Activision have always loved to please, and this year isn’t any different. Being invited to their Spring Showcase, Activision have been keen to display exactly what’s been going down on their end, and they do not disappoint, showing off Transformers: The Fall of Cybertron, The Amazing Spider-Man and Prototype 2. This won’t be covering the latter, however, as our hands on Prototype 2 preview can be found here.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron:
I feel like a really bad person when I have to start off with a truth in these previews, however, Transformers were never really my ‘thing’. My older siblings love the Transformers franchise, and I have seen the movies, but I always found it hard to really get into the franchise, and as such, avoided the previous games.
However after sitting down to watch the latest game in action, there’s a very large chance I made a huge mistake. Captivating pretty much most of my senses, my eyes were locked to the screen for the entirety of the gameplay being shown to us with detailed graphics and environments that were incredibly grabbing were the name of the game. Well, actually it’s Transformers: Fall of Cyberton, which I admit is much more exciting than ‘Detailed Graphics: Grabbing Environments’.
The main focus around this title is to bring an experience (yes, experience, that dreaded word) to Transformers audience that hasn’t been felt before. Instead of placing them into a limiting and narrow world like many people said about the previous game, it’s intended to allow players to fight openly, which it does.
Utilising an array of different characters, you’ll be able to take on various different combat mechanics, including brutal attack, air combat, sword and shield and stealth, as well as combining all five playable Transformers into a huge Transformer, who focuses on taking out enemies waves at a time with huge laser beams and crushing feet. The scale of this game feels very epic, but also very grounded. Not once during the showcase did it feel like the game was getting too far ahead of itself. It stayed true to what I know the Transformers roots to be, but also being able to create that euphoric feeling of being a badass robot through its gameplay.
The one thing that shone out to me was the different characters for different combat, which shows that the game won’t be a tedious, static drag that has been known from the action adventure games in the past. Without breaking up the storyline at all, the game will continue to present a different number of challenges, keeping it fresh.
As such, Transformers looks like the perfect game that keeps the gameplay and storyline well balanced, as well as letting them help each other out, which is vital in a game with so much story to tell, and background to explain.
I’ll finish with another truth: The footage and game play that I saw was enough for me to change my tune on the game, or franchise, itself. Instead of a worn out title I had seen time and time again, and something my siblings always used to bang on about, I saw a fresh, unique and highly innovative title that looked not only entertaining and challenging, but welcoming.
The Amazing Spider-Man
It’s happened. Finally, it’s happened. The Amazing Spider-Man has blown most of my doubts I had about it out of the water with one simple fact, which I’ll come to later. Let’s start with something that I really noticed when seeing footage of this game being played for the first time.
Superhero games seem to be going down the same route at the moment, which is the open world sandbox road. I’m not about to say that this is a bad thing, shooting around a world as your favourite superhero can be an amazing feeling, however it’s something most games in this genre are taking too.
The Amazing Spider-Man does what Arkham City did to Batman, and use this world to its advantage. Instead of placing Spider-Man into a melancholic open world and tell him to fight crime, the world around him is actually full of life, and relevant to the storyline. Which is where those doubts that got blown out of the water come into it.
The Amazing Spider-Man is not just a remake of the film but with you in control. Instead, the game carries on from the film and extends the story further, introducing new characters. The worse possible thing video games have produced over the last five years are remakes of films on consoles. It bugs me, as we’re treated to gimmicky controls and thoughtless development, bar one or two gems.
Not here, though. The Amazing Spider-Man game is a separate entity, taking aspects of the film, but then building on them and further extending them to create the game world which we find ourselves in. This Manhattan you fling yourself around isn’t a storyboard of film events waiting to happen, the people within it will interact with you, and its environment will come to life.
Disregarding one bug which found Spider-Man flinging himself through a building and getting stuck, the game looks incredibly smooth. No punches have been held on making the game looks gorgeous, and bringing Manhattan to life through our TV screens.
One doubt that did arise in my head was combat. Not only did it look very Batman-like, the idea on basing the combat mechanics from the fighting style of the movie seems to have been turned into comedy through the transitioning phase. Spider-Man looked very comical striking a wide variety of odd fighting moves, which is said to be done as Parker has self taught fighting moves. However, that one slight doubt is nothing compared to the huge scale of awesome that the game brings in pretty much every other department, and really left me wanting to get my hands on it and play.
Unfortunately, without any actual hands on with either of the games, I was left with a lot of questions. Were Transformers’ controls as clunky as they really looked? Would Spider-Man really weave his web into my heart? Alas, they will be left unanswered until I can get a bit of time playing through them, but from a first look point of view, they both look just damn awesome.