From the earliest days of the Commodore 64 back in the 1980s, computer and video games have been an essential part of the Transformers world. The forthcoming release of the live action Bumblebee spin off has brought the welcome news that it will be accompanied by an all new video game. However, this is not something you are likely to be able to download to your phone or play on your PC – at least, not initially.
A return to classic arcade gaming
Last time we were promised a new Transformers-themed game, it was looking to take the franchise into the cutting edge world of MOBA-style eSports gaming. Games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 attract millions in sponsorship deals and have a widespread following among players, fans and even those who have got into the growing sector of eSports betting. Transformers Universe looked like it was going to go down the same road, and would have made a perfect eSports game. Sadly, however, it never went beyond the stage of beta testing, and the plug was pulled in 2015.
For the subsequent three years, we have been waiting in anticipation of something new, and Shadows Rising is certainly that. No MOBA social gaming here, and not a smartphone app in sight. This is a classic arcade game based on a classic franchise in the classic format. And we can’t wait.
About Shadows Rising
Developed by Sega, Shadows Rising is a cabinet game that is being rolled out across arcades imminently, to be in place in time for the release of the new movie later this year. The game was unveiled at the Amusement Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year, and is a welcome update to the Human Alliance game that came out in 2013.
The shooting action is conceptually similar to Human Alliance, and you rain the bullets on the Deceptions as you help the Autobots. Helping is actually an important part of this game, and the two-player co-op gameplay is highly rewarding, and brings a whole new level of engagement.
A look at the packaging
One of the joys of traditional cabinet games is that the artwork and effects that go into the cabinets themselves are just as important as what is inside. Comparing online games with these is a little like asking a music aficionado to compare a music download with a vinyl record, complete with sleeve art. It is from another age, and it is great that we still have games like this to enjoy.
For Shadows Rising, you are sitting inside an Optimus Prime. The head is glowering above you, and the trademark flames appear all around the cabinet. The effect is finished off with chrome exhausts and a large grille. This is not a game that will be easy to miss when it appears in your local arcade! Get inside and you are greeted by a brand new lever control and a fully immersive 55” HD screen in full HD and with surround sound.
When and where can you play?
The latest news from Sega is that Shadows Rising game will start shipping out to arcades this month. Given that the Bumblebee movie has a hard release date set for December, we can be optimistic that the US release will be quickly followed by a wider international roll out, and that Shadows Rising will soon be taking pride of place in arcades across the country from Southend to Scarborough and from Brighton to Blackpool. Watch this space for further news as and when it is forthcoming from Sega.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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