No matter the game, I waste more of my play time messing with mechanics than actually progressing.
Prepare for some serious rambling on Transformers and this. I'll be making some comparisons, though not for saying one game or mechanic is better than the other, rather just out of interest.
This game feels very similar to Transformers Armada (the 2004 PS2 one with the mini-cons), in that both have open maps, and the drones/mini-con collectibles are somewhat similar in the way they're hidden around the map. It really reminded me of searching TF's huge maps for Mini-Cons and Data-Cons.
Your default weapon, the Zapper, shoots a beam of electricity. You hold the button to maintain the beam until the meter runs out. It recharges near instantly and you can use it even if it isn't full.
This type of meter is how all the mini-cons work in TF, though there's more to it in that. The usage of the meter depends on the weapon and mini-con combo you have equipped. Some colors mean you get bonuses like more usages and faster recharge. Some weapons work like the Zapper, that is, a beam that constantly drains the longer you hold the button down, while some are single shots that consume a portion of the meter (or all/most of it depending on the power level).
Back to the Zapper, with an upgrade, it functions exactly like a mini-con called Sparkjump. Sparkjump fires a beam of electricity that can connect to nearby enemies. The big difference is the Zapper is slightly more multi-purpose, in that it actually stuns the enemies and puts them in this unique electrified animation (which is pretty funny because of how they squeal), holds them in place, and with the upgrade I mentioned, arcs to nearby enemies. You can fire it in short bursts and it cancels whatever the enemy was doing.
Sparkjump doesn't cause any stun, allowing the enemies to continue moving and attacking as normal. It has far more range and doesn't require an upgrade (though there is a separate Mini-Con that is a more powerful version).
Interestingly, DAH!'s other weapons don't run on the same usage mechanics. The Anal Probe is a charge up weapon. TF has these too, only you drain energy the longer you charge. In both games, you can release partial charges for different results.
AP is a really interesting weapon. First I'll talk about how it triggers its effects. It seems each enemy has a different threshold. When activated, they run away holding their asses and shitting themselves. There are two possibilities. If you hit them with a max charge, they run a few steps then their heads explode.
If you just hit with partial charges, they'll run like mentioned above, but will stop after a while and go back to normal. You can fire uncharged or partially charged shots which cause a small hitstun.
About the threshold, take this example. I hit a police officer with 1 uncharged shot, he takes a hit stun and that's it. But if I hit them with 9 uncharged shots, the probe kicks in and they run off. 2 roughly half charged shots got the same result. Full charge is instant for most enemies I've come across, though the Men In Black type take 3 full charges. It seems each enemy has a hidden defense stat with this weapon, that must be broken down.
When you trigger the probe with uncharged shots (so they won't die) after they stop running, a single uncharged shot triggers it again. At first, I thought it must mean once you break down whatever hidden stat they have regarding this weapon, they have no resistance and any level of charge will trigger AP, but then I found it doesn't work with every person.
I'm playing as I type this and just after writing the above, I realized that it doesn't do this on civilians. Oh yeah, I've been referring to them as enemies throughout this post, but most are just normal people walking around, and serve the purpose of noticing you and drawing police/military/agent attention, harvesting DNA from, or copying for disguises.
So, the instant version after a successful, non fatal AP only works on actual enemies who can fight back. So far I've documented farmers with shotguns, police officers, soldiers, and agents.
This instant version isn't very useful as it still doesn't kill them. I can't think of any reason not to go with a full charge. You don't lose any mobility while charging, so you might as well do it. I'm open to finding some new use though.
One other interesting attribute is once you've probed someone, and they go running off, nearby enemies will be distracting and stare at the probed person. So overall, it stuns, incapacitates (in that they can't act other than running away), and causes a distraction that essentially freezes other enemies.
The third weapon I have is the Disintegrator. This is quite powerful, though a more basic weapon than the other two. It fires basic energy shots, and kills even the tougher guys in a few shots. There are some downsides though.
It runs on ammo. You can replenish this with pickups littered around the map.
The second downside isn't that bad, but what happens is when you kill with it, the enemy, as the name of the gun implies, disintegrates, meaning you don't get any DNA.
Thirdly, enemies don't take any hit stun, so the tougher guys can be firing back while you're trying to land shots.
Basically functions like your standard TF blaster. The enemies in that game don't take hit stun from blasters either.
I know there's one more weapon, some kind of bomb. Should be interesting. My weapons still have upgrades to get I think, but the game gives them to you as you progress, so you can't just upgrade what you want when you want.
I'll talk about the Psychokinesis later and it's similarities to TF's Tractor Beam.