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SDCC 2012: Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron Hands-On Preview
I went into the San Diego Comic Con with just a few simple goals in mind. One of them just so happened to be getting my hands on Activision and High Moon's Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, one of my most anticipated games of Fall 2012. I had high expectations for the game, no doubt, and if the hands-on demo I received at Comic Con's Preview Night event is any indication, the final product might just live up to those lofty expectations.
The demo level that I played was an early one focused on Bumblebee. It seemed very much a tutorial, meaning that it was full of scripted events designed to teach players the controls in an entertaining fashion. To this end, the level was staged on an Autobot ship which was attempting to escape from the crumbling Cybertron via a portal orbiting the planet. As Bumblebee's ship approached the portal, the Decepticons made their move, deploying a large snake-like drill to attack the ship. As the drill punctured holes in the hull of the ship, Decepticon baddies boarded and began to attack the control room.
This sequence served as a nice little primer on the shooting and melee controls, which were snappy and allowed for quick, decisive attacks. Bumblebee began the level with a standard Assault Rifle-styled weapon which proved more than capable of ripping Decepticons to scrap. After defending the control room against several waves of enemies, the coast was clear. Bumblebee was needed at the bridge, which had fallen under enemy attack. He had to grab a power conduit from one of the wall-mounted consoles in the control room and transport it to the computer at the bridge, so with a quick press of the X button we were on our way. Several Autobots rallied around Bumblebee to help him transport the conduit.
The trip to the bridge was far from smooth, as the giant drill began to attack the ship again. Soon, the wall was ripped apart, sending Bumblebee's companions hurtling out into the void of space. Luckily, the wall closed up before we were sucked out along with them, and the journey to the bridge continued.
After delivering the conduit to the computer, the bridge exploded into a state of disarray. This is where we got our first taste of Bumblebee's vehicle form. With a quick click of the left stick, Bumblebee went from robot to car, and with a pull of the left trigger we were boosting down a linear path away from the collapsing bridge.
At the end of the track, Bumblebee was transformed back into his combat form and equipped with a new toy - a quick-firing rocket launcher. With rockets scattered all around the arena and groups of enemies pouring in from the room ahead, now was as good a time as any to test out the explosive weapon. Taking out groups of enemies all at once with the rocket proved to be quite satisfying indeed. After this explosvie battle, the screen faded out and the demo came to an end.
As an early way to get players acclimated to the controls, Comic Con's Fall of Cybertron demo was quite promising. The section we played was admittedly very linear and controlled, but hopefully this was all just in service of teaching the various mechanics of the game in an interesting way. Provided that the game opens up beyond this point, we can see ourselves having a great time with the game when it releases in August. Stay tuned for our official review, and until then keep coming back for more Comic Con updates!