Solving 'The Austin Powers Problem' In 'Transformers: War For Cybertron'

Transformers: War For Cybertron

When "Transformers: War For Cyberton" is released this coming June players should expect to play as some of their favorite Autobots and Decepticons in more than one form, robot and vehicle. After all that is what transformers do, they transform. However, when players make their first change from robot to car (or truck) they may notice something unexpected about their vehicles' in relationship to the ground. They'll be breaking Transformer tradition, and hovering over it instead of firmly planting their tires on it.

High Moon Studios' director, Matt Tieger, explained to me that this intermediary step was included to overcome a unique, and unexpectedly amusing, gameplay obstacle.

"If you pull down the trigger your wheels are going to drop down and you drive more like an earth-based vehicle, so when you let up, you're hovering. And this was a really critical gameplay decision for us because when we first did it, we made earth vehicles at all times, and then we had what we affectionately call the Austin Powers problem, where you get into a tight hallway with a golf cart and back and forth, and there's just no fun there. So we worked with Hasbro on hover vehicles because they supported the gameplay better, and then allow us to do wheeled vehicles when you drop down into boost mode."

After spending a little time with the game it became clear that no matter what direction you were going in all transitions felt smooth and that even though there is an extra step included in the vehicle transformations, it doesn't hinder the gameplay at all. Additionally, the controls for the hovering bots was right in line with what you would expect for the bots that had their wheels on the ground so there's no level of confusion created there either. And, if you're wondering whether or not I managed to get Optimus Prime stuck in a corner; I didn't.