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TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal is a new augmented reality game being developed by Niantic in partnership with Hasbro.

The game was announced earlier today, with a planned release later this year and closed testing for New Zealand in June.

The Niantic CEO, John Hanke says the Transformers franchise was designed for augmented reality and I couldn’t agree more.

Transformers doesn’t take place on a fictional planet or world, it’s about the giant robots coming to Earth and battling in the middle of cities.

Whilst I’m not a diehard fan of the Transformers franchise, I do think it has great potential as an augmented reality experience.

Concept Art

Niantic has proved themselves as a great game developer, and despite the pandemic – Pokémon GO has been going stronger than ever.

I’m curious to see what the gameplay for TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal looks like. I guess we’ll find out more later this June in the New Zealand testing.

With that being said, there is one thing I’m worried about. Although I love Niantic’s games, sometimes the formula just ends up being too “same-y” and uninspired.

For example, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite played it too safe, and just ends up treading the same formula as Pokémon GO.

If TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal wants to take off, it needs to be different. The gameplay needs to be more than a “reskin” and actually be unique.

It’d even be nice to see the game use augmented reality for more than just a novelty too. Niantic has some great AR tech that never gets fully utilised.

Promotional Image

According to Bloomberg, Niantic is also working on nearly a dozen other games. Hopefully this doesn’t end up being too much for them to handle.

On a similar note, I also hope this doesn’t take away from any of their current games, like Pokémon or Harry Potter. I’d hate for them to spread themselves too thin.

TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal is also being worked on by a development studio known as Very Very Spaceship, so at least it won’t be just Niantic.

I’m unaware if Very Very Spaceship has worked on any other games, but hopefully they do an awesome job working with Transformers!

The developers are already planning out closed beta tests for TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal, which is a great sign.

It shows they really want to refine the game and make it a great experience. Also fingers crossed – hopefully bug free.

You can sign up for more information and pre-register for the game over on the Official Website.

If you missed the news, Niantic is also working on another AR game based on Pikmin in partnership with Nintendo. You can check out my other gaming related articles here!