The Autobots have their own allies. During one stage in which you control Optimus Prime and charge through a major part of Cybertron, you can command the enormous robot named Metroplex to destroy Decepticon structures. [ 'Ghost Recon: Future Soldier' Brings Fight to Xbox 360 & PS 3 ]
In another stage, we had a chance to play Grimlock, one of the more powerful Dinobot characters, who’s quite capable of taking down enemies with his sword and shield. Once you fill his “rage meter," he can transform into a fire-breathing T-rex and smash through hordes of Decepticons using his enormous tail. (For good measure, he can also “chomp” enemies with his jaws.) The T-rex ability is only temporary, but it’s easy to refill that rage meter simply by smacking around enemies.
We didn’t get a chance to check out the multiplayer version, but "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" is already shaping up to be a much better game than the first. We should know more leading up to its Aug. 28 release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ($60 retail).
In the meantime, get ready to transform and roll out!