Jagex announced today that they're months away from launching Transformers Universe. They also explained why they haven't released many details on the game lately.

"2013 was a critical year in the evolution of Transformers Universe," said Jagex CEO and CTO Mark Gerhard on the game's website. "It was essential that we just knuckled down and got on with the core gameplay, and that unfortunately meant there was not much news to share for anyone outside of Jagex. However from today onwards you can expect regular updates, and soon all start participating first-hand as the game moves from core development, through each stage of community participation, balancing, polish and iteration."

Transformers Universe is inspired by the visual style of the Prime animated series. That won't be the sole inspiration for the game, though. Jagex has said in the past that the game will draw from various Transformer works.

Universe was first envisioned as an MMORPG. Now, though, Gerhard describes it as a "massively online tactical action game." Players will lead a squad of Autobots or Decepticons into battle with and against players. Each Transformer has their own weapons and augments. It's up to the player to decide on a strategy that makes full use of their unique capabilities.

"Legendary" Transformer characters - Optimus Prime and the gang, I guess - appear in the game as well. It's unknown whether they'll actually participate in battles, though. Jagex is promising additional details on this aspect of the game soon.

The first thing on the developer's to-do list is to release a gameplay trailer and screenshots showing off some of the characters. They'll also provide information on the features and modes of Universe. Last we heard, the game uses an updated version of RuneScape engine and I'm very curious to see how Jagex has upgraded their old tech.

Before Transformers Universe officially launches, Jagex will hold a beta test. They haven't announced a start date yet. However, you can sign up now at their website. You'll have to choose your faction and your commander name when you register so you've got some thinking to do.

"2014 is the launch year for Transformers Universe and the start of an epic journey as you #testyourmetal," Gerhard said. "Soon you’ll be able to experience this for yourself as we roll out to BETA. I look forward to seeing you on the frontlines."

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