Would you play a multiplayer video game in which you only controlled one limb of a character, while your friends controlled the others? What if, I asked a developer of a Transformers game, it was Devastator's leg?
Don't expect to play the role of Scrapper or Mixmaster any time soon.
While multiplayer gaming is huge in video games (see: Call of Duty), while team-based multiplayer has been popular for years, and while Kotaku was recently told that this summer's Transformers: War For Cybertron game will have some sort of currently unannounced, crowd-pleasing competitive multiplayer modes, you probably won't be teaming up with friends so you can play as a leg.
This is not a random suggestion nor a bizarre omission. In the mid-1980s, Hasbro's Transformers toy line evolved from a collection of robots that turned into vehicles to a collection that included six robots that could merge into a bigger robot. The Constructicons were a bulldozer, a cement mixer, a dumptruck and other acid green vehicles that, aside from transforming into Decepticon robots, could merge into the mighty Devastator.
If you're going to get serious about a multiplayer mode in a Transformers game, then why not let six players on a squad merge into Devastator?
Matt Tieger, lead designer of the War for Cybertron games, said that this is an idea his team has thought of, but it doesn't seem like it would ever work. Consider the gamer who would play as the Mixmaster of Scrapper, the Constructicons who formed Devastator's legs. Said Tieger: "They guy who is the kneecap, what does he do?"
What, indeed, would the leg guy do? Other than walk? Maybe it wouldn't be fun. Devastating.
For what will actually be in the War For Cybertron games — which we're told, only include robots that turn into a vehicle; no triple-changers, no Headmasters, and probably no Pretenders — check out last week's eyes-on previews of the console and DS games in action.