Transformers Universe Footage Rolls Out

I call him 'Tegamron'

Three or four years ago, I would have fallen to my knees and begged for a Transformers MMO. Today I would not, which is partly because I feel totally burned out on MMOs and partly because my knees increasingly make this unpleasant clicking noise if I bend them too abruptly. But you can be damned sure I’ll at least have a big old fiddle with the character creator in Jagex’s upcoming Transformers Universe even if the long-haul of levelling and whatnot is too galling.

Get a look at the first proper in-game footage below. Spoilers: robots.

It’s surprisingly good-looking given it’s a browser game, doing a fine job of capturing the slightly spindly style of the slightly tedious Transformers Prime CGI cartoon. I’d rather build a big, blocky G1-style bot, but these look fairly characterful and at least it’s not the indistinguishable insectoids of the Michael Bay movies.

We still know vanishingly little about how the game plays, but with a 2012 release still nominally on the cards I guess we’ll find out soon. Can I play as Unicron? I’m sure that would be fair.

You can ‘sign up’ for a faction – Autobots or Deceptions, naturally – over at the Transformers Universe website, though it doesn’t seem to entail anything except newsletters as yet.

Via Gamespot.


  1. Neurotic says:

    What do we think the chances are of a re-design for the ‘bots in Transformers 4? I hated all the Bayformers, but I maintain they would have been at least comprehensible if the ‘bots had been a) distinguishable from each other, and b) at least *slightly* recognisable from their other incarnations.

    • Prime says:

      As far as visuals go Bay’s robots simply aren’t Transformers. End of.

      I can’t believe they’re letting/making Bay do a fourth film. I really can’t. Nor can I believe the box office takings. WHO IS WATCHING THESE ATROCITIES when far superior films such as Dredd aren’t even breaking even on their paltry budgets??

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        For the same reason as why hip-hop sucks in ’96. It’s the money.

    • skinlo says:

      I liked the first Transformers.

      I never cared about the cartoons though, so didn’t have rose tinted glasses.

      • Neurotic says:

        I had to use my rose-tinted electron microscopes to discern which robot was which.

        • HisMastersVoice says:

          I find that hard to believe, unless you have major optical issues. You may not like the designs, but as far as I can tell, the important characters were easily distinguishable.

          I never cared for the boxy, old style look of the characters though, so I did not find the new designs offensive. YMMV.

          • Xocrates says:

            Only if by “important characters” you mean the humans.

          • HisMastersVoice says:

            You want to tell me you couldn’t tell the difference between Bumblebee and Optimus at a glance?

          • Xocrates says:

            Optimus, maybe. Bumblebee I recall being yellow.

            Ironhide, Ratchet, Starscream, Megatron, Barricade, Jazz and the others I have no idea what they look like.

            And if you’re about to argue that they weren’t important, I will point out the title of the film.

          • Baines says:

            To be fair, they weren’t important to Michael Bay. Bay himself described the first film as being a movie about a boy getting his first car and girl. Notice the lack of mentioning giant transforming robots in that description.

      • Prime says:

        I never cared much for the cartoons either but my opinion of the franchise couldn’t be higher having evolved through nigh-30 years of development and refinement. Bay’s version of events was built for morons with ADD and higher than average testosterone levels, people who still think dick jokes are riotously funny. Bay gave us DE-volution well past what the awkward original cartoon ever managed.

        About the only thing they did right was to cast Peter Cullen as Prime.

        The new designs weren’t offensive, just crap. All that cleverness poured into something that you couldn’t properly distinguish on screen when things got busy. A visual mess. That’s bad design right there. Plus, in my opinion, they look awful, inelegant, awkward, clumsy and stupid. Gah.

    • Jackablade says:

      Nah. The transformer art style, while undeniably very, very bad, was still not that high on the list of bad things about those movies.

      If they started by firing the writers, ideally into the sun, and then reminded Bay how to make a dumb, fun action movie without it being offensively stupid, I think you’d be off to a decent start.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Still love the Charlie Brooker quote about the first Transformers film: “It was like being pinned to the ground while an angry dishwasher shat in your face for two hours.”link to

  2. Hunchback says:

    It said 2013 in the video…

    Also: Checked the site, gotta say the way they transform (it’s their main “thing”, for christs sake!) is quite badly done – Instead of having a slow animation where you can trace every piece of the vehicle moving around and taking a new function, these bots just flip in the air and magically become a vehicle/bot. I am not even sure of the two models use the same pieces or during the flip they just change everything so that it looks the way they wanted it.
    I am not a huge fan of the Transformers, but i hope this is just because of the early stage of development and they fix this for the final product.

    • Neurotic says:

      The ‘fast flip’ transform has been the style now for quite a few iterations. You’re right that it looks a little rushed in the video, though I’m hoping that’s down to low video quality or pre-Alphaness or something.

      • Prime says:

        If you watch a lot of Transformers: Prime you’ll find that that’s exactly how they do it as well. Lots of cheating going on to get the models between modes. C’est la vie.

      • Hunchback says:

        Ah sry, i’ve only seen the original Transformers back when i was like 10 or so.

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Eh.. not too big of a fan of the style of these bots. And I very much expect this to be a traditional MMO so I don’t intend to go anywhere near it. Then again, maybe they’ll surprise me.

  4. SocraticIrony says:

    As its a Jagex game I expect it to be point and click, and require incessant grinding to get anywhere. Should do well!

  5. Crosmando says:

    “A monetization approach is not a game concept”

  6. Chizu says:

    I really don’t care for the Prime style robot designs. I’m glad the Cybertron games stuck to blockier chunky robots. Thats far more awesome :V

    I will probably give this a look when it comes out though, just it being transformers at least means that much.
    I expect to be disappointed though. :(

  7. Trillby says:

    “But you can be damned sure I’ll at least have a big old fiddle with the character creator”

    We don’t need to know that Alec. Nice name for it though.

  8. Kirjava says:

    Didn’t see a whole lot of, y’know, transforming going on there.

  9. NeuralNet says:

    This is possibly the most underwhelming trailer and concept for a game I’ve ever watched.
    Honestly, a transformers MMO could be fantastic, there is so much potential there, the lore even lends itself toward selling vanity items to make the robots look unique in interesting ways, it really has all the ingredients to be a slam dunk… and this is the result.

    On another note, I understand it’s a browser game, but lordy, that frame rate is something else!

  10. yurusei says:

    Hopefully the main story doesn’t involve an NPC that looks like Shia Lebouf with a mission to save a hawt girlfriend.

  11. Jake says:

    I want to be that one whose penis transforms into a minigun.

    Why are they all bobbing about like they are breathing? And what’s with all the enormous hammers?