At a recent press event, Activision showed off Transformers: Dark of the Moon for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Though the console versions were front and center, the company also had a playable version of the Nintendo 3DS version, which features a completely different prologue and even an exclusive Transformer: Lockdown for the handheld and Nintendo Wii versions.
The demo included the ability to play three distinct mission types in the game’s single-player campaign, with Bumblebee taking the lead role.
The first level I played had me activating points on a map that would allow the Transformers to hack a computer system in order to open the exit, and thus enabling Bumblebee to reach the next level. Enemies would respawn and look to not only hunt Bumblebee down but also protect these 15 points. This was a good level to get a grasp as to how the controls work, which take a little while to get used to. The D-pad is used to accelerate, strafe, and reverse, while the shoulder buttons work the camera. A was used to activate Stealth Mode while B was used for an attack and Y for utilizing missiles. By the end of the level, I was pretty comfortable with the control scheme. During the game, players will either be in Vehicle mode, which will help moving from one point to the next at a much higher speed, and also Stealth mode, which moves at a slower pace but allows for strafing and using weapons. It should be noted that using Stealth mode drains Energon, but E. Cubes can be picked up during a level to regenerate it.
The second area was more of a search-and-destroy mission, where enemies didn’t respawn and were limited but also much more capable of inflicting damage. This was by far the toughest level I played and couldn’t complete it. In fact, I only played for a few minutes each time before I was blown to bits. Perhaps I needed more time to strategize but it honestly felt much too overwhelming and I’d argue that this particular level probably needs a bit of balancing.
The final area I was shown featured a boss battle with Soundwave. In this battle, I had to also fend off other enemies who spawned in, while trying to down Soundwave. To mix things up, at various points of the fight, Starscream would fly over and drop bombs, which usually required to stop firing on, or avoiding Soundwave and simply get the hell out of harm’s way. It was also crucial to try and pick up power ups which gave me unlimited, but temporary armor (a force field), missiles and Stealth mode. After numerous bouts, I finally finished him off.
Overall a pretty fun little experience but here’s hoping that the gameplay doesn’t get stale after a few levels and instead mixes things up with other forms of objectives. Unfortunately there also is no multiplayer, though the console version do have it, so the single-player will need to be pretty entertaining to be considered a viable alternative.
The game is scheduled to be released later this year in conjunction with the feature film.