When gamers jump into the world of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, they won't be entering the movie itself, but a prequel to the tale. The story of the game bridges the second and third films in the series, and offers some new ways to look at and play as the robots in disguise.
The story will have the player going back and forth between the benevolent Autobots and the evil Decepticons, playing as both sides throughout the game to see the full story. Each level has a set character that you play as for that mission. The developers explained that choice as being so they could "focus on design per character" instead of trying to make a world that would be fun to play as all the characters in. Gone are the days of co-op from the last Transformers game, as well; this one is a solo ride. The missions, since they're keyed to individuals, are truly built around them. You'll have flight missions where your jet 'bot flies in a dogfight, and city missions where your big bruiser fights amongst the rubble of a collapsing world. Likewise, the weaponry of each Autobot and Decepticon is keyed to their individual style. Soundwave uses sonic-powered weaponry to knockback and even disintegrate his enemies, for example.
The other big change in the new game is the addition of "stealth force" as a modified third transformation. The new mode allows you full access to all the weaponry you would have in robot form, even when you're in vehicle form. "We never want you to be far away from your weapons," said the dev team. When you transform from bot mode, you'll jump straight into stealth force mode. If you want a little more speed you can go the extra step into straight vehicle mode and hightail it out of a bad situation. Strafing is now possible in both stealth and robot mode, as well, so you can always keep your enemies in front of you.
While the game does follow the look and feel of the movie universe, developers had fun taking some original series characters and redesigning them in the movie's style. That means you'll see some characters you've never seen in the movieverse, and maybe be introduced to a couple that will hit the big screen this summer.
This preview was just a walkthrough, but we expect hands-on time with the game soon. Suffice to say, Transformers fans will find a lot to love about the game, and it's clear that the developers at High Moon Studios are among the ranks of those fans.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is scheduled to hit PS3, Xbox360, and other platforms on June 14, 2011.