Plot: What’s it about?
As you should be able to tell from the game’s title, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron puts you right in the middle of the final days of the Transformers’ home world. You take control of both sides of the conflict, as the Autobots attempt to escape the doomed planet and the Decepticons push to finish the world’s total annihilation. Most of the game plays as a third person shooter, similar to the other recent Transformers games from High Moon Studios. The action feels solid and is responsive, with a nice arsenal of weapons and power ups at your disposal. New to Fall of Cybertron is an upgrade system that lets you enhance certain weapons, unlock perks, and purchase new weapons and consumables. The currency is gained from defeating enemies and finding caches, so if you look around you’ll find a good amount to tinker with. The campaign has a good duration and features a solid story, but I do wish it would have been co-op like War for Cybertron was.
The fun doesn’t end with the campaign however, not even close. You’ll find a fully featured competitive multi-player suite, which is sure to be a big hit with fans. You have standard team death match, conquest, capture the flag, and a mode where you have to turn in the dropped sparks from your fallen enemies to get credit for the kills. You can choose from four classes, each quite unique and with useful abilities that can turn the tide of battle. As you rank up, you unlock powerful upgrades for your weapons and variants on your armor. I found conquest to be the most fun, since it tended to last longer and feature more chances to use class abilities and vehicle transformations. The rank system covers each class in separate fashion and you can’t prestige until you’ve hit max rank on all four, which could be a climb for some players.
Also back is the Escalation mode, which lets up to four players team up to survive fifteen waves of enemies. All of your actions earn energon points, which can then be redeemed for weapons, ammo, health, or unlock level specific goodies. So perhaps you want to unlock a door that opens up a new area to explore, or spend some points to turn on flame jets to broil incoming foes. Some of the locked doors and such are expensive, but teams can work together to share the burden of the cost. The class abilities can really be life savers in Escalation mode, with healers and drones that can make a huge difference. I love Escalation mode and I was pleased to see it return, but I do wish more maps were included. I’m sure future DLC will tack on more locations, but the selection at launch isn’t what I’d call robust.
In the end, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron packs a lot of content for players to explore. A solid campaign, an addictive co-op mode, and a well crafted competitive arena all await with this release. While I do wish campaign co-op would have returned, otherwise I have no real complaints to make. I had a lot of fun with all aspects of the game and overall, this is High Moon Studios’ most polished and refined Transformers game. The game mechanics are smooth and responsive and the depth of content is impressive, not to mention the enjoyable story and remarkable visuals. So for fans of Transformers, Fall of Cybertron is a must own and for anyone who enjoys action games, it is one you won’t want to miss.
Video: How does it look?
This game looks excellent, plain and simple. The attention to detail is stunning at times and you can literally feel the world collapsing around you. As you play you might miss out on some of the smaller touches, but even at a full clip you can’t help but be drawn into the grim atmosphere. The character designs look great, as do the weapons, but the locations and backgrounds tend to steal the show. This is just such a larger scale than previous Transformers games, which really sets the stage for the heated finale and that boosts the story a lot. I think Transformers fans will simply love the visuals on showcase here.
Audio: How does it sound?
The game’s sound design aims to deliver an action blockbuster soundtrack and it succeeds. The game is wall to wall action and it sounds awesome, with explosive power from start to finish. I’m not often that impressed by a game’s sound design, but a lot of work went into this one and it pays off. The large scale conflicts yield so much depth of field, you feel like you’re on the battle ground, while guns and explosives pack the expected kick. The overall atmosphere is just excellent and bolsters the epic scale the story and visuals help create.