Review: Transformers – Fall of Cybertron

I know what you are thinking, “Is there a new film out?” Thankfully this is not one of those shoddy tie in games that seem to get released when a popular movie is made, instead this is a purpose written story from High Moon and a sequel to their 2010 Transformers game cunningly entitled War for Cybertron.  If you have played the first game, then you will know that Cybertron is the home planet of the Transformers’ and the Decepticons were fighting the Autobots to control the planet.

Fall of Cybertron finds you trying to help the Autobots leave Cybertron in the search for a new home and a new energy source, namely Earth, however the Decepticons will never allow this to happen.

The main game opens as you controlling Bumblebee and the Decepticons trying to board the Autobots spaceship. This is the tutorial level of the game where you get to try out the controller set up, which works quite well allowing you to set up the controls as you how you prefer to play.

One of the first changes you will note in this sequel is that I stated you play as Bumblebee and not that you pick the character to play as, as in the first game. This time round High Moon have decided to write a story for each level that a specific character can show their strength, instead of making the game a generic shooter where it wouldn’t actually matter who you chose. For example there is a level that sees you play as Jazz that has an electronic whip, and you play a little like Indiana Jones, and a level where you take the role of Cliffjumper who can turn invisible for a short amount of time to help you creep past enemies in stealth mode. This is perfect as the character draws you in to the game and the story without getting tedious.

A big draw to this game that fans of the original cartoons will be happy about is the arrival of the Dinobots, and that you play a significant part of the game as Grimlock; with his sword in robot state and his T-Rex power when transformed he’s a serious powerhouse.

Through the campaign you will swap sides and become a Deception character for various levels, however some of these characters have similar characteristics to their Autobot foes, which is a little bit of a disappointment, however these levels are normally very action packed so it is only when you have completed the level you realise this.

For destroying the enemy during the game you collect currency which can be used at Teletraan 1 terminals to buy special perks, increased shield protection and weapon upgrades. To be able to upgrade the weapons you first have to find the weapon blueprints that are dotted around the game, some of which you will find on your natural route through the game and some that are slightly off the beaten path, so for those that like to try and get all the achievements/trophies there is plenty to find, as there are also audio logs and Energon shards that have been left throughout the levels.

Another good achievement that High Moon have pulled off in this game is that there are some amazing cut scenes and the vocals of the game characters, whether these are the ones you control or the computer controlled AI that turn up in the game. Often the vocal level steps up a notch just before the game puts you in to a timed section of the game, where you have to escape the level before the scenario takes your life. Sometimes through the panic that this introduces you end up making stupid mistakes, leading you to replay that part of the level again. Sometime though it is just not that clear as to where you have to go, leading to a failed level, but once you work out where you are heading you are able to complete the mission.

The one negative area that the game is let down by is the missing co-op campaign option that the previous game included, and this will grate on those that like to play games with their mates. The obvious reason this was left out is due to the script and the way the story progresses, but it’s still a huge shame.

All is not lost for the multiplayer in you as the game includes the standard competitive online options, being team deathmatch, capture the flag and a headhunter match type. These modes are really good fun as you can freely transform your character throughout the maps, which is necessary as the maps are large. As you play these game types you will rank up and earn points which will allow you to create your own transformer to use online. The mechanics behind this option is very deep and allows you to create amazing characters that the rest of the online community will be in awe of.

The last online game type is the return of the Escalation mode, a game mode that was amazing on the previous title and does not disappoint on this one. If you are new to this mode, you and up to 3 others have to fight through 15 waves of enemies that get madder and tougher. You may think “oh you mean a horde type”, however where this differs is that to go further in the waves you have to work as a team. Lone gunners will be ripped apart in very quick time, so be warned. As a team you will have to pool your resources to unlock the upgrades to your weapons and suchlike, and you have to work together as enemies will have to be destroyed in transformer and vehicle form. Therefore as a team you will need to work out who will transform and when, and if you’re all in one form you will be attacked far easier. Fighting to the end of the wave has never felt so rewarding!

High Moon has achieved an amazing game here and has carried on their franchise of the Transformers titles at a very high level. Yes the lack of co-op will annoy some, but for the majority of gamers this game is a must play. War for Cybertron had a wow factor that this game has continued; if you are a fan of the series, of Transformers, or you want a game that has a good story line, this is a game you should look to buy.

Reviewed on PS3

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