Transformers: Fall of Cybertron mini-review Aug 29, 2012 13:34:31 GMT
Post by Deleted on Aug 29, 2012 13:34:31 GMT
I'm a big fan of the G1 universe and like many 'old timers' have been, shall we say, disappointed by the spate of recent movies and their game tie-ins. So when a new game was made that wasn't a movie tie-in I got quite excited. War for Cybertron, set as a prequel to the original series had a relatively blank canvas. As a result, I could forgive them for not being perfect pixilised versions of my favourite characters. With a straightforward story line, high production values and apparent respect for the subject matter, War for Cybertron excelled my expectations. That it had a compulsive, progressive multiplayer was an unexpected bonus.
... and it just got better.
Fall of Cybertron improves on the first game in nearly every way. Minor adjustments to the control scheme address the one-sided over-the-shoulder issue. Abilities now feel genuinely more 'special' as there is only one per character but more thought as to their application is required. Gone is the multiplayer campaign which although a blow to those (such as myself) who enjoyed it, does allow for a more coherent story and more focused character development. The drab (yet authentic) all-metallic colour pallette now has more organic sections which are quite neatly explained away. My only niggle, and I can forgive it from an aesthetic point of view, is that Cybertron appears to have acquired a measure of atmosphere. All in all, the game world feels more like a war zone with much more debris, particle effects and destruction.
There is now a 'shop' system that allows you to purchase weapons and upgrades at Teletraan-1 terminals located throughout each level. These terminals allow you to select a primary weapon, heavy weapon, two TECHs and purchase perks.
Primary weapons include: The Path Blaster (semi-automatic rifle), Scatter Blaster (shotgun), Riot Cannon (direct grenade launcher), Subsonic Repeater (SMG), Nucleon Charge Rifle (sniper rifle) amongst others.
Heavy weapons include: Energon Harvester (sawn-off shotgun that absorbs health), Scrapmaker (minigun), Pulsar Cannon (mine launcher) as well as some quite unusual weapons.
TECHs are split into offensive and defensive categories and typically are buffs to damage or defence such as high-powered ammunition or regenrating health.
Perks are permanent bonuses to your characters (which stay with you throughout the game) and include health increases, vehicle damage/defence bonuses and shop discounts for future weapon purchases.
Equipment is purchased with chits collected from fallen enemies and crates.
This is impressively extensive: not just some simple afterthought but a good enough reason in it's own right to buy the game.
There are four categories to play with:
Infiltrator (Bumblebee, Wheeljack etc)
Destroyer (Optimus, Ultra Magnus etc)
Titan (Megatron, Warpath etc)
Scientist (Starscream, Shockwave etc)
You initially start with one loadout for each category but progressing through the levels unlocks up to two more. The following components are customisable with the full range available through rank progression:
Primary Weapon (choice of 4)
+upgrade (choice of 3)
Heavy Weapon (choice of 4)
+upgrade (choice of 3)
Special Ability (choice of 2)
+upgrade (choice of 3)
Note: Each bot type has it's own unique weapon set.
Chest (determines alt form)
Wings (Scientist only)
Turret (Titan only)
Note: You can buy components using cash rewards gained from multiplayer matches with some also available as DLC. The way it's structured is that you can buy the complete Ultra Magnus set for example and it will allow you to use any of his component parts to build your bot with the parts themselves being called 'Protector Arms, Protector Legs' etc. Alternatively, you can just buy one piece of the set i.e. just the head.
Once you've built your bot you can then choose an Autobot and Decepticon colour scheme for him from quite a wide selection of both monotone and two-tone coulour palettes.
the big change here is that you use the same bot for both Autobot and Decepticon sides with only the colour's changing. In the previous game, you chose an entirely different bot for both sides. I wasn't sold on it originally but I've really enjoyed playing with a black and purple 'Nemesis Prime' variant (built from the pre-order bonus G1 Optimus Prime).
I'm mid-way through the campaign and am still getting moments of sheer awesome. The difficulty spikes can be a little jarring and often force you resort to cheap sniping but it's rare you'll find yourself stuck for too long. The Unreal engine is the perfect tool for the job as it does metal so well and the game is frequently a joy to behold. It also benefits from a suitably epic soundtrack.
The game offers enough nostalgia for long-term fans and ties-in with the Exodus and Prime story lines to cater for newcomers. I can't truly vouch for the replayability but I'm already planning my next playthrough to collect the audio logs and blueprints I've missed this time round. However, I can see the multiplayer keeping me off Mass Effect and Battlefield for a good long time.
[glow=red,2,300]9 / 10[/glow] for a Transformers fan willing to allow a few liberties.
Here's the official site: www.transformersgame.com/