Transformers Universe; An action packed massively multiplayer war that throws you into the fire of the most epic conflict online– noble Autobots vs. malevolent Decepticons. Recruit your squad from dozens of battle-ready Transformer Warriors - Only the most astute and daring commanders will prevail.
A new Transformers war is dawning. A new struggle between good and evil. And this time it’s a conflict that once started, can never end – or at least, not until the servers close.
Think of Transformer Universe’s robot heroes as toys. You’ll collect them, upgrade them with new weapons and equipment, and you’ll need to repair them, too, as they get destroyed in action. They also serve as your ‘lives’ in battle: although you control them one at a time, you’ll pick a roster of five to take into action. Selecting the right types for the scenario will be key, whether light and fast, ideal for negotiating tight city environments, or heavy and powerful for holding ground. Their vehicle modes will play a part, too – enabling access to different areas of the maps, for example – but Jagex are close-lipped about this for now.
As its stands, Transformers Universe isn’t quite the MMOG that you’d assume the maker of the spawning, traditional and rather crude-looking RPG RuneScape would produce. Yes, it’s also free-to-play and runs in a browser, but it sports detailed 3D graphics and isn’t a huge world-spanning game built on questing and crafting. Instead, it’s a tight multiplayer action game with a focus on story and collection, and it’s strongly influenced by the leading online games of today: the likes of League Of Legends and World Of Tanks. It’s had a relatively short development time – work only began in earnest early in 2011 – but you get the impression that it’s had a fairly twisting gestation. It was, in fact, a traditional MMORPG with avatars wearing (transforming) robot suits until Alex Horton came along.
Transformers are about war; they’re about action. They don’t carry gold, bake bread, catch fish, cut down trees. But for all they take away, they throw open so many more opportunities,” says Horton about the reasoning behind the retooling. “Maybe there’s more in a selection of characters and abilities, and the strategy in that, than there is [in] levelling a character endlessly and going through fuck loads of boss battles.
Such practicalities aside, however, you’d imagine that Hasbro would be anxious that Universe fits neatly into the franchise’s existing template, and to an extent it is, ensuring that the game doesn’t tread on the toes of the timelines of the Michael Bay films and Prime. But we need to make ourselves enough space to do our thing.
And so Transformers Universe isn’t a quick and dirty tie-in. It’s a considered blend of the brand with contemporary gaming trends and Jagex’s experience in online. With the ambition to live up to both Transformers’ fame and RuneScape’s legacy, Transformers Universe also marks a new chapter for this exceptional company, a point at which Jagex will finally publicly stand up in its role as one of the world’s leading online game studios. In many ways, then, Transformers Universe will be Jagex’s cotillion ball.
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