Developer: High Moon Studios
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: Out Now
ESRB: T for Teen
This review is based on the Playstation 3 version of the game
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, the latest offering from High Moon Studios, takes the series to greater heights and vast improvements. Yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same...
This game takes place sometime after the events of War for Cyberton. The clash between the Autobots and Decepticons has come to a head, and planet Cybertron itself is dying and will soon be nothing more than emptied husk. With the only option of survival being to flee their planet, both sides are scrambling for resources to fulfill their means. And it is at this critical juncture where both sides will stake their final stand.
The overall atmosphere of the game is a lot heavier and dreary than the previous game. As the world around them is crumbling, you can really see how dire the situation has become. And as you begin walking around the many base camps in the game, seeing various Autobot and Decepticon soldiers wounded and dying on gurneys and asking you if they will ever win this war, you can see how much the war has taken out of not only the planet but the people themselves. It all makes for a somber feeling amidst the chaos of battle, and battle is where Fall of Cybertron shines.
Much like its predecessor, each fighter you control has a robot form and a vehicle form you can usually switch between on the fly. Depending on the robot you are, the vehicles range from speedy sport cars, to tanks, to high-flying jets. While in vehicle form, you have access to many weapons, and the controls are very smooth and responsive. Playing as Starscream, I was pinned down on a bridge when I then quickly ran from cover, jumped off the bridge and transformed to my jet mode and took the fight to the air. Switching between forms to better fit the need of battle is the key to survival in the later stages of the game.
While in your robot form, you have access to many weapons like pistols, SMGs, sniper rifles, Rocket launchers, and shotguns. All of which can upgraded with a fee which improves their specs like faster reload speeds, reduced recoil, more ammo per clip, and in the higher upgrades special perks like adding fire effects or having the final bullet in the clip doing bonus damage. In addition to the main weapons, you can also purchase items like deployable shields, sentries, and grenades as well as permanent upgrades to your character like increased health or faster shield recharges.
While each robot has access to these weapons and perks, each character you play as gives a whole new experience to the game play. As you play through the campaign, the perspective will switch to different characters, each with their own style of play and abilities. Early on, you get to play as Optimus Prime, and his stages are more action packed with a focus on huge sweeping gunfights as his special ability allows him to call in air strikes. Later, you switch to a member of his recon team, Cliffjumper, who is a smaller and less durable member. His ability to use an invisibility cloak plays up his stealth-focused gameplay, making his levels more of a tense affair.
The strength of the campaign comes in the gameplay variety of the cast; no two members will play the same, and each provide a unique experience. A personal favorite of mine are Grimlock“s stages, where in lieu of guns, he fights with a sword and shield. His play style is visceral and raw, almost if Kratos from God of War was a transformer, and his transformation into T-Rex mode is just as satisfying.
The campaign itself is a bit short, clocking in at around 10 hours, but thanks to the online multiplayer, the game stays fresh. For the online modes, you can create your very own transformer and mod every part of it from color, limbs, vehicle forms, and even voice. In addition, you have access to a large armory of weapons and abilities within each class of transformer you use.
The modes are the standard fare: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Base Defense, and a more aggressive form of tag called Head Hunter. As you complete matches you get experience points and money which you can use to purchase new parts and looks. As you level up, you gain access to new and stronger weapons, upgrades to your old weapons, and even new abilities. All of which provide you with a unique fighter all your own. The other online mode, Escalation, is a horde mode where you and three other players defend against wave after wave of foes. The fights get pleasantly hectic and tense as the foes start swarming in.
All in all, Fall of Cybertron provides many improvements over the last game, from seeing more of the world to more variety in the gameplay and making another enjoyable online mode. I cannot wait to see where they take the series next.
+ Story is fittingly epic
+ Details and variety of the world a welcome addition
+ Online multiplayer nicely done
+ GRIMLOCK SMASH!!!
- Cover system leaves something to be desired
- Even for robots, they move rather sluggishly
- Campaign rather short
Overall Score: 8 (out of 10)
Despite the short single-player campaign, the story, pacing, and robust online multiplayer make this High Moon“s best Transformers yet.