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Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Games that Should be Made: Transformers RPG

This is the first in a new sporadic column, "Games that Should be Made". In this column, I'll talk through a title, IP, or concept that I not only find interesting, but that I think has innovation, gameplay, and/or commercial merit.

The Website for the Michael Bay Transformers DreamWorks film has gone live (and is oddly counting down to this July 4th, even though it comes out next July 4th; but, whatever).

And, I've been watching Season 2 of the 80s cartoon, thinking about how much the Atari PS2 video game sucked, and how glad I am Activision (X-Men: Legends, Marvel Ultimate Alliance) now has the video game rights for the franchise. Activision hasn't said what the game genre will be, or what its tie is to the film.

And it hit me.

There should be a Transformers Role-Playing Game (RPG). Maybe even an MMORPG. But at the very least, a CORPG (Co-Op RPG), like upcoming Xbox 360 titles Phantasy Star Universe or (to a lesser degree) Too Human, where you and 3 buddies can play online and level up.

Think about it:
  • Mythos-friendly factions -- At the very least, Autobots and Decepticons).
  • Character classes -- Vehicle mode or transform type (a Blitzwing-like character (tank/jet) would be an "Engineer" class, slower but heavier hitting; Ratchet/Red Alert/Ironhide-like characters could be "Medic"/"Cleric" classes)
  • Expansion packs -- Meet the fanboy need by adding expansions that map to the seasons, series, and toylines (Generation 1; Headmasters); Add Beastwars characters/classes later, or have dinobots "discovered". The work is done for you!
  • Places to play -- Earth, Cybertron, the Decepticon moon or deep sea bases.
  • Character customization -- Pick your faction, your class, and colors (which would effect your robot and transformed look). Allocate your stats, and start leveling from there.
  • GamePlay options -- Are you a straightforward Autobot or Decepticon? Or are you a Dinobot, not always keen on the Autobots, or an Insecticon, with the same ambivalence to the Decepticons? Are big guns like Megatron (ha!) like the Jedi in Star Wars Battlefront? If you're a combining Transformer (like Constructicon Scrapper, who is part of Devastator), maybe you can only be that character, and can party with the other 5 Constructicons, and if you comine, only one of you get to control Devastator, but it rotates control quickly, so pay attention, and don't lose the fight for your team.
And so it goes.

Yes, this game should so be made.

I'm calling Activision.

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