The word ‘epic’ is used a lot when describing video games in this day and age, and is only truly deserved when the game particularly surpasses height and content of unimaginable proportions.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron definitely falls under this category.
Developed by High Moon Studios and published by Activision, Transformers: FOC is the follow up to Transformers: War for Cybertron and they have made some significant improvements.
Fall of Cybertron retains the third person shooting mechanic. However, this time around; things are a lot more linear and structured.
Following directly from War for Cybertron, the war of Autobots versus Decepticons rages on as they battle for control of their home planet Cybertron. But after the events of War for Cybertron, the planet is becoming increasingly unstable and unable to sustain life. Knowing this, the Autobots fight to flee the planet, led by Optimus Prime, to allow the continuation of the Transformers race. The Decepticons meanwhile fight to make the Autobots submit and obey them or else face extinction at their hands.
It’s a story that has been looming over the Transformers universe for years, mentioned in all cartoons and movies but it takes place here. Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron features all well-known characters from the Generation 1 period including Autobots, Decepticons, Insecticons, Combaticons and Dinobots and they all weave together perfectly.
The visuals are an all-out assault on your senses, but in a good way. There is so much going on around you, you sometimes will find yourself watching rather than playing. Each transformer is identifiable with patented colours red and purple marking their faction and every character is highly detailed, and come to life with brilliant voice acting.
With so much fine detail and heavy action on the screen on a scale comparable to the Halo games, I often found myself wondering how my console manages to maintain a smooth frame rate. The visuals are truly something to behold, one chapter near the beginning is a prime example as you battle your way as Optimus Prime to take out 3 gigantic Decepticon cannons, assisted by the Autobot Metroplex - an enormous Transformer easily as high as 2 Eiffel Towers. He fights on in the background as you fight ground level, easily my favourite part of the game.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron plays similar to Gears of War with an over the shoulder third person viewpoint. Each transformer you play has his own special ability and the game caters for it with a unique stage design, which alters the way the game plays everytime it switches from one character to another. There are all out fighting sections where you have to stay in cover while fighting, stealth sections assisted by a cloaking ability, and stealth takedown abilities as well as driving and flying sequences and then there’s Jazz’s grappling ability reminiscent of Arkham City. Clicking the left stick in enables the transforming ability at will and works a treat. The flying parts are a joy to play, the controls are simple, the levels are huge which compliments both abilities to fly at high speed and hover at different heights.
The wide variety of gameplay makes this game seriously addictive, you want to play from beginning to end. You do begin to feel extremely powerful in parts, especially playing as Megatron, Grimlock and the Combaticon combination Bruticus.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is extremely linear but very structured and well played out. The cut scenes seamlessly fall into the gameplay and it feels right when the game swaps to another character. The only real bad thing I found in the gameplay is the non-existent cover system. I mentioned earlier that the game requires you to take cover as you battle. It’s more of a hide-behind-the-nearest-wall, than a standard mechanic enabling the player to cling to a wall, and you can’t even crouch so if you do hide behind a wall, it needs to be a high one. This led to many frustrations whilst in the heat of battle as it’s easy for enemies to hit you from wherever they stand.
Another aspect of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron which is a pleasure to listen to, is the banter exchanged from the player character and non-playable characters alike. Especially the Cliffjumper/Jazz partnership, the incredible voice acting brings these characters alive and each personality glows. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron also includes a weapon upgrading system and perks which can be bought with in-game currency Energon.
Capitalising on its predecessor, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron improves on all fronts, with stunning visuals and fun game play
A solid strong story encourages the player to fight on with the nicely placed swapping of both playable Autobots and Decepticons big and small. The absence of any form of covering system spoils the overall shooting gameplay, but this is overcome by the wide variety of other gameplay mechanics littering the game from start to end. Just like I said at the beginning, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is epic!
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Developers: High Moon Studios
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Release Date: 24th August 2012