Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Behind The Crosshairs: The Weapons Of Transformers

by Ben Reeves on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM

When High Moon started developing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, the designers put out an open call for anyone in the studio to submit ideas for new weapons. A flood of concepts soon rushed in, and the programming team spent weeks turning a list of offhand and oddball ideas into a prototyped arsenal. Take a look at the creative munitions born out of this experiment.

The Upgrade System
Each weapon can be upgraded through universal munitions stations scattered around the planet. “We really made a conscious choice to make every upgrade a significant improvement, so one upgrade might increase your firing speed by 75 percent,” explains game director Matt Tieger. “We could have made the system so that there were a lot of upgrades that each improved your guns a little bit, but we wanted to make each upgrade feel like this giant thing. That way when players buy it they’re really going to feel the difference.” The great thing about this upgrade system? Players only have to buy each upgrade once, as every upgrade carries over to other characters whenever they use that weapon.

Fall of Cybertron boasts such a creative list of weapons that many of High Moon’s concepts feel like they would be at home in a Ratchet and Clank or Resistance title. Players can outfit themselves with one primary and secondary weapon – usually a damage-heavy explosive cannon. Both Autobots and Decepticons have access to every weapon in the game. Here are a few of Fall of Cybertron’s more impressive Saturday-morning specials. And be sure to check out these guns in action in the weapons gallery below.

A4 Pulsar Cannon
The A4 Pulsar Cannon fires a giant projectile that players can detonate at will. Players can also create a makeshift minefield for opponents by fixing these energy clusters to walls within the environment and having them explode when enemies draw close. “It’s actually pretty fun in multiplayer,” says lead programmer Andrew Zaferakis. “Lots of times guys line up just right so you can aim this at one spot and get the whole group of guys behind them.”

X18 Scrapmaker
The X18 is basically a chain gun. It can cut through Autobots like toy cars in a barrel, but it also burns through ammo quickly. Upgrades for this weapon increase its ammo capacity, windup time, running speed, and accuracy. “This gun looks giant and heavy when tiny characters like Cliffjumper are holding it,” Zaferakis says. “But larger character like Optimus Prime can hold it like it’s nothing.”

Chaos Rift Combustor
“This was originally an alt fire for Megatron’s tank, but it was cool enough that it needed to be its own weapon,” Zaferakis explains. To use the Chaos Rift, you must first line a shot using the weapon’s aiming arc. The Chaos Rift launches cluster bombs that land and spawn a flurry of mini explosives. You can also manually detonate the cluster bomb in the air, creating a meteor shower of little bombs over your enemies.

Dimensional Decimator
This tiny grenade tears a hole in the fabric of space and time. After players discharge the explosive, an energy funnel begins to rise into the air, pulling everyone in the vicinity toward it before finally exploding and spraying shards of its victims in all directions. “It basically creates a giant gravitational black hole,” Tieger explains. “It’s got a black center with green tornado effects around it. It looks really cool.”

Energon Harvester
The Energon Harvester is basically a shotgun that leaches health off enemies while healing your character. “This doesn’t do as much damage,” Tieger admits, “but it’s a way for players to gain heath back. Like a combo between a shotgun and a drain gun.”

Gear Shredder
This fearsome weapon launches spinning eradicator blades. “It cuts limbs off enemies and ricochets off surfaces, so if you know a guy is taking cover around a corner you can hit him with a bank shot,” Zaferakis says. “You can also, charge it up and run around with a spinning sawblade to melee enemies.” One of the Gear Shredder’s upgrades allows players to launch multiple blades at once to take out a spread of enemies; another causes the saw blades to home in on a target after they bounce off a surface.

Nucleon Charge Rifle
The Nucleon Charge Rifle is the game’s sniper rifle. Thus, it’s got a zoomed-in scope and a powerful single-shot blast that increases in damage the longer the player aims at the target.

Riot Cannon
This is High Moon’s equivalent to Megatron’s arm cannon. “This is a traditional shooter weapon, but once it’s upgraded we turn the last shot in your clip up to 12. It’s like a mini nuke basically,” Tieger explains. “This is a really unique gun because we find that people want to run around with just one bullet left.” High Moon is still fine-tuning the Riot Cannon, but right now the final shot does somewhere around 300 percent normal damage and causes a giant explosion capable of eliminating an entire wave of oncoming enemies.

Photon Burst Rifle
It’s a standard assault rifle, but when players have this weapon equipped they have the passive ability to see their enemy’s health listed on their HUD. “It’s a decent, long-range burst rifle that is relatively accurate, but the unique twist is that it gives you that extra information,” Tieger says. Once the Photon Burst Rifle is upgraded, players no longer have to pull the trigger each time they want to fire the gun, and can instead set it to auto-burst fire.

Don’t forget to check out the hub for our month-long coverage of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Head there now to check out our video profile of the new Optimus Prime.