Hot off the recent news that Transformers: War for Cybertron developer, High Moon Studios would be helming the Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie-tie in, we're getting our first official look at the game - in the form of a teaser trailer and screen shots.
Hopefully, given High Moon's terrific work on the Transformers spin-off, this will be one movie tie-in that actually offers compelling gameplay experiences - not just a hollow title that's merely been pushed-out to capitalize on film buzz.
The announcement trailer is certainly cool, and gives us a sneak peak at the in-game design of a few fan-favorite characters, but it isn't likely to offer-up the kind of take-your-breath-away visual specter of High Moon's War for Cybertron trailer - or the Dark of the Moon Super Bowl movie trailer that aired last week.
Fans familiar with previous Transformers movie tie-ins, as well as High Moon's acclaimed War for Cybertron, won't be surprised by the direction the studio is taking their next "Robots in Disguise installment. Transformers: Dark of the Moon appears to keep the core game mechanics from War for Cybertron but lacks the scale and visual flare of High Moon's celebrated title.
Check out the trailer below:
There isn't much in the way of story details in the teaser but High Moon has been given the green-light to develop their own prequel chapter in the Dark of the Moon movie plotline. As a result, players will delve deeper into the adventures of their favorite Autobots and Decepticons - instead of merely reliving scenes from the movie.
Paul Wright, Head of Marketing for Licensed Properties at Activision Publishing had this to say about the story:
“We couldn’t be more excited to expand on the epic movie universe in the Transformers: Dark of the Moon game, and allow fans to experience the gripping events and backstories that occur right before the upcoming film."
The prequel campaign will be set "in unique environments around the world such as the Jungles of South America, Siberian military facilities, as well as Detroit Cityscapes" and will let "players assume the roles of a diverse roster of everyone’s favorite Transformers from the movie through a heart-pounding campaign to save mankind."
In addition, Wright revealed that not only will players be switching between robot and vehicle mode, they'll also be utilizing a third form - Stealth Force:
“The immensely talented group at High Moon Studios are huge fans of the property, and they are thrilled to unveil some new characters from the movie while introducing Stealth Force gameplay that lets players convert to a third form beyond robot and vehicle modes to defeat their enemies in more ways than ever before.”
Stealth Force will allow fans to "instantly convert to a third, hybrid state that combines the weapons and firepower of robot mode with the agility and maneuverability of vehicle mode."
While the gameplay possibilities are certainly interesting, and High Moon has set a lofty benchmark for future Transformers games, it's hard to get away from how similar the title looks to the prior movie tie-ins - which featured generic and uninspiring sandbox city environments. As mentioned in our War for Cybertron review, one of the High Moon title's major strengths was its unique environment, dedication to Transformers lore, and engrossing large-scale action set-pieces.
Even if High Moon once again nails the feel of being a Transformer, as well as immerses players in an interesting story, Dark of the Moon is still grounded in the limited native earth environments that gamers have seen over and over again.
Check out the first images from High Moon's Transformers: Dark of the Moon title below, courtesy of IGN:
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Hopefully, despite the lackluster look of the title, the movie tie-in will still manage to offer an engrossing gameplay experience, or at least serve as a competent appetizer for, the already confirmed, War for Cybertron 2.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is tentatively scheduled for a June 18th 2011 release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - with Behaviour Interactive developing for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS
Source (Images): IGN