Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is the latest game in the franchise from Activision, putting you in control of various Autobots and Decepticons as you pursue the Dark Spark, a special crystal that lets the holder bend the universe to his or her will.

Yesterday we covered the basics, from transforming to using each character’s special ability. Today, we're covering more of the advanced stuff, including tips that will help you in combat, transforming on-the-fly and how to get through Escalation Mode, the Horde-like co-op multiplayer component.

Ready? Then transform and roll out!

Getting the Hang of Combat

Here’s how you can use combat to your advantage and conserve ammunition.

The first thing you'll want to learn is enemy positioning. When you see an enemy running around a map, shooting them won't always guarantee success, due to their speed. Instead, try to flank their position coming from the other side. Most of the time, they'll stay in cover, making them easy pickings for either your gun, or better yet, melee strikes.

On top of that, once an enemy is on the ground, you can melee them again until they're dead. This is the best way to go, because if you leave them alive, they're likely to get back up and start shooting you again.

One more thing – remember to pick up the blue icons left behind by enemies. These are weapon refills, and they will become useful later on in the game, when you have to face heavier foes.

Get to Cover

You only have so much energy as a Transformer before you're eventually shut down. When your screen starts to blur and show a shaky black-and-white image, you're on the verge of death.

In these situations, you'll want to scramble for cover. Going after a bad guy who shot at you may seem like the logical thing to do, but he and his buddies can easily kill you if you're not careful. Use your dashing ability (left bumper plus a direction on the analog pad) to scramble for cover until you regain your energy. Then and only then will you get revenge.

Transforming On-the-Fly

At any time (save for certain points in the game when you're notified "you can't transform here"), you can switch between robot and vehicle form in Rise of the Dark Spark. We've already discussed the benefits of both forms, but one thing you'll want to learn involves transforming on the fly when you're in the heat of battle.

By clicking the L3 button (located under the analog stick), you can achieve the transformation. Even if you're in the midst of battling enemies, you can transform and use different firepower. Not only does this serve an advantage when facing unpredictable enemies (by being unpredictable yourself), this can also save you in a pinch when you fall off a ledge (unless you're a vehicle, that is).

When you fall off a ledge with someone like Shockwave or Starscream, click L3 and save yourself from death by transforming into plane mode, then flying up and returning to the battle. Definitely use this ability whenever you can, as jet mode actually gives you more maneuverability.

Escalation Mode

Finally, Escalation Mode is an online, co-op supported mode where you face waves of enemies that come at you. Think of it as Horde Mode, but with Insecticons and whatever else Dark Spark throws your way.

As you might guess, this mode is best when you have friends in tow providing support. Having them cover your back and set up a defensive perimeter for the area you need to defend is a great idea. It's even better if you have seasoned players who went through a Horde-like mode with you before, ala Gears of War 2.

It's best to go with a character with an array of firepower to his advantage. For instance, an assault rifle and a powerful shotgun-like weapon are your best bets. That way, you're prepared for both the larger, armored enemies, as well as the smaller grunts that try to slip through your defenses. Try to mix and match your weapon types. You may even find an ideal combo that works to your advantage.

Finally, don't wander off! It is vital that you stay in your defensive spot when trying to keep tabs on the map. Wandering off for even a second can bombard you with enemy forces, thus resulting in the loss of your team and eventually the round. Stand your ground and prepare for a cybernetic war. That's the best way to play Escalation. 

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is available now for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, 3DS and Wii U.