Could This China-Exclusive Transformers Title Be the Best Online Game Based on the Franchise?

With the prevalence of smartphones and digital distribution services such as Steam removing many developers’ previous barriers to entry, users are today faced with a wider selection of free-to-play games than ever before. While it’s unquestionable there is a veritable array of engaging titles available at no initial cost, players are always looking for the next big thing – the next Dota 2, League of Legends or Clash of Clans. In trawling the world of up-and-coming titles, we think we may well have found one game that has the potential to become the best free-to-play titles ever: enter Transformers Online.


Credit: Transformers via Facebook.

Hasbro’s Transformers has been a mainstay in popular culture since the original toy line launched in 1984. Buoyed by successful sales and subsequent animated adaptations, the sci-fi franchise has successfully translated to the big screen, with director Michael Bay helming four movies based on the franchise since 2007, with a fifth planned to release later this year.

As a result, it’s little surprise that Transformers has also lent itself well to a number of video game adaptations over the years; it’s even been turned into an online slots game, Transformers: Battle for Cybertron, developed by IGT. The 4×5-reel, 40-payline title features CGI iconography from the franchise’s movies and is hosted by online casinos such as bgo, which suggests in its how to win at online slots guide that such sci-fi titles are particularly popular amongst men. The title is also hosted by other operators such as Casumo, which offers a number of free spins as a welcome bonus to players.

Elsewhere, Transformers-based video games range from 1985’s The Transformers on the Commodore 64 to Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, released to critical acclaim for current and last-gen consoles in 2014. The aforementioned Battle for Cybertron is actually the franchise’s second iGaming venture. Online casinos including bgo and slots-exclusive Slot Boss formerly hosted the title.

Perhaps the finest video game adaptation of the franchise to date, however, is the aforementioned free-to-play Transformers Online, a team-based shooter that is currently available exclusively in China. Developed by Tencent, the company that purchased 84.3% of Clash of Clans developer Supercell for $8.6 billion last year, the title is clearly heavily inspired by Blizzard’s Overwatch – and that’s no bad thing.

Featuring a range of Transformers heroes with unique weaponry and personalities as its playable characters, Transformers Online also offers a Sparks system for in-game upgrades. The currency is essentially equivalent to League of Legends runes, and can be used to level up characters and purchase more advanced weaponry. At present, its primary game modes, eight versus eight team deathmatch and point capture are also borrowed from Blizzard’s shooter, but as the title is still in beta, expect many more to be added down the line.

Transformers Online arguably trumps Overwatchin the visuals department, featuring stunningly detailed sci-fi locales and character models, while its core gameplay is almost as intuitive. Providing Tencent continues to add innovative features based on the franchise, such as the Sparks system, rather than simply attempt to re-skin and rehash Overwatch, Transformers Online could well be one of the most engaging free-to-play titles of all time when it eventually heads west.

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