Ready for Prime Time?
There is a reason why the Transformers intellectual property is not only massively popular but has managed to retain that ridiculous appeal for nearly 30 years. Combining everyday objects like cars, jets, and even animals with the mystery and fascination inherent with giant robots is the stuff kids' dreams are made of. Later this year, thanks to developer Jagex Games Studio, both today's children and those of yesteryear have the ability to fight alongside or against their favorite transforming characters in the storied Cybertronian wars.
Transformers Universe is aptly named for the intended scale of this massively multiplayer online game. Since it is being developed for internet browsers and is free-to-play, it should be easy for most anyone to access the game, ensuring that there should be no shortage of people to play against (a key facet to successful MMOs). Anyone hesitant about how the game will turn out need not worry, as the studio has quite the pedigree in developing MMOs, including the insanely popular fantasy game RuneScape. Universe's engine is actually built with an advanced version of RuneScape's in order to ensure that the game looks great on its browser platform.
Expectedly, at the outset, players will have the option of taking up arms for the good-natured and outnumbered Autobots, or as a soldier within the ranks of the cunning and evil Decepticons. You will also be able to customize the appearance of your robot, however, sticking within the confines of Transformers Prime's art direction and owing to each faction's innate personalities, Autobots will likely have rounder, softer edges (reflecting their kinder demeanor), while Decepticons will sport sharper, harsher ones (reflecting their colder, untrustworthy behavior). Admirably, the developers are hoping to have hundreds of interchangeable pieces to help make your robot as unique as possible.
In order to keep gameplay varied, which will be team-based to encourage a sense of community, you can also choose between different classes. The only one revealed so far is the bulkier Brawler class, which is perfect for those who prefer figurative and literal Tanks (as in, you can actually transform into a tank) and like to be right in the fray of battle. The classes you choose will generally be designated according to your robot's vehicle mode (motorcycles, jets, sports cars, etc.). Luckily, the developers intend to have vehicle variety within each class, so the player is not stuck with something they do not want.
While Transformers Universe takes some design and narrative cues from the currently airing Transformers Prime iteration, the original series, and the ever-expanding toyline (with help from toy company Hasbro), it will be very much its own game and not set in any existing Transformers timeline. It is a wise move by the developers to garner support from both new and old Transformers fans.
Writes for a few media outlets, does graphic design work for a few clients, as well as production work for a few studios (all poorly). Believes the best correlation between the words "twilight" and "sparkle" has less to do with vampires and more to do with a sarcastic pony.
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