Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is about the fall of Cybertron and the Autobots escape from the Decepticons – what a surprise. Following on from the success of War for Cybertron, the makers have some high expectations to live up to. But do they deliver or will they make this like one of Michael Bay’s movies? Adrian Cajili reviews the latest part of the massive Transformers multiverse.
(Did we also mention that you can make the gun actually go ‘pew pew’? No? Well, now you know.)
Customisation, Campaign and Multiplayer gameplay are amazing!
The controls can get really clunky at times, level design can cause a bit of confusion
Fall of Cybertron includes a lot of new and classic modes, appeals to both core fans and new players.
A continuation of events from Transformers: War for Cybertron, the game greatly focuses on the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons and their ongoing war for their home planet. There is no option to play either side for the campaign, but is built into the storyline, where the first half you play as the Autobots, where you mainly protect and investigate, whereas the other half is just smashing and blowing up cybertronians. Not having played the previous game, the storyline was easy to follow as it updates the player of what has happened. It gets quite confusing at times (especially the last mission), but overall the storyline is pretty easy to understand, even with the inclusion of Bruticus a large robot that consists of 5 Transformers (think of a Megazord from Power Rangers) and dinobot Grimlock.
There is some emotion shown through the characters, even though these are robots. You can see Optimus’ desperation to save the Transformers race, and Megatron’s anger towards Starscream due to his horrible leadership. which gives player the motivation to continue the storyline to see the character development. Although I knew what would continue from the campaign, I sat there wanting more by the end, I was THAT into the story that all I had in my head were questions (but it wasn’t similar to ME3)
Graphics and Gameplay
The game plays quite like the previous title, a 3rd person shooter where players are able to transform between robot mode and vehicle mode. Bringing in a new health system that is similar to Halo Reach, where players now have a recharging shield, and a health bar that can be replenished by Energon cubes. This being the first Transformers video game I’ve played by High Moon, the campaign was an exciting and new experience, being a huge fan of the series till Michael Bay came along. With the inclusion of Teletraan I kiosks, I was able to use a variety of guns throughout the missions, which ranged from Heavy Machineguns, to a weapon that turns enemies into allies. Perks and deployable items were also included in the Campaign which is a nice touch that encourages replayability of certain missions.
Controlling certain characters got a bit clunky at times, as larger Transformers would get stuck at invisible barriers, and there were many frustrating moments with jumping and transforming. The AI got really frustrating as I experienced several death screens at certain checkpoints, realising that perks DO make a difference whilst playing through the campaign. Increasing the recharge speed, or increasing the health bar, perks helped with ‘firefight’ scenarios, and changed the gameplay.
Aside from those minor problems, I ended up, enjoying the campaign, and the level of customisation that was included, as well as the handful of easter eggs that were scattered throughout the campaign (I loved the carlton-dancing robot!) The graphics were great for this game, as it showcased many environments of a dying mechanical planet. Although some levels would be seen as ‘repetitive’ or ‘confusing’, the main feature I couldn’t take my eyes off were the animations. Aside from the character designs, I loved the transforming animations of the characters and guns so much, i would just sit there and continuously click the thumbstick to see my character transform, noting that every character has a unique transforming animation. Which brings me to the multiplayer feature of the game.
I would describe the customisation in multiplayer as ‘crazy in a good way’, since you can create your own unique transformer customising parts from head to toe, to the colour and voice. There are 4 classes that have class-specific weapons and abilities, each having their own pros and cons. The Infiltrator class includes fairly strong weapons, and the Cloaking or EMP grenade abilities, two of which are very useful, but has the least amount of health out of all the others. Whereas the Scientist class allows you to fly, giving you a lot of manoeuvrability, and gives you the ability to heal others and deploy auto-turrets, but gives you a difficult set of weapons to use.
The four game modes which include Team Deathmatch, Conquest, CTF and Headhunter, are fast paced and are very engaging, although I don’t see multiplayer being a strong competitor to other shooter games being released this holiday, Fall of Cybertron still draws players in with its unlockables, prime/prestige mode, challenges, as well as the different game style.
Escalation makes a return in the game, which is more of a Transformers take on Halo’s firefight and Gears’ horde mode, four players work together to defeat waves of increasingly difficult enemies. The difference with Fall of Cybertron, is that players are given the option to play any of four famous Decepticons or Autobots (being mission specific), and each having a special ability that can be used with, or on team mates. This mode was interesting but I’m not able to give my full view on it, since it was difficult to find games online.
Whether you’re a huge fan of the universe or not, and whether you have played the previous instalment, Fall of Cybertron provides an epic storyline that brings you in the war between the Autobots and Decepticons before they came to Earth. There are many features that appeal to fans of the series as well as new players. the cast of Transformers characters is very well done, as it includes nearly all types of Transformers from Dinobots to Insecticons.
Fans of the series can see how these characters came to be in the fiction, and new players can experience the different style of gameplay through ‘transforming’ to and from alternate modes, and the level of customisation. The game was really enjoyable for me, mainly because of the fun gameplay, and I have always wanted to create my own Transformer.
High Moon Studios have done an amazing job in staying true to the fiction and have revitalised the franchised with its engaging gameplay.
The version reviewed was on Xbox 360. The game is also available for PC and Playstation 3.