The Turing test is all very fascinating for academics, I’m sure, but how does it apply to video games? How could we tell whether a Transformers Universe player is an abusive, incoherent teenager or a robot? Maybe every other player is an AI training for the day it’s housed within a fighting robot that’s also a beat-up Chevy? We’ll be able to test our robot-detecting abilities from tomorrow, as that’s when its open beta phase will begin.
Our Alec played a bit in April and quite enjoyed himself, not simply because it’s about Transformers. It’s a 4v4 PvP sort of thing (Jagex unhelpfully call it a MOTA: Multiplayer Online Tactical Arena), with modes including team deathmatch and capture-and-hold. Which is all good and well, but I’m most taken by how Transformers can switch between fighting robot and vehicular disguise forms. Few games can have cooler mounts or travel forms than Transformers.
The game has been in closed beta for a while, doing that popular (popular? prevalent) free-to-play thing of selling ‘founder packs’ with beta access and in-game cash to buy microtransaction stuff.
Transformers Universe’s open beta will start at 11am on Friday. If you absolutely positively must begin playing as soon as possible, you can register your account now. The open beta launch will be accompanied by all sorts of pageantry too.
Here, have a gander at this recent developer video going over one of its robots, Sparkscape: