‘Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark’ to Merge Films & ‘Cybertron’ Game Series

Published 1 year ago by

Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark Optimus Prime

Following a highly anticipated teaser trailer during the 2014 Super Bowl, we’re finally receiving concrete details on Transformers: Age of Extinction – Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers series film. Along with first-look reveals at Toy Fair 2014, fans of the robots-in-disguise were also treated to the announcement of Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – an upcoming sequel to High Moon Studios‘ mega-popular Cybertron video game series. Both Transformers: War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron were critical and commercial hits – with enjoyable Gears of Wars-style shooting mechanics and fast-paced vehicle action (as well as blockbuster storytelling) set on the Autobot and Decepticon planet. The studio’s Dark of the Moon movie tie-in received a significantly less enthusiastic response from gamers.

At first glance, the trailer for Rise of the Dark Spark resulted in more questions than answers – especially since the game features assets from both the Cybertron series and Bay’s movie universe. Now, Activision has released new details (and screenshots) for Rise of the Dark Spark – clarifying that the title takes place alongside Age of Extinction while also merging with the Cybertron game storyline.

In an official press release, the publisher clarified where the game fits – while also outlining the main storyline:

This third-person action adventure video game goes beyond the movie by uniting the universe of director Michael Bay’s Transformers movies with the ever-popular Cybertron universe. Players will choose from over 40 playable characters from the two different universes as they battle to secure the Dark Spark.

Serving as a follow-up to both the upcoming Transformers live-action film and Activision’s Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron titles, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark jumps worlds and factions as it weaves the tale of the hunt for an ancient relic as powerful as the Matrix of Leadership – the Dark Spark. Players will be able to switch between the heroes of the noble Autobots and the nefarious Decepticons throughout the single-player campaign. Similar to High Moon Studios’ Cybertron entries in the highly regarded series, gameplay features nimble, fast-paced running-and-gunning combat paired with traversal and vehicle action across open battlefields for large-scale, dynamic conflicts.

Based on the press release, it sounds as though Rise of the Dark Spark could take place after the events of Age of Extinction – possibly helping to pave the way for further entries in the film series (which are expected to significantly expand the movie franchise in both scale and long term story potential). How exactly the series will tie-into the older Cybertron story is less clear – which, given that the universes are merging, definitely took place before the Autobots and Decepticons left their home planet and encountered Sam Witwicky on earth (at the beginning of Transformers).

As a result, it’s likely, though unconfirmed, that the Cybertron portion of the story could simply be flashbacks that setup the current (read: post-Age of Extinction) race to find the Dark Spark. It’s easy to imagine Activision crafting a prequel plotline where Optimus and the Autobot warriors attempt to secure a dangerous ancient relic (the Dark Spark) before Cybertron is destroyed – only to be thwarted by Megatron and the Decepticons who hide the weapon somewhere off-planet. A similar story would easily explain the Cybertron character designs and environments featured in the trailer – while setting the stage for a modern plot (and movie character designs) – as the Autobots attempt to recover the Dark Spark before Galvatron (now confirmed to be in the film) can use it for some galaxy-threatening purpose. For now, these storyline are little more than pure speculation but help to highlight how the game and film series might be merged.

Check out new images from Rise of the Dark Spark below:

Unfortunately, High Moon Studios is not returning to develop Rise of the Dark Spark – which will, no doubt, cast a decent amount of skepticism on the quality of this upcoming tie-in game. Even in High Moon’s capable hands, the Dark of the Moon tie-in was significantly less impressive than its standalone Cybertron counterparts – meaning that it’s hard to imagine untested Transformers developer, Edge of Reality (Loadout) will be able to crack the challenge of a quality movie crossover in order to deliver the best Transformers video game experience yet. As previously reported, the core Rise of the Dark Spark offering will be available on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii U – with a strategy RPG version launching on Nintendo 3DS (from WayForward Technologies).

Activision also confirmed that Rise of the Dark Spark will include a multiplayer component – borrowing heavily from High Moon’s four player “horde” mode, “Escalation.” However, this time, players that take part in the multiplayer component will also see benefits in the single player campaign (and vice-versa) – as XP unlocks new playable characters, abilities weapons, and bonuses for use in either mode.

Details are still pretty limited, and gamers should wait for further reveals before getting too discouraged – after all, the cross-universe storyline could result in an improved movie tie-in offering (albeit one that will likely still fall dramatically short of the kind of experience Cybertron series fans expect).


More: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Trailer


Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark does not have an official release date but look for the game, likely, around the time of Transformers: Age of Extinction – which hits theaters June 27, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Source: Activision and Examiner

TAGS: 3DS, Activision, Edge of Reality, Hasbro, Paramount Digital Entertainment, PS3, PS4, Transformers, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, WayForward Technologies, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • Xigbar

    But….that makes NO sense. Why would you want to tie them together? They were clearly never meant to be directly related, they have entirely different visual styles and storylines.
    It’s like if they wanted to tie the Batman Arkham games into the Nolan movies.

  • Alter

    dark moon needs to make ( beast wars )

    • Zachary


  • Tecknes123

    The Michael Bay Transformers movies already had Movie-Accurate video game tie-ins that were totaly awesome for the first movie, but really sub-par for the third. I don’t know about the second for consoles, but the one I played on the Nintendo D.S. was not as good as the first one…

  • Zachary

    I’m not to sure how to feel about this. Huge fan of both Transformers Games even if they feel like the same game (same ending for both games errr) most tie in game are much shorter than the average feature game. I sure hope they do it justice and start working one the next one.

  • Nick

    I don’t think it’s going to be a prequel thing. I think it will be two separate universes and the dark spark is something that’s pushing them together or something not just some generic McGuffin weapon. That said, without High Moon working on it, there’s not much hype to be had either way.

  • http://www.gameguyz.com/ gameguyz

    Thief Rendered at 900p on Xbox One & 1080p on PS4 

    It has been confirmed with Square Enix that the multiplatform title Thief will run at a higher native resolution on the PS4 than on Xbox One.

    The PS4 version of the series reboot will have a native output resolution of 1080p while the Xbox One will come in at 900p upscaled to 1080p to match what TVs are capable of showing. Both versions of the game will run at 30 frames per second.

    “It’s really hard to see the difference.” game director Nicolas Cantin said. He also noted aside from the resolution thing the Xbox One and PS4 versions are otherwise the same whereas the PS3 and 360 versions are lacking in some effects, thus the difference between old-gen and new-gen versions is more stark.