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Video Game / Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 tie-in video game to the 2011 film of the same name, set in the Transformers Film Series. It is developed by High Moon Studios, fresh off the success of Transformers: War for Cybertron. This game incorporates many of the elements of War for Cybertron, such as Multiplayer classes, enemy types, and lengthy campaign missions, but also builds on it. In a departure from War for Cybertron, this game features only one playable character per level (as opposed to three for each War for Cybertron mission), allowing each level to be tailored for the playable character. Much of the voice cast returns from War for Cybertron to voice the movie incarnations of their characters (for example, Fred Tatasciore voices Movie Megatron and Ratchet, when he voiced the Aligned counterparts of the characters in War for Cybertronnote ) Peter Cullen and Jess Harnell are the only actors from the films to return as the voices of their on-screen characters.

The story, which is mostly in line with the films, though not canon, is that the Decepticons have been quiet for the past few years, making Optimus Prime and the Autobots grow wary of the ceasefire. Soon, however, the Decepticons return with a vengeance, and the Autobots set out to foil their schemes once again, albeit this time, they're stumbling on a conspiracy that's the greatest threat they've ever faced.

The game provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the film, Megatron mostly stays out of active combat and is no match for Optimus Prime in a direct one-on-one duel. Here, he fights Optimus Prime equipped with a rocket launcher, chainsaw, energyshields, and a jetpack and wins. With the same damaged, ramshackle body and alternate mode he has in the film, no less. Slightly alleviated by the fact that Megatron has an Energon siphon that he puts to use on the Autobots (and Starscream) before they fight. Without a steady supply Megatron's injuries catch up to him.
  • Anyone Can Die: Though the film cast is Saved by Canon since this is a prequel, that doesn't apply to any character who hasn't appeared in the movies before. The game sees the deaths of Breakaway, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Stratosphere, and Warpath; as well as the Mixmaster who menaces Chicago in the second chapter, and Enforcer in Chapter 3.
  • Ascended Extra: Mixmaster was just a background character or Devastator's head in Revenge of the Fallen; here, he's the main antagonist of Ironhide's level and leads the Decepticon invasion of Detroit.
  • Badass Boast: When Sideswipe reports the incoming Decepticons' attempts to kill them, Optimus says "They are welcome to try!"
    • After Megatron's battle with Warpath and at some point in his fight with Optimus Prime, he says "Pathetic! You couldn't take me on your BEST day!".
  • Call-Forward:
    • Megatron's all too correct when he swears that Ironhide will pay for getting one over him...
    • When he has Optimus dead to rights Megatron says that larger plans are a foot and spares him. One thinks that Optimus is important to said plans then...
  • Climax Boss: Optimus is the penultimate boss of the game, coinciding with the successful destruction of the Decepticon base, and soon the advent of the Decepticons plans in Dark of the Moon.
  • Continuity Nod: Megatron is still unable to transform after the heavy injuries he sustained in Egypt. He also mentions his icy imprisonment at the hands of the Americans.
  • Continuity Snarl: Megatron boots Optimus into Shockwave's cryo-chamber at the end of the boss battle against the Autobot leader, so Shockwave will kill Optimus...even though the film shows Megatron needs Optimus alive so he can use the Matrix of Leadership to revive Sentinel Prime and resume their plans
  • Developer's Foresight: If you transform before the tutorial on how to do so in Chapter 1, you get a Trophy called "I Know What I'm Doing!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: Starscream's chapter ends with him destroying most of the MechTech shipment as ordered, but opts to salvage one piece to potentially develop a countermeasure against the Autobots. A solid idea... were it not for the fact that the Autobots had the foresight to place trackers in their MechTech. The result is Starscream leading the Autobots straight to Megatron's lair. Megatron is most displeased when he finds out, and Starscream is only spared by the timely assault on the Decepticon base.
    Megatron: Starscream... (backhands Starscream) YOU IMBECILE!
  • Expy: The enemy classes are in practice the same as the ones that appeared in War for Cybertron, minus the Destroyers.
  • Gatling Good: Ironhide's Heavy Iron cannons as well as those used by the bigger enemies qualify. Optimus also uses his guns seen in Dark of the Moon in his flight mode, but sadly, you don't get to use them here.
  • Hold the Line: Several times, but most notable in Mirage's mission when he, Bumblebee, and Sideswipe must hold out until Major Reynolds' air support arrives.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mixmaster, the three Aerialbots, Stratosphere, and Warpath.
  • Me's a Crowd: Two Mixmaster's appeared in Revenge of the Fallen - one who remained in vehicle mode to form Devastator's head, and another who actively took part in the plot and the final battle only to be killed by Jetfire. This game sees a third Mixmaster show up as an early boss.
  • Motile Vehicular Components: All Transformers have the ability to go into a tertiary mode that allows them to hover as a fairly stable firing platform. Generally, for ground-based Transformers this means their wheels (or treads) flip downwards to provide lift while weapons flip out, while for air-based Transformers this sometimes involves their thrusters moving around to point downwards or the emergence of rotors. This is carried over to┬áthe sequel.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: During Optimus Prime's boss battle, he protects himself with four Energon Field Generators. Megatron needs to smash open cryo sprayers and then lure Optimus under the sprayers to weaken the shields so Megatron can destroy them.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Downplayed. Megatron monitors and oversees operations from base, but he also does his own work, as he alerts Soundwave to an old Sector 7 base he's uncovered. He's mostly staying at base to avoid detection and because he's still healing from his injuries in Egypt.
  • Precision F-Strike: Early into Ironhide's level, a soldier you pass encourages you to "give 'em hell", which can be jarring coming off of War for Cybertron or Transformers: Prime, but compared to what's been said in the films themselves, it's faint.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: Megatron uses the plutonium from two Soviet nukes to restore his strength enough to take on a new vehicle form.
  • Saved by Canon: As the game is a prequel to Dark of the Moon, the characters who are due for appearances in the film survive the events of the game.
  • Verbal Backspace: If the player scores a good kill as Starscream, he'll shout out, "For the glory of Starscre-err, Megatron!!!"
  • The Voice: Wheeljack is your Mission Control for the majority of the game, but he never appears in game, only speaking to you via comm links.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Starscream's level is almost entirely in the air.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Warpath, Stratosphere, and the Aerialbots (i.e. Air Raid, Silverbolt, and Breakaway) are there just to be bosses for Megatron and Starscream.
    • Warpath and Breakaway are more egregious since they're only there to give the Autobots a chassis in the Tank and Scout multiplayer classes.