Rise of the Dark Spark: What Does the Amalgamation Mean?
It was announced recently that the next Transformers game would be a cross-gen title that will accompany the film and shall be released in time for the movie’s release in June.
The press article alone would have us believe this is a direct tie-in to the movie and most likely a low quality movie tie-in game, rather than any sort of sequel to High Moon’s fantastic Fall of Cybertron, sequel to middling War for Cybertron.
The trailer would reveal that it’s neither one of those things, but both at the same time, sort of.
In turns out that Rise of the Dark spark is indeed the third game in the “Cybertron” series AND the tie-in game to the upcoming fourth film in the franchise.
It should be noted that isn’t the first time this has occurred in the franchise…sorta: The tie-in console game for Dark of the Moon used the “Cybertron” engine, was developed by High Moon and was okay if not rushed for a movie game.
So now we come to the fusion, since the inception of the “Bayformers” universe in 2007, games have alternated between original works, movie games, web and Facebook games and more recently games based on the “Prime” series on television.
Rise of the Dark Spark represents an interesting tack but not necessarily a good one. Fall of Cybertron was easily the best Transformers game to date. Featuring a quality campaign with an engaging story, tons of fans service that stretched even beyond G1 and a solid multiplayer mode. Fall of Cybertron finally proved that Transformers was not just Bayformers or the many forgettable TV shows geared toward the younger audience since Beast Wars, the story could be told in an engaging fashion.
RDS as I shall refer to it is a bizarre beast, though details are slim, it looks to either crossover the universes in an attempt to attract fans of the “Cybertron” games and fans of the film franchise into buying the one product or establish that the “Cybertron” series is the history of the Bayformers (though I’m sure that would clash with the little known movie verse comics, the scale of the comics audience is comparatively tiny).
Another concern is the change in developer, High Moon has moved on to Deadpool and other projects. Edge of Reality, who has a history of providing quality ports of fairly big games, is now helming the task.
Brief Resume includes 64 versions of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, PS3 Mass Effect, Sims 3 on consoles and Dragon Age: Origins for consoles.
It’s solid resume for a developer that has very little original works, though their new game “Loadout” is an enjoyable free-to-play romp on steam so they’re not bereft of talent.
Whichever way it goes, two things are likely to happen:
- A game that hasn’t seen enough improvements since Fall will emerge, simultaneously hurting the film games’ credibility and souring the “Cybertron” series fantastic history. Think Arkham Origins, AC: Revelations, Resident Evil 5 and Crackdown 2.
- We find ourselves with an enjoyable third Cybertron game that manages to provide a decent campaign that elevates the Age of Extinction element above crappy tie-in status.
It is very unlikely we’ll see something better Fall of Cybertron, especially considering it’s being done by a port company using old High Moon assets (the trailer shows the “Cybertron” series assets looking unchanged but with slightly higher polygon counts) and it has to carry the AoE storyline to a conclusion that completes both stories without feeling like the whole idea was a tacky business decision.
Though it’s good to know that it will indeed feature “Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Escalation; the online multiplayer mode where four players fend off waves of increasingly tough enemies returns with upgradable defences being added. The mode will feature over forty playable characters. In addition, experience points collected by players, in single-player mode and multiplayer mode, will be shared” in the way of improvements.
Either way, I know where I’ll be come middle of the year, spending an inane amount of legal tender getting my “next-gen” Transformers up and running.
See you then for the review.