A Game Review on Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Xbox 360)
Transformers: War for Cybertron launched in June 2010 and was generally well received, often being considered the best Transformers game out there. The game offered a new look and feel to the war between the Autobots and Decepticons, while keeping the spirit of the classic Transformers television show alive. The third-person action shooter was widely praised for the design of the Transformers, the voice-acting, gameplay and multiplayer but cited the background visuals as often being too repetitive. Nonetheless, War for Cybertron was a huge success for High Moon Studios, and paved the way for its sequel Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron directly follows the events of War for Cybertron with the Autobots and Decepticons battling it out for control of Cybertron. The Autobots now seek to escape from Cybertron, which was rendered uninhabitable in the previous game, in search of a new place to call home. The Decepticons want nothing more than to see the demise or surrender of Optimus Prime and the Autobots, attempting to sabotage the Autobots attempts to leave Cybertron. The Autobots must call upon all their strength and resources in order to fight back against Megatron and the Decepticons.
The game features many playable characters for either side. For the Autobots you can play as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Jazz, Jetfire, and Grimlock. On the Decepticon side you are able to play as Megatron, Starscream, Bruticus, Soundwave, Vortex, and Onslaught. each character has their own special move such as Jazz's grapple, CliffJumper's stealth cloak, and Optimus' use of the giant Autobot Metroplex. The levels are built around the special abilities of the characters such as Jazz's level consisting of various platforms that could only be reached with the use of his grapple ability. The Transformers themselves feature updated looks and designs from what we saw in War for Cybertron.
My favorite character to play as in the game was Grimlock, who is also my favorite Transformer outside of the game as well. His character plays different from the rest of the cast. Grimlock is given no long ranged weapon, but instead carries around a giant sword, being able to inflict large amounts of damage with it. To allow Grimlock to attack enemies that he can not melee, he is able to pick up explosive canisters and throw them at enemies, which proves to be a little too tedious at times. Grimlock can not change into his alternate form at will like all the other characters, but must accumulate enough rage in order to transform into his dinosaur form. Once he changes into this form he is practically unstoppable.
The game is divided up into 12 different chapters, which takes about 45 minutes to complete each one. Total gameplay time ranges between 8-9 hours, which is fairly short for games these days, although it does have replay value which helps make up for the shorter campaign. The level design in Fall of Cybertron is a step up from the repetitive levels in War for Cybertron. Each of the levels give you a beautiful look at the destruction of the war-torn Cybertron. Nothing in any of levels felt particularly repetitive, but all offered up another unique look at the planet of Cybertron.
The gameplay for Fall of Cybertron is quite similar to the previous game, but with a few improvements. The movements are typical of most third-person shooters, while the controls for the vehicle mode are fairly simple and easy to learn. High Moon Studios did make some welcomed improvements to the game. With the press of the B button (Xbox) or the O button (PS3) on the controller the Transformer will switch their gun hand in order to make attacking from behind cover easier. New weapons were added to the game, giving players a larger selection, with the ability to be upgraded multiple times increasing fire rate and power significantly. In order to upgrade these weapons you must accumulate enough sparks, which you get from kills, in order to purchase upgrades.
Escalation Mode is a survival game mode where you and three others are pitted against 15 waves of enemies, with each wave getting increasingly harder. Throughout the game you are able to purchase ammo and weapons by spending shards you accumulate from kills. As the wave number increased more and more sections of the level will open up, allowing players access to different weapons. You and your entire team are given 3 chances to defeat all the waves, and after that its game over. Every time you die, you enter what I consider to be your "Last Stand", where you lay on the ground awaiting one of your teammates to heal you. You are still able to shoot using your primary weapon, but if you are attacked once while being down you are officially dead and can not re-spawn until after the wave is completed.
In the multiplayer you are given the option to create your own character. You can be an Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan, and/or Scientist. After you choose your character class you are given the options for which weapon loadouts you want, depending on the character you have chosen. You can then choose the armor, and finally the personality. For personality you able to choose which Autobot and Decepticon colors you want, you can choose the voice of your character, and you can even rename the character. You can customize each type of character to your liking and then alternate their usage each match during the multiplayer.
There are four types of multiplayer games. Team Deathmatch consists of team vs team, and the first to 40 kills wins. Conquest involves controls multiple nodes throughout a level, with the first to accumulate 400 points wins. Capture the Flag is just how it sounds. The first to 3 captures wins. The last type, Head Hunter involves capturing the sparks of fall enemies, and the first to 30 points wins.
Overall Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is an excellent game featuring an engaging story, beautiful levels and graphics, and a wide array of playable Transformers including my favorite, Grimlock. Escalation and Multiplayer offer endless hours of fun, which makes up for the fairly short single-player campaign. High Moon Studios has delivered yet another fantastic addition to the Transformers franchise and I hope to see more from them soon.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron was released on August 21st 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.