Transformers Universe: The Pre-Rendering

By Alec Meer on August 5th, 2011 at 1:00 pm.

Sulkotron, roll out!
When The Transformers toyline was first released back in 1984, it didn’t waste any time: toys, comic, cartoon, branded stationery, the works. Boom: world domination almost overnight. It’s all so different for Jagex’s MMO Transformers Universe. Over the best part of the year, we’ve had a slow drip-feed of text-based annnouncement, mysterious concept art, a pre-rendered teaser and now a slightly longer pre-rendered teaser showing off character/art design and transformination style, which you can see below. Nothing in-game yet, however.

By my calculations, this trend means we will see a screenshot of the game itself by 2014. That’s approximately 900 days away, which by my maths would give you time to watch this 1m13s-long trailer some 1,065,205 times first. Better get to it, hadn’t you?

The game’s based on Hasbro’s current Transformers: Prime cartoon (and impending toyline) rather than yer classic block-o-bots or the insectoid-droids from Michael Bay’s intellectually challenging trio of arthouse Transformers movies. I think the Transformers: Prime style, intended to fall halfway between the movie and 80s ‘bots, is rubbish: all spiky bits and blank faces and piggy eyes. But what do I know: I’m a 32 year old man talking about what he wants a game based on a toyline to look like. You probably shouldn’t listen to me.

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33 Comments »

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  1. _Jackalope_ says:

    Little bit of a Tranformers Animated style in there too. That was a good series, much better than the Bayformers.

  2. wccrawford says:

    I think they messed up when they dropped the clean lines of the 80’s Transformers. The bots were instantly recognizable even if you had never seen them transform. The new ones, they could be anything. I honestly don’t think I’d have been nearly as big a fan if I’d grown up with either of the current series.

  3. Ross Angus says:

    I’m 39: my opinion is even less relevant. Please ignore this comment.

  4. Trelow says:

    SO EXCITED!

  5. KlaxonOverdrive says:

    Wait, they’re using both blue and red eye-based tech in this? Where can I preorder?

  6. MSJ says:

    Ooh, I love the Prime look. Especially when the upcoming toyline look soooo much like the cartoons yet still appear to be great in both modes. Even better than Animated in that respect.

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    Nero says:

    Blue and orange.

  8. MadTinkerer says:

    Jagex, where have I heard that name before?

  9. Jake says:

    1980s Transformers are still by far the best looking but I’ll take these Prime ones over the movie ones any day.

    • The Sentinel says:

      What are you talkng about? The only Transformers movie ever made features the exact same bots from the 80’s toyline?

  10. Zogtee says:

    Unless they aim really low, this is yet another MMOG destined for the bin.

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    shoptroll says:

    The bots look fine, but the logo looks like they’re using the Bayformer texture/font. I know nothing about the Transformers: Prime line though. Let alone anything that’s happened with the franchise since 2005 :(

  12. Brian Rubin says:

    They showed a bit of this at BotCon earlier this year, and it looked pretty impressive.

  13. aircool says:

    I’ve still got Jetfire kicking around somewhere.

  14. Wulf says:

    Actually, I’d say that Prime is designed to fall more between Animated and the films, since I can’t see it taking any visible cues from the ’80s bots. But that doesn’t surprise me.

    It’s a shame that Animated died though because–heretic that I am–I enjoyed Animated far more than I’ve enjoyed most other Transformers shows. It was light-hearted, and silly, and great for the kids. It’s a shame that it only lasted three series, because it was the closest thing I’ve seen to an honest reboot of the series. And by that I mean one that captures the spirit of the original.

    Plus, I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually liked the Animated characters. They had the most depth that I’ve seen in a Transformers show since Beast Wars. (Beast Wars would come in as my second favourite, not far behind Animated, as my favourite Transformers show. Beast Machines would likely come in third, and then everything else would just trail far, far behind that.) Not only that but all of the characters, even Prime, especially Prime, were eminently likeable. And that’s a thing, because usually Prime is often an incredibly shallow character. A leader without any charisma to speak of.

    In the Prime cartoon, Prime lost a large chunk of the charisma he picked up in Animated, and that’s a damn shame, and Ratchet was basically just a cheap rip-off of the Animated Ratchet. They almost copied his personality strike-for-strike, so he was the best of the bunch for being a direct rip-off, but he still wasn’t nearly as compelling as the Animated Ratchet. (“What do I look like, a taxi service for unprocessed protoforms?!”)

    Shame about Animated dying, really. I’d love to see more Animated and a game based on that.

    • The Sentinel says:

      If you haven’t got it already, Wulf, I heartily recommend getting hold of a copy of The Allspark Almanac, Vol2. Written by Animated’s creators, it is an absolute love-letter to both the series and Transformers lore in general. It also gives lots of hints about the plans for season 4. Definitely cancelled before it’s time; a sad loss.

      Transformers: Prime is decent enough but…shallow. Thin. I’m not sure if it’s the lacklustre writing or what exactly it’s missing but it has none of the magic, the soul, that Beast Wars or Animated had. I suspect it’s because it comes from the same team that wrote those horrible films.

