Is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen the next Team Fortress 2?

The world has been turned on its ear. Up is now down, capitalism is now communism and we’ve played the videogame adaptation of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and it’s…. good.

How can this be!?

Above: For once, this could actually turn out as cool as it looks

The apparent improvement over the crummy first game is thanks to developer Luxoflux (Vigilante 8, Kung Fu Panda), who’s taken the reins from Traveller’s Tales and promises to address complaints fans and critics had with the first game. No more will Transformers be about giant robots bashing each other over the head with trees, Luxoflux says. Instead, it’s all big, powerful guns, quick on-the-fly transformations and punching.

The apparent crown jewel of the game, however, is its multiplayer mode. Featuring four-on-four battles between two teams of Transformers (divided between Autobots and Decepticons, duh), it’ll give players a chance to rip it up in open, vehicle-centric urban environments. And while it doesn’t have the massive scale of something like Battlefield: 1943 or the claustrophobic, team-dependent play of Left 4 Dead, its small-scale, class-centric battles remind us of nothing so much as a four-on-four version of Team Fortress 2.

Above: Just, you know, with giant robots that turn into cool vehicles

Transformers: RotF’s multiplayer offers up a pool of 13 initially playable Transformers, each differing radically in size, weapon loadout and abilities. Megatron, for example, is huge and has a one-hit-kill fusion cannon that takes a while to charge up, while the Seeker can transform into a jet and teleport a few dozen yards forward. Optimus excels at close-quarters combat, Ironhide can lay down remote turrets and Ratchet and Long Haul can both heal other players, despite having completely different combat skills. Bumblebee, tiny as he is, packs a surprising amount of firepower and is tough to hit, and Breakaway is a sniper who turns into a jet, and also excels at hand-to-hand combat.

In general the characters seem balanced, but there’s no direct symmetry between the two sides – every Transformer is different. Bearing that in mind, it’s important to pick a balanced team right from the outset, because while you can switch characters during a match, you can only switch to characters your teammates have already chosen. So if everyone insists on being Megatron or Optimus right from the start, well, you’re stuck with that for the next five to 10 minutes.

As for the Transformers themselves, on the Autobot side, you’ve got Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide (who turns into a pickup truck), Ratchet (a weird SUV-style ambulance), Breakaway (jet fighter), a Protectobot (police cruiser) and an Aerialbot (smaller jet fighter). Meanwhile, the Decepticons get Megatron, Starscream, Grindor (helicopter), Long Haul (dump truck), Sideways (car) and a Seeker (jet fighter).

A few of those - Seeker, Protectobot and Aerialbot - are anonymous, multiplayer-only members of “classic Transformers factions,” and they’re joined by a few more characters we can’t really talk about yet. Some of those are just reskins of other characters, while others are genuinely beefed-up versions, and we’re told they’ll be joined by more Transformers (who’ll appear as downloadable extras) down the road.

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  • victordambrosio - May 21, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    hi i have two transformers the game, and I know how to play it with jazz!
  • noobeater - June 2, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    well the only other movie based games i think iv like is golden eye...and despite ur measly score of 2 lol i kinda liked the multiplayer of LotR:Conquest...(well its a change to cod etc that i always played and my WaW 9th prestiged deleted) but i am seriously considering this, well ill try an xbox demo and have to see more but sureill keep it in mind
  • Spybreak8 - June 2, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    Yah, you know this game wasn't on my radar but the past few weeks it has jumped on. If its anything like Mech Assault I'm totally down.
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - May 31, 2009 3:54 p.m.

    I am the Norwegian King of Names! I deem this game...annally retentive.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 31, 2009 2:28 a.m.

    All sounds great but the 4 vs 4 limit makes me go O.o a bit. I meen if its just a little bit worse than TF2 in terms of balancing and gameplay then it'll still be extremely good in that departments, and if its on par then wow, hats of to the devs. However if tf2 was 4 vs 4 then it wouldent be half as fun as it is. All sounds very, very promising, but the 4 vs 4 issue leads me to remain skeptical, however I very much hope that proves to be ill founded because I'd love for this game to be amazing.
  • Myquirk - May 30, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Zappo! Why don't more developers of movie-based games do this? I mean, copy successful games? And by the way, the captcha text I have to type is "White saks." Um, yeah.
  • inFamous - May 30, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    Looks good might have to get it make it awesome!
  • inFamous - May 30, 2009 8:28 a.m.

    Looks pretty sweet might have to check it out Make it good.
  • erreip199 - May 29, 2009 10:46 p.m.

    Goldeneye is actually starting to get proud of his children from this generation
  • MacGyver1138 - May 29, 2009 9:37 p.m.

    I'm a huge fan of Luxoflux, for Vigilante 8 and its sequel. Maybe they can actually pull out a decent movie tie-in game. It's a shame that they are going to be on a tight schedule in order to ship it around the same time as the movie comes out. It would no doubt be better if they were able to release it "when it's done."
  • FierceVoltage - May 29, 2009 5:45 p.m.

    Can't wait, we need a new good multiplayer
  • silvereye - May 29, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    This looks good but TF2 wil always be the defintife class based multiplayer game ever!
  • helix92 - May 29, 2009 10:01 a.m.

    Wolverine proved that movie games can be good but that was made by an accomplished developer. These guys have made Kung-Fu Panda(???) and some game i've never heard of. I'll skip thanks.
  • homieomar - May 29, 2009 8:13 a.m.

    looks alright but nothing special i guess we will have to wait for more info before we can see how this stacks up
  • flare149 - May 29, 2009 3:57 a.m.

    Hmmm...this could work out really well. If the single player isn't that good and it gets low reviews the price will go down quickly and then everyone will be able to pick up a fun multiplayer title for relatively cheap. Plus if it turns out the single player is great well then it's just a great game overall
  • MGS4SolidSnake - May 29, 2009 1:55 a.m.

    im just gonna say that u guys are overhyping right now
  • vitoruss - May 29, 2009 1:28 a.m.

    Deserves a higher alert level, but still not on my "to get" list.
  • michaelmcc827 - May 29, 2009 12:05 a.m.

    I don't think it being a movie game is going to matter all that much, since it already has a template to go off of as well as constructive criticism. Only thing I think might be an issue is movement being clunky, since everything is mechanical. Recaptcha: Assembly tireless >indeed
  • GoldenMe - May 28, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    The only complaint about the preview is that the multiplayer is only 4 on 4. I would prefer it to be 6 on 6 instead. Other than that, it's a very good and surpising preview. Still, it IS a movie game.
  • shadowless92 - May 28, 2009 9:09 p.m.

    YAY =D