Easily one of the most anticipated titles of 2012, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron comes on the heels of a mixed pair of prior Transformers titles from High Moon Studios. The developer achieved massive critical and commercial success, not to mention the admiration of long-suffering Transformers game fans, with their 2010 hit, Transformers: War for Cybertron (read our review). Unfortunately, newly sated fans were subsequently let-down by the disappointing Dark of the Moon movie tie-in - which, due to a rushed development and thin final product, was mostly par-for-the-course when it comes to licensed games (read our review).
As a result, High Moon Studios knows that some returning fans might be skeptical of a third action-shooter outing with the robots in disguise - and the developer, paired with publisher Activision, have been working hard to sell the game as a bigger, better, and more badass version of their standalone Cybertron game. To that end, High Moon has released one intriguing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron trailer after another, including the epic E3 cinematic teaser, but the studio may have saved the best for last - dropping a Peter Cullen-voiced launch trailer to lay out the game's dire stakes.
The new trailer paints a pretty clear story arc for Fall of Cybertron: despite a valiant effort in the War for Cybertron, the Transformer home world has been ravaged by Megatron and his power-hungry Decepticons. Optimus Prime and his team are subsequently left with no choice but to escape the doomed planet ahead of Megatron's forces - though it sounds like some Autobots might have an alternate strategy in mind (i.e. fight until your very last breath).
Building on the buzz from the first game, High Moon is definitely pulling out all the stops in their second Cybertron title. Prior trailers, as well as the new story trailer, showcase some of the title's biggest additions: the city-sized Autobot Metroplex, the Decepticon combiner Bruticus, and of course the fan-favorite Dinobots - Grimlock (T-Rex), Slug (Triceratops), Snarl (Stegosaurus) and Swoop (Pteranodon).
It's unclear exactly where the studio might take the franchise in the future - given that the High Moon series has relied heavily on the doomed Cybertron. While some Transformers fans seem to think a third game could take place on Earth, it's hard to imagine the studio going down that road - considering the imaginative Cybertronian playground is a major reason the games have been so good (allowing for giant action set-pieces, enormous boss encounters, and rich colorful environments). Who would want to trade all that for familiar human locales? That said, it's always possible that, even if the Autobots leave Cybertron in this installment, they could make a few pitstops (remote Cybertronian outposts, etc) before their inevitable arrival on Earth.
Of course, the developers could always fast-forward 300 years and introduce a Beast Wars storyline - especially since improved melee combat was a major focus for the Grimlock portions in Fall of Cybertron!
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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron releases August 21, 2012 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.