Niantic Labs is used to bringing big name IP’s like Pokemon and Harry Potter into augmented reality (AR) and today it’s revealed another. The AR specialist company has announced a collaboration with Hasbro and TOMY on a new AR videogame called Transformers: Heavy Metal.
Built on the Niantic Lightship platform Transformers: Heavy Metal will see players team up with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and other Autobots as they battle the Decepticons. Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship is leading development creating a narrative where players join the Guardian Network, a group of humans helping the Autobots. As one of these Guardians, players have to discover resources and regions across the world whilst battling Decepticons in turn-based battles, either solo or with friends.
“Transformers is the perfect franchise for AR. Battling and interacting with giant robots in the real world is an amazing experience,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic. “We want to live up to the high expectations of Transformers fans around the world and bring them a game unlike anything they’ve played before.”
If you’ve played either Pokemon GO or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite then you’ll know the type of real-world gaming Niantic Labs encourages through its projects, requiring players to get out and about to maximise the experience. This is thanks to the Lightship platform Niantic has developed, providing real-time 3D mapping and multiplayer social experiences which developers can use to build their own AR worlds using the Niantic Lightship ARDK.
Specific gameplay details for Transformers: Heavy Metal have yet to be revealed but there shouldn’t be too long to wait to find out. While a global launch is slated for later in 2021 a soft launch will be taking place in select markets soon.
Transformers: Heavy Metal is in no way the franchises’ first foray into immersive gaming. There’s been Transformers: VR Invasion and Transformers: VR Battle Arena for location-based entertainment (LBE) venues, while back in 2017 saw Cade’s Junkyard AR Experience allowed players to control Bumblebee.
As further details for Transformers: Heavy Metal are released, VRFocus will keep you updated.