At Comic-Con International in San Diego 2012, Activision hosted an event to showcase the new multiplayer options coming to "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron," the highly anticipated sequel from High Moon Studios, the developers behind "Transformers: War for Cybertron," with a first look at all the special features in the game.
The game includes full-on five-versus-five online multiplayer through Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC, enabling players to battle through basic deathmatch and king-of-the-hill style play. This mode features ten maps in all, and while Activision didn't reveal all of them, player will be able to do some serious damage in a large Cybertron meeting room complete with ramps up to a second level and plenty of room to drive -- or fly -- around.
The multiplayer itself is pretty good, just as it was in the last game, as players can take on enemies in either robot or transformed vehicle forms, both of which provide an ample amount of firepower. Extra ammunition is also included in various points on the stage. If things get a little too close for comfort, melee strikes are an option -- and they do quite a bit of damage.
The multiplayer was fun, but it wasn't quite perfect. The map provided was a little too large for its own good, and while that might be optimal for players who prefer a straight-up firefight, it left very little room for hiding. As a result, players can die rather easily without using typical combat tactics. Those used to running and gunning, however, will feel right at home.
What really makes "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron's" multiplayer stand out is being able to customize a robot using various provided tools. It's easy to spend several minutes browsing through all the available parts including heads, arms, legs, body armor, colors, matte finishes and more. Even with the massive amount of customization, each Transformer managed to change into a vehicle rather quickly. High Moon Studios has accomplished a marvelous feat.
There's even love beyond the Autobots and Decepticons. For the first time in the series, High Moon will introduce both Insecticons and Dinobots as playable races, so players can team up as those groups and pit them against each other in battle. Although there was some concern about the power level of the new factions, High Moon Studios has assured players that balance would be kept within the game with no one getting an unfair advantage.
"Fall of Cybertron" separates the Transformers into four groups: infiltration, destroyer, scientist and titan. Each has its own set of specialized armor and techniques used over the course of multiplayer match-ups and a unique XP level-up system, giving players the ability to grow stronger as matches progress.
In addition to a competitive multiplayer mode, "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" will also bring back a cooperative online mode called Escalation, which fans of the original "War For Cybertron" will appreciate. Although hands-on wasn't available during our time at CCI, it looks very promising with several Transformers teaming up to take on enemies and complete missions.
Finally, to insure the multiplayer is as smooth as possible, Activision and High Moon Studios have added host migration, giving users better opportunity to set up custom matches with their friends. This will no doubt be a welcome gift to fans who missed it in the original.
Along with a single player campaign that allows control of various Autobots and Decepticons (including fan favorite Dinobot, Grimlock), "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" should be a sequel that offers something to everyone. Like the classic franchise, it's definitely more than meets the eye.
"Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" hits stores August 21 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.