Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Activision reveal new Transformers game and shaft High Moon Studio's


Activision has capitalised on the upcoming release of the fourth Bayformers movie with the announcement of Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark.  Now aside from having a shitty title this game looks to pretty much de-value all of the hard work put in by High Moon Studios.  Developed by the studio who made the recent Duck Tales Remastered and Loadout, the outlook looks grim.

My problems aren't with the announcement of the game being a sort of tie in movie game, it's that it takes the work of War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron and forces in the terrible looking movie versions of the characters as well.  The trailer released today shows the awesome looking Optimus Prime's from the previous games alongside the Earth version of him that looks like complete ass.  Every character from War and Fall seem to be present alongside the wanky looking movie versions in a story that centres around the search for the aforementioned Dark Spark.

This ain't Prime, why does he have a fish mouth?
Apparently this spark is as powerful as the Matrix of Leadership which is stupid because the Matrix is essentially Cybertron's spark and acts as a sort of symbol of hope for the entire species.  This dark spark will no doubt be linked to Unicron or the Fallen and have nothing to do with the Generation 1 continuity.  Now of course some spotty twelve year old fan will read this and shit his Bayformer underpants with rage at my ragging on the current incarnation of the Transformers, but I am sorry they all suck.  Everything since G1 has failed hard, never adding anything new or interesting to the story and generally just messed with things for no good reason.

The recent Transformers animated and Prime series served to pretty much neuter the characters and make the roster tiny for both sides.  The new designs look fucking awful compared to the original characters and frankly they all look weird.  Optimus having a removable mouth plate is retarded and serves no real purpose.  Did Hasbro think kids would be confused as to who is talking if they couldn't see a mouth?  Original Optimus looks cool and actually meaner with his mouth plate.  But it's the other designs, and character changes that irk me.  Bumblebee is now a mute simply because Michael Bay made him a comedy character, Ratchet is now a weird mix of Kup and Ironhide when Ratchet was nothing like that.  They add a character like Bulkhead because......Kids like dumb bumbling good guys?  We now have to have a mandatory female Transformer when the toys are marketed at boys almost exclusively, and they don't make sense.  Unless Arcee has a robo vagina and Prime a robo penis I don't see the need for outwardly female designs for a techno organic species that doesn't procreate.

Yeah Prime looks like shit here, compared to his original form
The Decepticons are equally fucked with the bad guy roster being reduced to Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and a couple of other 'cons here and there.  Shockwave is now a super assassin instead of being a coldly analytical scientist who only wants to restore his planet regardless of which side he works with.  At least the Decepticons haven't been as badly mauled from a character stand point, but visually they don't look anything like they once did.

Really it's the above issues and more that really piss me off with this new announcement.  Messing around with High Moon's work is dumb and Hasbro/Activision are going to screw it up with this new game.  I just don't understand why Hasbro suddenly wants this aligned continuity crap when the original G1 story was fine and had it's own arc that finished with season 3 of the cartoon show and the Headmasters episodes.  Trying to make the original story fit with the more recent cartoons is as good an idea as it was for George Lucas to try and make the original Star Wars trilogy work with episodes 1, 2 and 3.  There are massive holes that don't make sense.

I just feel sorry for the guys and gals at High Moon who clearly worked their asses off to create a Transformers game series that was true to the original cartoon and more importantly it's fans.  They got it right twice and really shouldn't be skipped over for the third game.  I wouldn't be as annoyed with this new game if it was being made by them, at least any new characters would have had a cool Cybertron form at least.

Why does Grimlock look nothing like a T-Rex?
I don't know if I will be buying this, I will certainly keep an eye on it and see who is added to the character list and how terrible the designs are for the earth forms but I will see what the reviews from players and sites are like before I jump in, if I jump in.  Seriously people do not preorder this game, tell Hasbro we want a Transformers game made by High Moon Studios and not some inexperienced studio who have 2 games, one being a platformer that came out in the 90's and the other a shameless Team Fortress 2 knock off.

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