    • Alec Meer says:

      It’s the Marvel UK G1 comics for me. I’ve probably said this somewhere here before, but they were basically how I learned to read. Also, why I am still a hopeless nerd, probably.

    • Jake says:

      Most traumatising things as a child: Impactor’s death, Megatron and Ratchet being fused together, Optimus Prime dying without his facemask, that Decepticon leader who was just a head.

      Actually, still traumatising as an adult.

      Did you try the IDW comics Alec? Some where written by Simon Furman again and were pretty good. And Last Stand of the Wreckers / All Hail Megatron were also pretty good.

    • Wulf says:

      @The Sentinel

      So noted. Will do!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Funny. I never gave Animated a chance because I hated the artstyle.

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      walaspi says:

      @Jake
      My traumatic transformers memory: panel in “target 2006″ where a yellow autobot is rescued from a pit of slag only to find his bottom half was melted away and dripping. Scarred.

      (Somewhat later traumatic experience: it actually being 2006.)

    • The Sentinel says:

      Boys boys BOYS!

      If we’re gonna talk UK G1 comics then you have to know about TWO amazing developments:

      1) The UK-created Transformers stories are all being remastered (whatever that means) and RECOLOURED for collection in a new series of IDW volumes. I haven’t seen any of the recolouring yet (despite desperately combing the forums) so I can’t 100% confirm it’s happening but the pre-order page for amazon is here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1600109438/ref=oss_product (ignore the cover image – that’s a placeholder, not the actual thing)

      2) Even more exciting than that is that IDW, led by Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman, are returning to the G1 run to add another 21 issues!

      http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/07/29/petition-accepted-idws-transformers-81-official-for-2012/

      Simon apparently had more to come in the stories and has always regretted the rushed cancellation – now he’s going back to finish it off! 2012, baby!

    • The Sentinel says:

      Raiyan 1.0 – Animated grew beyond it’s quirky, childish roots into something very special. Track it down – it pays homage after homage to G1, even bringing back half of the original voice cast.

      Walaspi – I hate to do this but I think you’re getting confused between the amazing Target 2006 and Blaster’s little pal Scrounge’s dip in the smelting pool at the hands of Straxus in US story, The Bridge to Nowhere. It occurred only a few issues before T:2006 so it’s understandable getting confused between them. :)

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      walaspi says:

      Yes! Quite right! How funny is memory – these were a huge part of my childhood weekends, scanning the list of story titles now almost every one before 1990 is familiar and brings back memories, and I have no idea what happened to the stack of comics. Will keep an eye on the remastering project (am I imagining remembering the placeholder image on amazon? Very possibly.)

    • Wulf says:

      Raiyan – Give it a chance. It’s really the characters that make Animated, which is incredibly unusual for Transformers, let’s be honest. Animated had really, really good characters. And Wreck-Gar in Animated was magnificent. You’re doing yourself a real disservice if you don’t at least give it a second look.

  15. The Sentinel says:

    [Comment moved to correct place because I’m an idiot and this explanatory notice left here because RPS still doesn’t have a delete function. Sigh.]

  16. Tony says:

    I assure those who read this that I am indeed a giant Transformers fan. Specifically in the realm of the comics (upon meeting Simon Furman and the entire crew of the late Dreamwave Productions, I told them all that I would happily take a bullet for each an every one of them. Except for Guido Guidi; I’d probably be the one pulling the trigger.) With that being said, it drives the living HELL out of me to see creators of Transformers, television, comic, and video game alike, continue the ongoing trend of making everything black and white: Autobots good, Decepticons bad! ::shakes head:: I can understand that the television show is directed at kids, who think in sharp distinctions, but most of the Transformers-fans out there consist of 20-somethings. We loved the series as kids, but we’re adults now. Do we still believe that the Union was good and the Confederacy was bad? Do we still believe that the Allies were good and the Axis were bad? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these two questions then you need to read some more history books. As adults, we realize that the line between good and bad is really fucking fuzzy. The current company releasing the Transformers comics (IDW Publishing) has played in these waters a couple times, but very cautiously. I’m just so tired of this insultingly simplistic universe. Developers: Grow some balls and make people understand that there are NOT intrinsically “good” an intrinsically “bad” sides.

    • The Sentinel says:

      That’s…kinda how they were conceived? Good versus Evil? And I think you’ll find that every instance of the comic, Marvel, Dreamwave and IDW have all had characters that strayed into philosophical middle grounds, and have all attempted to broaden the motivations behind each side. I get what you’re saying about the adult audience but many of us still enjoy the fantasy aspect of the TF Universe, where sometimes it’s just about the fight between bad versus good.

      And what did poor old Guido ever do to you??

    • Wulf says:

      There has been some interesting blurring of the lines in some shows and instances. The War for Cybertron game actually did really interesting things with this, too. I mean, it’s still a massive cliche there as well, but there’s more of a thing where there are some whom are hoping that Megatron will find his way again, and we see an Autobot Starscream defecting. It’s interesting stuff.

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    amishmonster says:

    I feel like a 43-second transformation process is a bit of a tactical disadvantage.

    • Wulf says:

      it’s Cybertronian porn. A good, slow transformation is enough to get any pure-blooded Cybertronian going.

      /nod

      And I’ve just killed the trailer for everyone.