Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Pits Bay’s Bots vs. Cybertron’s Bots… For Some Reason
Today’s NYC Toy Fair saw Activision and Hasbro reveal the next video game foray in store for everyone’s favorite robots – no, not Jaegers; how dare you? – the Transformers. But this follow up to 2012’s Fall of Cybertron may, uh, surprise you in one very unexpected way.
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark depicts a clash between two worlds. The first being the Gen 1 inspired mythos introduced to us in High Moon’s third-person shooter War for Cybertron; the second being Michael “EXPLOSION” Bay’s divisive silver screen universe.
If you share my opinion on Bay’s trilogy (soon to be extended into a quadrilogy), the discomfort you’re experiencing is your disappointment, incredibly, blossoming into physical pain.
Don’t rub your bruises yet, friend-o. The blows aim lower: High Moon Studios is not handling development duties on this installment. Rather, Edge of Reality, a dev most known for banking on successful ports (including Mass Effect for PS3 and a litter of Tony Hawk’s), is tasked with merging the Cybertron series and Bay’s GMC-dominated franchise. I call it CyberBay.
Don’t get me wrong here. High Moon’s resume hasn’t gone without blemish. They even committed a virtual crime against the Autobots when they tried adapting Dark of the Moon, the result of which being catastrophically mundane. But their redemption in Fall of Cybertron was so triumphant, so marvelously entertaining, it became instantly impossible to see another studio roll out Gears-esque, mechanical slaughter quite like High Moon did.
I’ve nothing but well wishes to Edge of Reality, though. I may not love the concept, but I’m definitely for the proposed stat progression that spills across both single and multiplayer. And the game’s Extinction Mode – a new play on the nearing-ancient Horde Mode – means there’s a good chance replay value is to be had long after you complete the CyberBay campaign. So long as they respect the gameplay that made High Moon’s games work, that is.
Rise of the Dark Spark will be extremely hard to avoid upon release since it’ll grace the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Commodore 64, Wii U, and the 3DS. I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to figure out which one of those is a Decepticon lie.