Video Game Review: "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" (PS3)
Transformers Fall of Cybertron is the climatic sequel to the 2010 game: Transformers:War for Cybertron developed by High Moon Studios and published by Activision. Both titles allow players to jump into the shoes of their favorite giant robots while crushing the opposing side of forces with various weapons. Those looking for their next shooter may be interested in what this title has to offer, although fans desiring a very deep experience for the campaign and multiplayer modes might find themselves let down.
Story: The war between the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron has at last reached its bitter climax. The planet Cybertron is slowly being exhausted of the precious Energon needed to keep both forces alive. To make matters worse, the Autobot “Grimlock” and his squad have mysteriously vanished.
That’s the most I can say without giving spoilers to fans that want to experience every detail for themselves. The campaign mode for Fall of Cybertron is composed of thirteen chapters, which are divided up between the Autobots and Decepticons. This alone is disappointing since both sides should clearly have their own campaign modes in order to deliver a deep experience for any Transformers fan. Instead the Autobots get the majority of the long chapters, while the Decepticons are left with short but exciting gameplay moments. This decision on the part of the designers is strange, since it kills the possibility of thoroughly experiencing the details of this war.
What I liked best about the story was how each character had some sort of fun personality that made them memorable. The most notable example is definitely “lord” Starscream. Every inch of his dialogue had me laughing and watching the reactions of the Decepticons to his behavior just makes everything fun. Overall, I can at least say that the campaign mode is decent despite the flaws that are there.
Gameplay: The gameplay is designed to be similar to most shooter games in that characters can grab a variety of weapons in order to destroy the opposing forces. The Transformers aspect gracefully kicks in by allowing the player to transform into dinobots, cars, tanks, and planes. This made both the single player and multiplayer experience very fun. Each Autobot and Decepticon has their own unique abilities, ranging from invisibility to the ability to heal fellow teammates. Learning the game’s mechanics can easily be done just by playing chapter 1 of the campaign, a tutorial that gets you used to the problem-free controls. Each mission in campaign mode will involves you reaching a variety of checkpoints and destroying one area after another.
The multiplayer includes a feature that can charm any Transformers nerd: the cool-sounding idea of creating your own Transformer. This sounds cool, although in my opinion it just doesn’t live up to the hype. There aren’t too many amazing options that will make your giant robot look much different than anybody else on the battlefield. There were times where I felt like my robot was just a hunk of metal with some special abilities tacked on. It’s also displeasing to know that the game nudges at buying DLC and grinding matches online in order to get the full package of possible designs.
Each game of Team Death Match, Conquest, Capture the Flag, and Head Hunter will randomly place your player ID onto one of the two opposing sides of Autobots and Decepticons, with the game making sure that the matches are balanced between the two factions. The coolest aspect of multiplayer is how you can pick between a variety of classes: Scientist, Infiltrator, Destroyer and Titan. Each of these are balanced and offer fun, unique tactical ways to handle your opponents on the battlefield.
The final mode for Multiplayer is called “Escalation” where players must team up as either the main characters of the Autobots or Decepticons to face 15 waves of numerous robots. This was personally my favorite mode for the way it compels teamwork between players. Fighting alongside fellow robots in order to destroy massive machines is absolutely awesome; even playing as the healer of the group makes for a fun experience as you become your party’s vital lifeline against the forces they face.
The gameplay for Fall of Cybertron is best described as mindless fun, but there is a problem that badly hinders the game experience: this title is subject to bugs that can freeze the game. At first I worried this was my Playstation 3, but it turns out the freezing bug can happen for every player and it’s very annoying. If it wasn’t for the fact that the campaign mode constantly saves your progress at checkpoints, I would have quit on it altogether. The bug doesn’t always but it tends to happen whenever something huge occurs on the screen, like an explosion. The multiplayer has a tedious glitch as well where sometimes the controls of all the players will go crazy, your screen will shake, and half your squad will be disconnected while those that remain are stuck fighting on their own against the other team. Speaking of disconnecting, whenever someone who hosts a game decides to leave you have to wait through a tedious loading screen. These aspects drag the game down and definitely should have been patched by now, considering that this game was released last August.
Sound: The voice track in this game is very appealing; there was never a moment where I felt like a character did not sound right or had not carried the accurate emotion during a heavy scene, while Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime is just flat out cool. Unfortunately, the soundtrack itself is overshadowed by the background noise in various battles. I’m saddened I can’t really critique it since it is so often crowded out by the screams of robots or random explosions.
Graphics: Every main character, environment, and graphic layout throughout the game’s storyline is visually beautiful. There were times when I felt like I was inside a movie, rather than playing a game. It’s ironic that this very same great quality is one of many reasons for the random freezing that can happen when there’s to much happening at once on the screen.
Conclusion: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron isn’t amazing, but it is fun. Those who were expecting an epic climax between the robotic forces may find themselves bitterly disappointed to find that they only get about half of the entire potential experience, but the writing quality is strong and you can at least tell the developers tried hard to please fans with the resources they had. I strongly believe that any Transformer’s fan will find something to love with this title and its horde of transforming robots. This is one of those titles you can’t expect too much from though, so you might want to wait for the inevitable price drop – the game si already being sold for thirty dollars in some areas. This is one of those titles where you just can’t expect too much from it though. You might just want to wait for the incoming price drop since the game already is being sold for thirty dollars in various market areas. This game is definitely not more than meets the eye, but you can’t go wrong with playing a game that allows you to beat the scrap out of Megatron.