Kabam, makers of Marvel: Contest of Champions is rolling out with Transformers: Forged to Fight in a huge way. The mobile game reaches across generations of fans by having “robots in disguise” appear from a multitude of different media. That includes everything from the original (Generation 1) 1980s television show, to the comic books, to the toy lines and Michael Bay’s explosive movies from the past decade. Players are challenged to assemble and strengthen the ultimate team of Transformers using Autobot and Decepticon characters from almost every part of the franchise’s extensive history to battle corrupted robots and their villainous overlord using a variety of attacks and transformations.
Cuz Parry, creative director at Kabam, describes Forged to Fight as “an action fighting RPG game with deep strategic systems and a wide variety of modes and social features available to keep the game fresh and engaging for all types of Transformers fans.”
Parry also talked to [a]listdaily about how Kabam worked with Hasbro to develop the game’s story. “We’ve been lucky to partner with Hasbro to create a completely original story where characters from various Transformers realities collide on a decidedly hostile planet,” he said. “You are a battle commander who joins with Optimus Prime and the Earth Defense Command to unravel the mysteries of the planet and ascertain who’s really behind the chaos that is happening. Along the way, you’ll collect and level up a team of your favorite Transformers from Generations, the movies, and Beast Wars to start.”
Players will encounter over 25 characters when the game launches this spring, and they’ll have a chance to play through various story missions, arenas and special events.
When asked how characters from the ‘80s and ‘90s compared with more recent depictions, Parry said: “Visually, our artists have been working with Hasbro to create a look that allows all the characters to exist aesthetically in the same world. Obviously, classic ‘80s animation characters look quite different than the ‘90s Beasties (Beast Wars) and the recent cinematic bots, but we think we’ve updated and added our own flair to make them work together. In terms of gameplay, we have to make sure that everyone’s favorite characters are capable of competing (and beating) any other character depending on your skills and the strategy you employ in composing and leveling up your team. Lots of early players and previewers are pretty stoked to live out some cross-generational battles they’ve long dreamed of.”
In addition to revealing a new trailer at the New York Toy Fair last month, Parry said the game has been reaching out to Transformers fans by ramping up community engagement. “We just presented at Google’s keynote speech during GDC, and we’re getting ready for a big trailer reveal and hands-on booth presence at PAX East March 10-12. As Optimus might say, we’re really starting to roll things out!”
With Transformers: The Last Knight hitting theaters this summer, we asked Parry if there were any cross-promotional plans. He said, “although we are not a ‘movie game,’ there definitely will be some surprises from The Last Knight entering into Forged to Fight. We’ve had tremendous success with Marvel: Contest of Champions in giving fans of all aspects of the Marvel Universe fun and relevant content, and with Forged we’ll continue that tradition. Characters, environments, unique events . . . who knows?”
Parry also discussed the lessons learned from developing Marvel: Contest of Champions and how they applied to Forged to Fight. “From a technical standpoint, there were some things we wanted to do that technology has now allowed for,” he said. “You’ll see it in the effects, destructible environments with physics applied to objects and in other places.”
He also added that the Base Raids feature differs greatly from Contest of Champions. “We realized that in Marvel, as you play over the months, you accumulate lots of heroes that don’t really have a purpose anymore,” said Parry. “We addressed that by adding lots more things you can do with your bots. Away team missions, forging characters to strengthen other bots, and base defense all add depth and strategy to what you can do with your favorite bots. Base Raids are a big departure from Marvel and proving to be very popular with early players. It gives you a chance to place a gauntlet of your favorite bots on your base to defend your HQ and resources.”
The Transformers brand spans almost 33 years of television shows, movies, comic books, toys and more. We asked Parry about his thoughts on why these battling robots make for such an enduring franchise. “Wow, so many things contribute to the enduring love for the franchise,” he responded. “Classic stories of good versus evil resonate with the fan base. Bots with unique personalities that have developed into iconic and beloved characters helps. I think part of it is the point of entry for many is on the toy collecting level. The relationship and imagination that the toys spark truly touches people and pushes them on to other media to explore the stories and lore.”
Parry then added, “And, I guess there’s just something about giant robots that can transform into all sorts of cool things, waging a never-ending battle of right versus wrong, that is at the core of a lot of fans’ love of Transformers.”