More Multiplayer MadnessAfter getting our hands on the game adaptation of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, we were certainly taken by the multiplayer aspect of the Xbox 360 and PS3 edition. Looking for more information, we went straight to the source and sat down with Chris Tremmel, Creative Director at Luxoflux, the game’s development studio, for more on giant robot online fighting action.
Newsarama: When we put up our first look last month, the thing that commenters and ourselves were most excited for was the multiplayer aspect. Tell us a bit about the multiplayer here. It’s Autobots vs. Decepticons right?
Chris Tremmel: It is primarily Autobots vs. Decepticons. You can turn off the faction lock and mix the teams up, which gets pretty interesting, if you have Bumblebee and Megatron fighting on the same team. But primarily we focus on Autobots vs. Decepticons.
NRAMA: OK. A lot of the special moves seem to be supportive and defensive rather than being solely offensive specials. What was the thought process behind going that route?
CT: Well, when we started the multiplayer stuff, and even on the single player side, we knew that we wanted each character to have these unique special abilities. So, early on we decided to take a light “class” approach to the different characters. We knew that our time was limited so when we started the development we wanted anything that went into single player, we wanted to make sure it really benefited multiplayer as well. In the multiplayer environment, we really wanted to push the team relations; we wanted it to be Autobots vs. Decepticons instead of just one guy against another guy. So we knew right off that bat that we wanted to do something with the specials that was complimentary to each other so we took a lot of cues from games like Team Fortress 2. We’re just not quite as cut and dry in regards to the classes. But you know, it was pretty easy based on the fiction that we had to work with, and the passion that the multiplayer team had for it, for this kind of combination to come out. And you can really get some truly deadly combinations of characters together. We wanted that to be where it strengthens the multiplayer community as well. When people are playing, we went them to talk on the mics and communicate and cooperate and work together as a team.
NRAMA: The largest battles are four on four?
CT: 4 vs. 4 is our biggest, but you can scale all the way up to that. Then you can also play straight Deathmatch mode, 8 guys, everybody against everybody.
NRAMA: What are some of the other modes you’ve included here?
CT: We’ve got five different modes. We have straight Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch which is probably my favorite one. You can adjust that to time or score and modify the rules a little bit. We’ve got a mode called “One Shall Stand” which is an assassination style mode. So, on the Autobots team, one person is designated as Optimus Prime and on Decepticons one is Megatron, and the goal is to assassinate the leader of the opposing faction, which is pretty cool. Until that leader is dead, the players will respawn, but once he’s gone, it’s time to eliminate the other team. We also have a control points mode, which has a series of five points throughout the level that need to be captured. We also have battle for the shards mode which is our take on the Capture the Flag style of gameplay. Each team has a base. There’s five pieces of the All-Spark in the level, and the object is to collect all the pieces and bring them back to your base. The catch is, when you pick up a piece of the All-Spark, you can’t transform, so you have to have someone with you to watch your back.
Longhaul is a Decepticon new to the Movie/Game. Think evil Ironhide, with Flamethrowers.NRAMA: So you can’t just grab it, transform, and fly away?
CT: (laughs) Yeah, that’s how we had it initially, and it was a little outbalanced with the fliers. The cool thing too, though, is once someone drops it at their base, you can steal it back from their base. It really encourages support play and watching your bases plus watching the offensive guys’ backs.
NRAMA: The two maps that we played both were mid-size. Is there a big variance in the size of the maps, or are they all that small to mid size to keep the fighting closer together?
CT: They definitely range. As we’ve gone through production, we’ve figured out what works well with the game engine, what works well with the number of players that we have. The two maps we saw today were probably on the smaller side of the maps we have. They do get a little bit bigger.
NRAMA: The focus seems to be more on the hectic gameplay though.
CT: It is, yeah. It is definitely focused on keeping the players in the action. That’s definitely something we wanted to do when we started the game.
NRAMA: Now, competition and bragging rights are obviously a big part of the experience on LIVE and PSN. What are the rankings for this going to be like?
CT: We have a really cool leaderboard system set up. Locally, we track close to 100 stats. We track every single character, all the kills, all the deaths, assists, accuracies, you get every individual stat. Then we have a leaderboard where we track kills, kill ratio, win ratio, and see those online against your friends.
NRAMA: One of my favorite things to hear from people working on games is their personal goal for the game. What’s your one thing that you really wanted to make sure you got right?
CT: You know, when I started on the game, I think it was the transformations. The name of the game is Transformers and we really wanted the transformations to be meaningful. It’s easy to throw out there and use those words, but when you watch the films, they’re constantly in and out of vehicle and robot form, the fights are really fast paced, and you know that’s something we really wanted to capture. That’s the thing I’m most proud of as well, is the whole Transformation mechanic.
NRAMA: Who’s your favorite character to play as in multiplayer?
CT: Ooo, that’s a tough one. On the Autobots’ side, I probably gotta go Ironhide. He’s easiest for me, otherwise these guys kick my ass! I like the security of having the backup turret [a launchable turret is Ironhide’s special move]. It also cues me off to where guys are coming in from. On the Decepticons’ side, it’s gotta be Megatron. As hard as it is sometimes to nail it, the big cannon that he has, his special ability, the one hit kill? It’s just addictive once you start pulling that off.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is due out June 23rd. All Questions were regarding the Xbox 360 and PS3 editions of the game.