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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Transformers: War for Cybertron

I just finished this game the other day so here are my thoughts on the matter. If you are a fan of the series, I would highly recommend this game.

First off, let's discuss how the game looks. The designers of the game did a great job of blending the character design between the cartoon style from the original TV show, and the more realistic design of the characters from the latest films. They struck the right balance, and the characters look at once badass and toy-like.

The story, always simple when dealing with villians known as Decepticons, basically follows Megatron's attempts at power over the Transformers' homeworld Cybertron. To put it into perspective, the plot of the game is supposed to take place before the movies, before the Transformers come to Earth. Apparently, there are endless Transformers comics, but I personally have never read them. Still, I would like some feedback from anyone who knows, as to whether or not the plot of this game bears any resemblance to a previously published Transformers story.

Without giving too much of it away, the game starts with the Transformers already at war. Megatron and his Decepticons are working to take over the planet and its resources, Megatron always believing that these same resources are being used inefficiently. Megatron quickly realizes he needs control of the skies and that's when he meets, defeats, and eventually enlists the help of Starscream and his flying comrades. Megatron then goes on to discover and utilize "Dark Energon" ( I told you, simple stuff here), a chaotic but powerful source of energy which his uses to try to take over Cybertron.

The story of the Autobots begins with an amazing cut-scene which will get any Transformers fan's blood pumping, as Bumblebee fights his way to an Autobot named Optimus, there to deliver a message that the Decepticons are revolting. The Autobots team up, fighting their way through enemy lines in an attempt to gain access to, and ensure the safety of, the Cybertronian Council (the Senate, if you will). As you play, you learn a little about the characters, but arguably, not much. Finally, Optimus and his team make it to the Council who informs him that there are no more leaders of the Autobots. The Senate may have wisdom, but they need a certified leader to bring them through this. It is quite enjoyable seeing Optimus, now Optimus Prime, Leader of the Autobots, rise to power as he does so in a typical protagonistic fashion, being humble and respectful the whole way through. I also want to add that I am thankful that Peter Cullen reprized his character as the voice of Optimus, it really wouldn't be a Transformers experience without him. The story continues with the battle between these two forces and what inevitably happens to Cybertron as a result.

The game play is quite good, if simple. The controls are familiar, and the levels are pretty linear. Still, the various weapons, the fact that every character gets its own unique set of innate skills, and the fact that you can change between a car or robot, or jet and robot at ANY time makes the game quite exciting. Seriously, you are not alive until you boost in as a vehicle, change into a robot, blast 2 guys in mid-air, and transform back and boost away without losing any speed. The 3 player coop is quite fun, the most difficult part being actually getting 3 people to be available to play at once. The multiplayer is actually really great, surprisingly. While the game has a limited player population, you get XP by playing, which not only increases your abilities as you play the game, but allows for better character customization at higher levels.

Finally, I will just say that I think you should try it. If you are a fan of Transformers at all, and you want a quick and easy game, you can't go wrong really. I know this review is far from professional, being mostly emotionally based, but I had no issue with the graphics, the plot, or anything else about the game, admitting openly that it is a simple, short game, so don't spend $50 on it.

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