Transformers the Game First Look

We see how robots go in disguise on the DS, courtesy of Vicarious Visions.

Now that we've run through the various stages of grief that old-school Transformers fans have experienced since seeing the CG, lip-having, not-G1 robots in the upcoming movie, we're on to acceptance. The timing worked out nicely, as Activision stopped by to show off the upcoming Nintendo DS games based on the film. Yes, games. In a nice nod to the "east side/west side" split between Autobot and Decepticon fans, developer Vicarious Visions is cooking up two versions of the game, each featuring one of the two warring robot factions that wind up bringing the fight to Earth. We had the chance to get a demo of the games, and they're both looking like solid 3D action titles that serve as yet another feather in Vicarious' peacock-like hat of accomplishments on Nintendo's dual-screen system.

Whether you side with the Autobots...

Both games take the standard movie-game route and draw the core of their action from the film's plot. However, a good dose of dramatic license is taken to ensure the games aren't over in two hours. The central story focuses on both factions as they reach Earth in search of the Allspark, a powerful object that could help tip the scales in favor of whichever group gets it first and end the war between them. Though this would probably work out fine if the Autobots got it, the Decepticons would really mess up people's days. When both games start, you'll take the role of a rookie soldier in one of the factions. In the Autobot game, you'll have the option to play as Optimus Prime and Bumblebee as you progress, while the Decepticon game will eventually let you hop into the steely shoes of Starscream and Barricade.

The core gameplay is third-person, mission-based action played out in a 3D city. You'll get missions via radio and make your way around dealing with the Decepticon or Autobot menace, depending on which game you play. The games have some light RPG elements and let you level up once you've earned enough experience from defeating enemies. Besides making you a sturdier 'bot or 'con, you'll open up new abilities and attacks. One of the coolest aspects of the games is the ability to scan vehicles and add them into your repertoire of "stuff I can change into." Better still is the ability to customize your look by tweaking the color scheme.

Besides the single-player experience, both versions of the game will offer local wireless multiplayer modes for up to four players, which include staples such as team deathmatch. Probably the coolest feature of the game is a Nintendo Wi-Fi connection-powered feature dubbed AllSpark Wars, which will let you download daily challenge missions into either game that, once completed, the information is sent to a global server that tracks the performance of both factions. The main goal is to ensure your side has the advantage. Control in the games is solid and relies on the touch screen for various actions, such as scanning, transforming, and reviewing your objectives, which are all easily accessible with the tap of one of your thumbs.

…or the Decepticons, the new Transformers games for DS will have a version for you.

The visuals in the game are solid and have a good look to them. Vicarious' experience with the DS ensures some snappy tech under the hood of the game, which results in solid visuals and good performance, even in a work-in-progress state. The game's audio follows suit and offers a good complement to the graphics.

Based on what we played, Transformers is shaping up to offer a pretty cool experience on the DS. The two-robot-flavor offering is pretty smart and should appeal to fans. The Wi-Fi mode is very cool and has the potential to keep players coming back long after they've finished the main game. As a bonus, the game will contain unlockables that offer some cool surprises. Transformers in both Autobot and Decepticon varieties will be out this June.

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Discussion

19 comments
ColdK
ColdK

trying to make extra money with two versions they think im dumb

Neo-ganon
Neo-ganon

aww dude... expect to see me playing as megatron as i ignore the other players and blast the crap out of all the buildings, cars and other destructible environments in the wi-fi mode. Megatron pwns all!

LionsGate
LionsGate

You can add me to the list of people that already pre-orded Transformers: Autobots for DS. This game is going to be good. Vicarious Visions is a good developer, and I hope this sells well. Gamestop/EB are giving away Transformers posters when you preorder the game.

axelviiii
axelviiii

I think we all know from experience that movie-based games tend to be pretty lame, even if the movie is awesome. also, I have an off and on fondness for Transformers, mainly because the whole robo car idea is awesome, but they've only had toys that you couldn't do much with. Both of these things contributed to my assumption that this game would be about as fun as playing basketball with a rock. HOWEVER, upon seeing screens and reading the previews/reviews, this game looks like something that will seriously pull it's weight in the Video-game universe. Although this game looks good to me and some other people, it will likely be overlooked because of the reputation movie-based games have built up over the years. And to XE_X-ECUTIONER, Those are Work-in-progress screens, the graphics will likely be enhanced. Unless you somehow magically have the release date version, don't rag on this or any other games. Plus, you misspelled horrible. ... That was a lot longer than it should have been...

TheGuy2
TheGuy2

oh yessssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

XE_X-ECUTIONER
XE_X-ECUTIONER

the graphics look horible. the DS has displayed its compacity for graphics with many games, but developers just cant seem to utalise it.

vaejas
vaejas

Here's hoping for some generous and diverse content in each. Just because a game costs $30 doesn't mean I'm willing to buy it twice. Way to milk that train!

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Seems kind of interesting. The graphics look pretty nice for DS too.

heavybotpoko
heavybotpoko

I'm getting this for sure. Loved transformers from when i can remember. Go AUTOBOTS

BoogieManZero
BoogieManZero

I saw this a while back and let me say it is the first DS game in a long time to actually perk my interest. See I'm not the typical DS game, meaning I am not five years old and I don't buy games without knowing about them. I enjoy well made mature(not mature rated) games. This looks pretty interesting. :D I just noticed the similar games... -Crash of the Titans -Code Lyoko -Hannah Montana(Apparently she is a robot)

Brock_UK
Brock_UK

Lets hope its not a flop!

Double-Bent
Double-Bent

Transformers, more than meets the eye!

cluelesspunk
cluelesspunk

Looks righteous, but I know for sure I'll be getting the Wii version, and I don't know if the Wii and DS versions will be different enough to make it worth it to have both.

especensor
especensor

this game is looking pretty good. i'll probably pick it up. too bad i know nothing of transformers.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Usually movie tie ins are crap especially on the DS but this looks promising.

Neogin
Neogin

Looks similar to Mechassault, graphically that is.

calvinx6
calvinx6

Getting tis one for sure.