Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Beginner’s Tips

How to pick the best weapon combinations, transform and use your character’s special ability.

Just in time for the arrival of the new Transformers movie, Age of Extinction, Activision released a new game that features Optimus Prime and the gang battling to save the world from Lockdown in Rise of the Dark Spark. This game, which plays similar to the 2012 release, Fall of Cybertron, lets you control various Autobots and Decepticons over the course of your journey, utilizing their special techniques and weapons to fry the opposition.

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In case you’re new to the series or need a refresher from the last time you played Fall of Cybertron, here are some tips to get started.

Changing Your Loadout

When you first get started with your chosen Transformer (it’s usually a pre-selected character), you’ll have two weapons automatically. These are basic rifles that provide a good firing rate, and can take down some of the weaker enemies.

Along the way, however, you’ll find stray weapons lying on the ground, and you can pick them up and add some firepower to your arsenal. Some of these weapons pack a punch but have less ammunition.

What you’ll want to do is keep an eye open for stations. You’ll see them to the side of certain areas, glowing as you approach. By activating them, you’ll not only refill your current weapons, but also swap out for new ones.

We advise keeping both a heavily stocked rifle and a powerful shotgun-style weapon on hand. By mixing the two together, you can take down most opponents with no problem.

Swat the Bugs, Don’t Shoot Them

Over the course of the opening stage, you’ll run across a bunch of Insecticons, both on the ground and in the air.

When it comes to flying creatures, keep an eye for when they attempt to lock on to you with their green spittle. You can get an idea where they are and quickly dispose of them by aiming and firing away.

However, when it comes to the ground bugs, don’t waste your bullets. They move rather quickly, and half the time, you’ll end up missing anyway. Instead, use your melee function to swat them back, using the R3 button on your controller. While you might miss at times due to their movement, you can still knock them down with a critical hit – and save your ammo for the pesky bug robots flying above.

Make sure you don’t get distracted, though. Keep an eye for surprise attacks from behind, as bugs have a way of creeping up on you. Use the dodge technique (left bumper and a direction on the analog stick) to roll out of the way, then quickly strike with a melee attack.

Mobilize and Motorize

Similar to previous Transformers games, Rise of the Dark Spark gives you the ability to transform between robot and car by clicking the L3 button on your controller. Both forms work adequately well, but when it comes to covering a great distance in a hurry, your car is the best bet. You can utilize two levels of boost that will help you get from point A to point B a lot faster than walking. 

On top of that, you’re able to fire weapons in car mode when you’re not boosting. The key here is to keep a lock on your enemies, but watch out for incoming attacks, as you’re not able to dodge so quickly as you can in robot form.

Keep in mind that you’ll only have so much ammunition in car mode. Once you run out of bullets, you’ll need to transform back into a robot and utilize your main weapons. Try to mix between the two so you keep from running out of bullets. Watch out for boxes on the ground as well, left behind by enemies. They can fill you up quickly.

The Special Ability

Each Transformer, Autobot and Decepticon, has a special ability assigned to the right shoulder button. The thing is, it’s a special technique that you’ll have to use sparingly, as it can take a good two minutes or so to recharge.

These abilities are helpful, but perhaps the best of the bunch belongs to Soundwave. By hitting RB, you’ll summon Laserbeak, who will fly around and fry enemies within your vicinity. Try to save his usage (and all special abilities, for that matter) for when you truly need them, like if you’re surrounded or getting pounded from above. The more you conserve, the better you’ll survive for battles later on in the game.

Tomorrow, we’ll cover more advanced techniques in the game, including transforming from vehicle to robot in battle, and some tips on how to survive Escalation Mode. It’s certainly, ahem, more than meets the eye.

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

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