Transformers: War for Cybertron – First Impressions

Jun 30, 2010

TRANSFORMERS, ROBOTS IN DISGUISE *ahem* pardon me. Oh look a new Transformers game is here and I bet people are thinking ‘oh it’s just another crappy movie game’. WRONG! This game is far from movie game trash as you like, and to say that about a franchise that has spewed out a couple of rubbish games and iffy movies is no small feat. War for Cybertron takes it back to the beginning, back to the days when robots turn into crazy make-believe vehicles, weapons shoot plasma and things are just so much more awesome. This game takes everthing from the cartoons in terms of character design and environments and transforms (get it?) it into a more gritty and visually pleasing experience. Granted, there are bugs and annoyances, but lets break it down.

Blimey Moses! War of Cybertron is a pretty game indeed. Cut scenes are wonderfully presented and the environments are stunning. The animations are very impressive indeed. Transforming from robot to car (or vice versa) with the click of a single button triggers a very fluent movement that is always pleasing to watch. Transformation animations (as far as I can tell) are individual to the character, adding a wonderful element of individuality to each playable character. Cybertron itself is a very unique environment but it’s not hard to realise that the whole look of the world around you becomes very similar from stage to stage. Oh look there’s a big metallic structure over there, oh look at this metal door and oh my goodness there’s another metal crate over here as well! It’s not to say this wasn’t expected from a game primarily set on a world built around hulking metallic robots, but a bit more diversity would have been nice.

The Campaign
The campaign mode is, as you would expect, split up into Decepticons and Autobots. There are 10 chapters overall,with the Decepticon’s story lasting from chapters lasting from 1 to 5 and Autobot’s story from 6 to 10. Each chapter lasts a pretty long time taking around 3 or so hours(depending on difficulty) to complete one whole storyline. Level progression is split up nicely into checkpoints with an emphasis on mainly gameplay and only few cut scenes. It’s worth mentioning here that the campaign is multi-player as well. You and 2 buddies (yes it’s a 3-payer campaign) can take control of a selection of characters. Each different chapter has 3 pick-able characters, varying in abilities and weapons. This means play style from chapter to chapter can vary, giving the player a different experience each time. The campaign is also rather glitchy. Me and my cohorts often were stuck and unable to move mid-jump, bounced ridiculous distances after bumping into each other, or even unable to shoot completely. No-doubt this will be sorted with a patch sometime in the near future, but you can’t help feeling the game was a tad rushed to release. Other than that the campaign is a meaty and pretty fun experience.

The Multiplayer
To this date I have only really played Team Deathmatch, but have noticed other game modes consisting of capture the flag and others of the like. Multiplayer is pretty much the best part of Transformers. The player can choose from 4 different classes, Scout (your sneaky-sneaky type), Scientist (essentially a medic), the leader (your bulky buffer guy) and solider (your weapons man). Each class transforms into different vehicle types, Scout being a car, Scientist a Jet, leader a truck, and Solider a tank. Each plays very differently and it takes a few games to really find your niche and choose a character class. You can customise your character in terms of colour, weapons, abilities and chassis type. The lack of any in depth character customisation that would allow the player to create a unique and new transformer is rather disappointing, and limits the play to pre-set characters from story mode. The lack of more than one chassis type for certain classes gives an early implication that character DLC may be on it’s way, which would probably be a good thing (if not over-priced). The games themselves are rather hectic. The key being sit back and be patient, because if you rush in then 9 times out of 10 you will die. Team work also is essential, with everyone playing their role properly giving a much greater advantage over the enemy. Multiplayer can at times feel as glitchy as campaign but luckily this doesn’t detract too much from the experience.

The Verdict
There is much more to be had from Transformers than this (including a Nazi-zombie type game mode where a group of players faces gradually tougher enemies). Tranformers: War for Cybertron is pretty good game. If you enjoyed the original cartoons but hated the new movies and games then check it out. If you are not a fan of either then steer clear. Personally I am-having a blast with this game, although not being the biggest Transformers buff. It is definitely worth buddying up with some mates to take on this game due to the emphasis on teamwork. If your not sure then go out and rent it or even play the demo, hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do!


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