There's even more more than meets the eye in the next Transformers game, High Moon Studios' take on the Michael Bay explode-a-thon Transformers: Dark of the Moon. This is a movie game from the studio responsible for the great Transformers: War For Cybertron, so maybe silence your movie game prejudices.
We got a peek at Transformers: Dark of the Moon (the game) in action at GDC last week and its most prominent new feature, Stealth Force mode. It basically makes every Autobot and Decepticon a triple-changer. Somewhere between a Transformer's vehicle and robot modes lies the hybrid Stealth Force, a heavily armoured, highly mobile version of one's vehicle form.
We saw Bumblebee, Ironhide and Soundwave in action during our hands-off demo, watching them beef up from Camaro, GMC Topkick and SUV, respectively, into assault vehicles loaded with guns and thick armour. In Stealth Force mode, cars move speedily and they can strafe, circling enemies more quickly than in robot mode.
In Dark of the Moon, players will take part in both sides of the Autobot-Decepticon war, events that lead into the fiction of this year's film. In one mission, we watched as Ironhide embarked on a recon mission in a war-torn Detroit. Ironhide, a weapons expert, was there to rendezvous with the Autobot Ratchet, with plenty of Decepticon cannon fodder standing in his way. Capable third-person shooter action, a la War for Cybertron, mixed with high speed driving looked like more Transformer fun, especially with Ironhide's heavy arsenal at the player's disposal.
On the other side of this battle, we saw Soundwave invade a South American jungle, using a sonic cannon and other sound-based attacks like an EMP blast to take down anonymous Autobot flunkies. That jungle setting transitioned to an underground laboratory, highlighting Dark of the Moon's varied environments.
High Moon Studios promised other fan-favourite confrontations in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, including dog-fighting as Starscream in atmospheric combat against Stratosphere and other airborne Autobots.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon looks to offer more of the satisfying same for fans of War For Cybertron, with a deep arsenal of weapons, large cast of characters and the solid combat of High Moon's previous effort. Transformers: Dark of the Moon comes to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this summer, with other versions hitting the Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.