Transformers: War for Cybertron Review
developer: High Moon Studios
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jun 22, 10
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Out of all the cartoons I used to watch on TV during the days of my geekish childhood, the Transformers was the only one that kept my attention for some reasons. Maybe I liked the characters or the setting or the music or perhaps it was just my boyish yearning for more toys, which I collected at the time. Indeed it could be all of those things combined. Frequently, I to think I've outgrown stuff like bloody robots changing into airplanes, cars and what have you, but in the end, I realize I never could. For some reason, the theme continues to fascinate me. To this day, I actually want be like Optimus Prime and the endless war between Autobots and Decepticons is cooler than most modern-day sci-fi stories we get from Hollywood movies. Sure, it's childish as hell, but I can't help it. Honestly.
Understandably, I was more than excited about Transformers: War for Cybertron. The universe presented in this game is absolutely meant to attract fans of the franchise, especially those who fondly remember Transformers: Generation 1 and all of the characters and events that transpired within that timeline. Yes, to most people it might appear to be nothing more than another attempt to milk the well-known license and bring it even closer to younger generations. Well, that goes without saying, of course. However, unlike recent Transformers games, this one, thankfully, wasn't influenced by a corresponding Hollywood movie release.
Does anybody know where we're supposed to go now?
Need a new car battery damn it!
In Transformers: War for Cybertron players are cast back into the early wars when Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, sought to assume control of the entire planet. The game portrays these dark days of Cybertron's history and offers an account of how Optimus Prime rose to power, thus becoming the leader of the Autobots. Players may choose to experience the story from Decepticon or Autobot perspective, both of which give you an insight how both factions operate when trying to accomplish their goal. Decepticons fight ferociously and without mercy, blindly following their heartless leader Megatron, while the Autobots fight honorably to restore piece and freedom across the crumbling world of Cybertron. There's also a rich roster of playable characters, including Tranformers such as Optimus Prime, Arcee, Air Raid, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Silverbolt, Megatron, Barricade, Breakdown, Shockwave, Slipstream, Soundwave and more.
This is a classic 3rd person shooter, with a lot of action stretched across a 15-hour single-player campaign, in addition to an optional co-op campaign, a cool survival style mode called Escalation (4 players may experience this one on two maps). There's also a competitive multiplayer mode, which emphasizes class-based gameplay, which is a good thing of course. Up to 10 players may play at once, in various modes such as team deathmatch, deathmatch, node control modes and, naturally, an unavoidable variation of CTF.
The single-player portion of the game is where we've spent most of our time. The multiplayer proved to be fun, but the storyline and solo play is what really interested us in this one.
As I've already explained, War for Cybertron is a standard shooter, mostly focusing on pure console-style action. Most sections in the game involve gunning down wave upon wave of robotic enemies, until you reach a checkpoint. The shooting is frantic and exciting, particularly when you're playing in co-op. You'll spend a significant amount of time hunting for ammo and weapon caches, because your reserves will run out very quickly. This isn't necessarily a gameplay flaw. In fact, it sort balances the combat mechanics, actually making the game more challenging. This aspect of searching for ammo often increases the importance of transforming. It'll give you more incentive to rely on the robot's vehicle form. To cut a long story short, you'll be fighting Decepticons (or Autobots), hunting for ammo, Energon cubes and different weapons, while trying to achieve the main objective.
Gamers can grab a variety of weapons along the way, from rocket launchers and plasma cannons to stuff like assault rifle style weapons, mini-gun style weapons, pistols and snipers. When your enemies decide to pick a fight up close and personal, you can resort to a rather effective melee attack, which causes a lot of damage.
Transformers fans shouldn't miss out on this one, the voiceovers and cut-scenes evoke the feel of the old animated cartoon series, it's generally a fun ride in every mode that's on offer;
The game doesn't bring anything new to the action genre, friendly AI gets confused and annoys the hell out of the player.