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

We were able to spend around an hour playing multiplayer against a room full of other journalists, and it was – to the surprise of pretty much everyone there – a complete blast. Playing on both sides through a variety of arenas, we pummeled Autobots with lock-on missiles in the Seeker’s jet form, went hand-to-hand with Megatron as Ironhide and repeatedly won, and got destroyed a few times by enemy respawns, which take the form of huge flaming meteors crashing to earth.

Game types included straight-up deathmatches and team deathmatches, a weird variation on capture-the-flag in which teams try to snag chunks of the AllSpark, control-point matches and VIP matches called One Shall Stand, in which one player is chosen to become Optimus or Megatron, and then must be defended by his or her teammates. The twist here is that Optimus and Megatron are beefed up a bit, and their deaths don’t mean an automatic lose for their team – instead, that team just runs out of respawns, making every subsequent death permanent.

The actual action is fairly standard third-person shooter stuff; holding down the left trigger (on a 360 controller) shifts you into targeting mode, during which you can easily switch between weapons (each Transformer has two or three built in, ranging from grenade launchers and lasers to flame throwers and shotguns). Releasing it lets you mix it up with your big steel fists, or climb up the sides of nearby buildings King Kong style (but with more visible damage left behind). And if you get shot up too heavily, running away and hiding from enemy fire for a few seconds is usually enough to restore you back to health.

Meanwhile, transforming mid-battle is a snap. At any time, pulling the right trigger will make your Transformer shift to vehicle form, and the degree to which you hold it in will regulate his speed. While in this form, you can ram opponents to death, fire your primary weapon straight ahead, launch yourself off ramps (if you’re a ground vehicle) and – by holding down one of the face buttons and releasing the trigger – leap back into robot form in four dramatic ways.

While multiplayer is absolutely the coolest thing about Transformers: RoTF, it’s by no means the only thing. We also had a chance to play through a little bit of the story mode, which is divided into Autobot and Decepticon campaigns. You’ll play as multiple characters across the course of each storyline, and after picking the Decepticon side, we were handed control of Long Haul - a hulking brawler/dump truck armed with twin grenade launchers and flamethrowers – and told to find movie heroine Mikaela, who apparently has some information the Decepticons need for something or other.

Above: Suitably badass

After we were dropped into an industrial park, we were almost immediately attacked by a bunch of disposable, generic Autobots, which our two computer-controlled Decepticon sidekicks did a pretty good job standing up to. Blowing up good-guy robots aside, our goal was to smoke out four engineers – done by setting their buildings on fire with Haul’s flamethrowers – and then carry them to an extraction point for questioning. Once all four had been questioned, Mikaela’s location was revealed and it was time for some old-fashioned kidnapping.

The action during single-player was noticeably more sedate and bland than in multiplayer, although to be fair, it was only the first level. And it was still fun, with lots of stuff to blow up, beat up, ram and climb. We’re not quite sure yet how we feel about the switch from an open-world approach to a linear progression through smaller open levels, but it still shows a lot of promise.

Above: Especially if we get to fight huge bosses like this one, which we’re guessing is Devastator

However the single-player turns out, we’ve gone from having zero interest in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to actually being excited for it... although at this point, it’s a skeptical kind of excited. Still, it deserves to be a blip on everyone’s radar at this point. Expect it to arrive in stores on June 23, just in time for the release of the movie.

May 28, 2009


  • 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

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