First introduced last year to a very enthusiastic fan base, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron brings Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots back into the fold as they fight with the Decepticons over their burdened home planet. We’ve already discussed the single player action that fans will get to experience, including the return of Optimus Prime, but last night, during their pre-Comic Con 2012 event, Activision showed us another piece of the puzzle that we were feverishly awaiting – multiplayer.
First off, co-op WILL in fact be making a return to the game with the Escalation Mode. Like the cooperative play that was introduced in the original War For Cybertron, Escalation lets you team up with friends as you trash various enemies while completing missions. Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to take a hands-on tour with this mode, but from what we’ve seen fans will feel right at home with it.
As for the multiplayer itself, we’ll start with a very vital piece of news. Listening to fans’ demands, High Moon Studios has included host migration, which will allow players to set up custom matches much better, without needing to hassle with servers. So there’s that.
However, you’ll probably be too busy blasting your friends to really get into the technicality of that. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron will introduce two modes – capture points and deathmatch – across ten maps, including the one we played through last night, which looks like some kind of hangar in the middle of Cybertron. This is a wide-open map, one where you can run – or fly – around in either robot or vehicle form, getting the jump on enemies and creating all sorts of havoc. This is a great option for runners-and-gunners who want to jump right into the action, though those who prefer hiding and sniping from a distance may be out of luck. Ah, well, serves you right for camping anyway.
The action is pretty swift throughout Fall of Cybertron, but that gives you lots of room to rack up kills, either in robot or vehicle mode. The accessibility to both is genuinely surprising, as you’re given lots of mobility – and firepower – when it comes to putting someone in your sights. It also adds to the unpredictability of each match, as you can transform and get the advantage by slipping behind someone and blasting them to bits.
Multiplayer won’t just introduce Autobots and Decepticons into the fold. Fans will be thrilled to hear that both Insecticons and Dinobots will also be playable. At first, we were slightly concerned that they would have a power advantage over other robots, but High Moon Studios director Matt Tieger assured us that there will be a fine balance within the game, so that all sides are equal. That said, we’re still totally going to play as Grimlock. Watch us.
Perhaps the coolest component to the new multiplayer modes – aside from the four available classes we discussed in a previous report – is the ability to customize your own Transformer however you see fit. Fall of Cybertron features a stunningly robust selection of parts for pretty much every option you can think of, including various heads, arms, legs, chest plates, colors, matte finishes and more. You could spend hours on end putting these things together, and even with the wackiest of creations, they’ll transform smoothly into vehicle form, each time. A lot of work went into this mode on the High Moon Studios front, and it genuinely shows. We’re already thinking of what other creations we can put together for it.
Along with the single player campaign that introduces various Autobots and Decepticons – and the return of the co-op supported Escalation – Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is really becoming the complete package for fans of the series. Throw in ample server support, an array of voice talent that includes veterans from the series such as Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Gregg Berger (Grimlock), and you’ve got a package that’s definitely more than meets the eye.
Look for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron in stores August 21.