- Single Player
Well we promised a full review of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, and here it is. We’ll be covering, the single player, multiplayer, and Escalation mode. Click through to read everything we can possibly pack into a review without giving away any of the goods on the game!
We’ve had the opportunity to play Transformers: War for Cybertron on the Xbox 360 and have to say, that this game is great for fans of the franchise and people who’ve never played a Transformers game before. Just starting up in the game you get immersed into the world of Cybertron and the battle between Autobots and Decepticons. The story engulfs you and the game just sucks you in and before you know it, 4 hours have gone by and you’ve only cracked the surface of what this game has in store.
For starters to get this out-of-the-way, I’ve played the previous two installments of Transformers developed by High Moon and Activision, and they’ve progressively gotten better, the third installment takes all of the learning from the first two and pushes it even farther, in just about every department. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron feels like the most polished Transformers game yet and that makes getting immersed in the story and gameplay, that much easier for players.
Jumping right in the controls are familiar for anyone who has played a first or third person shooter/action game before. Since you don’t have to really worry about figuring out which button shoots and which button jumps you can quickly get started in the game. The game also sneaks in some instructions on critical controls (like transforming) so while you’re getting into the action you’re also learning how to get better at controlling everything. I personally like this approach instead of the traditional “tutorial” mode that has you run through obstacles or play a “dummy” mission just to teach you how to play. I want to get in the game and fast, so giving me quick pointers on what certain buttons do, or how to interact with elements is a much better way to go about it in my book.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is powered by the Unreal3 game engine and the Havok Physics engine. There isn’t much more that can be said about the Unreal3 engine other than it powers just about every AAA title on the market and we all know what it can do. In this case it really makes Cybertron come alive, from the interiors of ships to the moving and “transforming” walls on Cyberton, all the way to the details on the individual Autobots and Decepticons.
The Havok Physics engine adds a lot of great effects with gravity, explosions, falling bodies and moving elements and it’s great to see that it has come a long way from games like the Starwars the Force Unleashed. It is great to see destroyed Decepticon parts flying and bouncing around as you plow your way through levels.
The environments themselves are not the typical “lush jungles” or “rubble filled cities”, the game is set on the high-tech home world Cybertron. That means everything is metal and it feels like an inside out space ship, as you walk around there are terminals and piping but you look up and can see the vast skyline.
The character modeling is great for the main playable characters, and the more notable bosses. There is a bit of redundancy when it comes to the random no-name Autobots that you meet along the way. The enemy character models are about the same, as you go through the levels you’re introduced to specific classes of Decepticons, and you’ll see a lot of them. There are differences between the classes, but not the bots within the class, so you’ll certainly see hundreds of the same Decepticons, but then again, that is exactly how the Cartoon was so you can’t really complain.
Single Player Campaign:
Full disclosure here, I haven’t beaten the entire game yet, but every time I power up my console, I play through at least one more chapter of the game because it sucks me in!
The single player campaign is centered around the Autobots attempting to flee from Cybertron and the take over of Megatron and the Decepticons. You are faced with the challenge of protecting the Arc and getting it off planet to save the Autobot race. This is the most pivotal part of the Transformers story line and is what eventually leads the battle to our Earth. The campaign does a great job of making you feel that it is really important and everything you do, every challenge you face is bringing you one step closer to being the hero of the Autobots. Of course, it’s not easy, even on Normal you’re going to die, a lot, but luckily you can quickly load to your last check point to try and try again, until you figure out how to get passed those darned Decepticons.
The campaign progresses you through different Autobots that you can control. Each Autobot has their own unique characteristics and play style, if you try to run in and destroy everything with Bumble Bee like you do with Optimus Prime, you’re going to fail. The campaign also does a great job of introducing new enemy character classes, each with their own methods of acting and fighting. You have to constantly adapt to what the game is throwing at you and one style of play just will not get you through this game.
The multiplayer portion of this game is something that I was really looking forward to playing and getting in to. Jumping in to battle as an Autobot or Decepticon is always a great feeling and having to deal with different play styles and techniques offers a challenging twist. As a Transformer you have two modes for your character, full robot or vehicle mode, each offering its own advantages and disadvantages.
You have to stick with your team in this game, more so than in games like Call of Duty, or Battlefield. You have to rely on your team mates to help you destroy the oncoming enemy team. If you’re a “Destroyer” and you go up against an “Infiltrator” and a “Scientist” you’re going to lose. The “Scientist” will sit back and heal the “Infiltrator” and even if your “Destroyer” has better weapons you’re not going to be a match for a constantly healed bot.
The main game modes are the standard Team Death Match, Conquest, Capture the Flag and Headhunter. Each one is played on the vast landscape of Cybertron, with each map having its own unique terrain and challenges. The maps are huge, and you’re going to need to use both your robot form and vehicle form to navigate them. The maps do offer a lot of choke points and areas for all out battles, but you could easily get lost on a few of them and never see an enemy.
Simply put this is co-op / Horde mode that’s been in previous (and multiple other) games. You pair up with up to three friends (four players total) to face off against waves of oncoming enemies. Similar to the Call of Duty style of Special Ops, you get to purchase upgrades and enhancements between waves based on how much carnage you’ve handed out. It is a lot of fun and with the different bot choices you make you get different abilities and need to use different play stiles which certainly increases the replayability.
I’ve read all about the character customization, and the idea of building my own Autobot / Decepticon with the abilities that I want and the look that I want really appealed to me. At this point, the customization could use some more improvement, even though I’m used to unlocking additional “skins” or enhancements for my character through leveling, I just felt that the number of choices were limited. You can’t really combine abilities of specific classes so you’re locked in to a set of abilities from the get go. There are a limited number of head/torso/arm/shoulder/leg combinations, that although sizable, doesn’t really allow you to create a “truly unique” robot. Yes you can customize the color (Autobot and Decepticon options) and you can apply different decals, but I guess I just wanted more variety. you also don’t really customize your vehicle form other than color and weapon, so if you are an Infiltrator in vehicle form you’ll see four more like you during any game.
All things considered Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a great way to kick off the video game release cycle for this year (see what we did there?). The game is fun, fluid, action packed and adds some refreshing play to tried and true game modes. The different classes and different play styles of each reminds you of Team Fortress, with game modes taken from Call of Duty and Gears of War, mixed with a dash of Twisted Metal thrown in for good measure.
The single player is challenging, but not demoralizing. The multiplayer is vast and action packed. The Escalation mode enhances a great game mode with classes and vehicles. All in all the game hits all the right buttons all the right ways.
This game is a definite BUY