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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review

WOW!

I’ve never started writing a review with my jaw on the floor, but I’m still reeling from the magnificent spectacle that is Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. This new Transformers game from High Moon Studios is the sequel to 2010′s critically acclaimed War for Cybertron, a game that took everyone by surprise. It was a Transformer game that wasn’t a movie tie-in but rather it carved its own path and rebooted the Transformers franchise (videogame anyway) on a mythos that a generation of children-turned-adults grew up with.

War for Cybertron was the game we all deserved from a franchise that had been replaced with movie tie-ins and the world was better for it. It was inevitable that a sequel would arise and with it most assuredly a bigger budget and a more robust offering. I am thrilled to say that Fall of Cybertron hits that mark with Energon to spare!

Check out the full Transformers: Fall of Cybertron review after the break.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron picks up shortly after end of the previous game with the Autobots scrambling to evacuate their home planet of Cybertron. The planet has been sucked dry of all its precious resources and the very core of the planet itself has been corrupted by the machinations of the maniacal Megatron (play the first game right now if you haven’t and punch yourself in the face for waiting this long!)

The game will throw you right in the thick of it as you start the game playing the final chapter and then proceeds to tell the story of how the Autobots arrived to that point as one gigantic playable flashback scene. This approach is well done and creates a level of pacing that continue until the very end.

The one noticeable difference between War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron is the absence of a co-op campaign. High Moon Studios chose to go for a well-crafted cinematic experience that takes the time to put players in the shoes of specific characters as the story evolves. This approach has allowed them to create an intense campaign that gives players a variety of gameplay experiences ranging from stealth sequences all the way to full-on button-smashing melee fights. The campaign was done so well that i actually had goosebumps during some of the more intense sequences. (Spoilers: Metroplex sacrifice)

TECHNICAL PRESENTATION

Graphics – The Unreal Engine has been pushed beyond its limits with this game. Of course we all know that Epic Games hit the pinnacle with Gears of War 3, but I’m pretty sure Fall of Cybertron just knocked them off their crown. With an absense of human characters it’s hard to tell how Fall of Cybertron compares on that level as far as human character models and realism is concerned, but the scale and scope of this game is undeniable! Some of the levels take the concept of a sandbox to a whole new level. I was flying helicopters and jets through some amazingly detailed and gigantic levels.

The level of detail put into all the design elements was awe inspiring. Watching my character animate while standing still with servos and gears turning was all part of the immersion. High Moon Studios definitely set a new standard for utilizing the Unreal Engine and in the process have made me fall in love with the Transformers universe all over again (pretty much erasing all my nightmares of how Michael Bay destroyed my youth with the last 2 Transformers movies).

Audio – The biggest requirement of any Transformers game as far as sound is concerned can be boiled down to two things:

a) voice acting
b) transformation audio

You could get Peter Cullen to read a 800-page thesis on the creation of dust particles and it still would sound exciting. Having him in the driver’s seat as Optimus Prime’s voice is enough to make any 80′s child jump up and down with glee. I’m willing to forgive the fact that Frank Welker is not voicing Megatron on that merit alone. The rest of the cast are all well represented and are faithful to their cartoon counterparts that we all know and love; (Grimlock and Jazz are the best of the bunch) and yes hearing “Laser beak EJECT”  almost put me into a fan-boy coma!

MULTIPLAYER

Now that we got the singpleplayer portion out of the way, I felt that multiplayer need it’s own section in this review.

I went into it expecting a fun but ultimately loosely balanced offering. I figured that the ability to balance out a class-based multiplayer with transforming  robots and included things like jets, helicopters, cars and tanks would ultimately bite off more than it could chew. I mean if Call of Duty couldn’t figure out how to balance a multitude of guns and perks, how could High Moon Studios juggle guns and vehicles?

Well they did and they did it well. The game incorporates all the standard features from games before it, (the aforementioned Call of Duty deserves a lot of credit) and puts its own spin on it. The gamplay is fast and frantic, encouraging constant mobility. At first glance it looks like another mindless run-and-gun experience, but upon closer inspection, it’s very clear that players are moving around and using true blue tactics all the while switching between robot and vehicle modes seemlessly.

Character customization is quite robust and allows you to swap individual body parts to create some unique looking Transformers. The level of customization and personalization in this game approaches the level of some MMORPG’s on the market; I definitely had a smile on my face when I played a match filled with unique, player-created Transformers everywhere. It felt like a PVP arena in World of Warcraft and made me want to stop and admire everyone’s creations.

This is a multiplayer experience that ranks up with the likes of HALO and Gears of War. My advice? Don’t miss it just because the game bears the title of a childrens toy line from the 80′s.

PROS:

+ Graphics
+ Storytelling
+ Overall respect for the material!
+ Robust multiplayer features

CONS:

– Muddied character models in multiplayer (models not as defined as in singleplayer)
– Singleplayer campaign was to linear and didn’t afford a lot of open-ended gameplay.
– Corridor shooting and scripted sequences

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a major title that belongs in the same league as other major triple-A titles this year. Buy it, rent it, borrow it; It doesn’t matter as long as you get your hands on this game as you need to experience Cybertron in all its videogame glory.

Written by: Dwayne “EVO Knight” Morash

Dwayne is an avid gamer and has a passion for competitive play and the community that surrounds it. Dwayne’s knowledge of the gaming industry dates back as far as the 8-bit era and he brings a wealth of gaming and industry knowledge to his competitive gaming company, EVO Gaming Unlimited.

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Posted on September 26, 2012, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dude, I have to get this game. BTW, I love your website background!

    • Thanks for your comment! High Moon Studios has shown great respect for the source material and pairs that with great gameplay.
      Good combination right?
      I’ll pass your comment on to our art guy who created the JTM logo for us earlier this year.

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