A quick round of applause for UK_Allen, Author of our first Community Review, the very recent Transformers: War For Cybertron.
Ok so ive had this game since its release and I still can’t put it down. As a fan of the Transformers franchise from a small child this game does a fantastic job of taking me back of watching the original cartoons on TV before/after school.
The Single Player campaign is split up into 10 chapters with the first 5 focusing on the Decepticons and the last 5 on the Autobots, however if you want to play the Autobots campaign first you can do. The script for the story is both compelling and interesting, as it takes you through a tale set before Cybertron is running out of Energon (where the original cartoon picks up). It is also very humourous and unafraid to explore new takes on the relationships between the characters, for example, Megatron has several moments of sarcastic wit that I can never recall being done before. This only serves to keep you interested in the characters and adds to the lore and mythology of each of them. The other thing that really got me going in the campaign, was the scale of each of the levels. There are moments when you can be driving along a highway, or flying along as a Jet and you feel that the levels go on for ever and the war is everywhere around you.
The level design is fairly linear, funneling you from fight to fight with little or no hassle and any puzzle type areas that are encountered are really not that difficult, but it makes a nice change from game after game with sandbox environments. It has that classic feel of level progression followed by bosses that, much like the feel of the game, takes me back to earlier game formats I grew up on. This also creates some really great build up moments during the game to the main boss fights for each faction (especially the in the Decepticon campaign). Lastly, being able to share the experience in 3 player co-op is not only rewarding but also very fun when it comes to the big boss fights (especially when playing the hard difficulty). The reason being is one of the main flaws for me. Some times the friendly AI can be a bit…special and just stand there, or take over a turret and not fire it. Unlike the enemy AI which can be a bit too good sometimes and know exactly where you are even if you run around a corner and use the cloak ability. Its aim can also be a bit ridiculously good even on the Normal difficulty setting. One the other hand, having a friend scream at you to transform and start driving because Omega Supreme is firing all his missiles at you can mean the difference between living, or becoming scrap. It’s for this reason that I would definitely recommend doing it Co-op for hard mode. It is practical and also adds to the tension and scale of the larger battles.
The Mulitplayer is has all the fairly standard modes, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, King of the hill, etc and is also quite fast paced. It takes a while to get used to the four character classes that you can be as each plays very differently, using either head on, subterfuge or hit and run tactics. Much like in the MW2 style, the ability to unlock and customise your characters skills and weaponry lets you pick your own play style and also encourages you to play with different combinations and try new things. The thing that disappointed me most about the character creation however, was the section for customising your characters look. This consisted of merely picking a hull for the character class you were customising, then picking the primary and secondary colours. I would have preferred a mix and match approach, putting different parts together. However I can see the reasons for not doing this as it would really complicate the transform animations. Another feature the game has borrowed from MW2 is the prestige mode, in this case called ‘Prime Mode’, adding a bit of longevity to the games lifespan. The different classes seem quite balanced when used effectively and as they are intended, however it does take some time to get used to the more complex ones. For example, when I first started playing, I knew I wanted to be a Flyer. Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, The Aerialbots, I loved them all and wanted to experience the same joy in the game that I got from the cartoons watching them. So I enter the missions and found that I was dying very quickly in stand up fights. The levels did give me a good amount of room to fly around in which I liked, but on the ground I was very vulnerable. The reason being the jets only have 3 bars of life, which I found a bit surprising as the scout class has 4. I couldn’t fathom why they thought for example, a bumblebee sized car would have more health than a Starscream type seeker, but after several matches and a few perk unlocks, I found a few nice combinations that allowed me to fool the other team, get in close for a kill or two, then quickly fly away back to the safety of my own team to recharge the ability.
The last mode is Escalation. This is a kind of mash-up of the Horde Mode is GoW2, and the Zombie Nazi mode in COD: WaW. The idea being that you and up to 3 other players all pick your Transformers from the main cast of characters and hold out against increasingly harder waves of opponents. Every kill gets you Energon points which you can spend on new weapons/equipment and opening doors to new areas with better guns. Teamwork is vital quite early on as the computer can quite easily overwhelm an unorganised team, also sharing energon to unlock the more expensive doors will often lead to better progression than someone doing all the work themselves.
As I have said the game does have a few flaws however, the AI as I have already mentioned can be a bit special sometimes and there are some quite obvious bugs in the game such as invisible walls and the occasional fall through game world. I feel it could have used a bit more testing before its release to iron out these bugs, as there are times when they can take away from the experience and in some cases, glaringly obvious. Unlike some recent releases such as Red Dead Redemption with its phantom horses and people stuck in the ground, the bugs are generally not encountered THAT often and 90% of the time barely noticable.
Overall I’d give the game an 8 out of 10. It’s not fantastic, there’s not that much new in it. But the gameplay is fun, the level design is effective and doesn’t bore you. Theres always something going on in the background and there are very few quiet moments except to pace the chapters out (much like in the first MW). On top of this the story is solid with a great script. The characters are believable and have definitely gone back to the G1 roots we grew up with.
This is a great game for newcomers to the franchise and for old-school veterans, it’s the game we’ve all been waiting to be made for 20 odd years.