Jagex have told Eurogamer that beta testing of their new free-to-play, browser-based MMO, Transformers Unvierse, will kick off "very soon" in preparation for a full release next year. They've also dropped some new details. Read on for information about the class system, vehicle transformation and how Transformers Universe will relate to the recent cartoon series.
Player bots will belong to different classes, denoted by the vehicle that they can transform into. "Some people want to be tanks, some people want to be motorbikes, some people want to be sports cars, some people want to be an SUV. It's very much down to the person," executive producer Kris Jones told Eurogamer. "It's very easy to say, 'Oh I want to be a Jet,' but I think you'll end up with a wide variety of what people will want to be."
"If you pick one class you're not going to get stuck with one vehicle. And that's something we plan on building up over years," he said. Players' bots will also be heavily customisable. Jagex say they're eventually hoping to have hundreds of tweak-able parts.
Tranformers Universe will be built using an advanced version of the Runescape engine, which Jagex are calling "the next step in browser-based gaming from a graphical perspective." Stylistically Transformers Universe will take inspiration from the recent Transformers Prime animated series, though Jagex say that the storyline will be separate from the cartoon series and the films.
"We've taken some assets; we've been in touch with the studios and we've taken from that, but we are our own game - that's the bit that needs to be made clear. We're not making a game based on any existing continuity," says Jones.
"We don't want to pigeon-hole ourselves to just the toys, or just [Generation 1 1984-1993], or just Prime, or just the movies. We've been very clear that we want to take from all over the universe. That's why it's called Universe."
There are no screenshots or videos of the game in action yet. Check out the recently released Transformers Universe teaser trailer instead.