Transformers Dark of the Moon Single and Multi-player Hands-On Review

Tformers.com recently had the opportunity to preview several new games in the works by Activision. Part of the preview consisted of several new Transformers titles coming soon to a console near you. We got some hands on time for both the 3DS and the Xbox 360 editions, as well as some details on the DS, Wii and PS3 versions.

The Background

The upcoming Dark of the Moon series comes off the heels of perhaps the most successful TF console game to date: War for Cybertron. So as to not 'mess with success', a lot of the controls and gameplay will carry over from WFC into the DOTM game. However, there are some new options to choose from as well. The storyline in all versions of the game are a segue between ROTF and DOTM. Two years after the ROTF events, the Decepticons lay in hiding. As the Autobots continue their search, an alien transmission is intercepted, leading to believe that Shockwave is coming with backup.

Xbox 360

Multiplayer

As with the War For Cybertron preview, Activision had 15 stations ready for demos. The demos highlighted both the single player and the multi-player campaigns that are included with the game. However, all consoles were of the X-Box variety. However, we were assured that the PS3 version would be identical.

Our first experience was with the multi-player campaigns. There were two different campaigns were were allowed to demo: Deathmatch and Capture The Flag. Both campaigns play very similar to the WFC versions. One exception is that you now also have a Stealth Mode transformation that is your primary alternate mode. Hitting the L trigger will activate a "boost", which will briefly transform you into vehicle mode and offer a speed boost. Releasing the L trigger reverts you to stealth mode. In stealth mode, you can 'crab walk' by using the left analog stick. If you want to do a natural turn, simply use the right analog stick to reposition your straight plane.

If you prefer your robot mode, simply press the left analog stick down. This is your transformation command. In robot mode, you have access to 2 different weapons, as well as gernades (when stocked) and a melee command. Therefore, hand to hand combat is now possible. As before, you have four different classes to choose from:

Decepticon

Scout: Crankcase
Hunter: Starscream
Commander: Nemesis Prime
Soldier: Megatron

Autobots

Scout: Mirage
Hunter: Breakaway
Commander: Optimus Prime
Soldier: Warpath

As before, each class has it's advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a hunter has a VTOL ability in Stealth Force mode, while the boost mode transforms him into a regular jet. You can also hover in the air in robot mode. However, on the ground you're relatively weak. You will be able to find bonus items scattered throughout the map, including armor ups, weapon powerups and more.

Single Player

After choosing your faction, you will progress through the game via missions. Each mission will assign you a Transformer along with the mission requirements. As the mission progresses and you finish one requirement, the next requirement will present itself. The trick to completing the missions is to know which modes best suit the current requirements while quickly dispatching any enemies you encounter. We were able to preview levels using Bumblebee, Mirage, Ironhide and Megatron. There is definitely a lot going on around you as you progress through the levels, so mastering the controls is crucial to your success.

Graphics

Graphics were as sharp and vivid as they were for WFC. Transformation sequences were fluid, as were the movements of the robots. No flickering, slowdown or sprite loss was accounted for during any of the demos. The Earthen backgrounds used include South America and Detroit, which were well detailed in general.

Summary

At this point, you know what we know. If you were a fan of the War for Cybertron series, then Dark of the Moon should keep your interest alive. Considering that some new features will be added to DOTM, it should provide a new learning curve as well.

Look for all platform titles to be released on June 14, 2011 in the United States, with a June 24th release in Europe and a June 29th release in Australia. The Nintendo versions will be rated E10+, while the PS3 and Xbox versions will be rated T.

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Transformers Poll

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5 - Love it
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Votes: 179

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