Transformers; Fall of Cybertron
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Reboot and Rebuild
Written by Jesse Seilhan
There are few franchises more beloved than Transformers. Because of this, there have been countless attempts to make a true Transformers videogame and High Moon Studios came really close with War for Cybertron in 2010. Two years later, Fall of Cybertron is out and things have never looked so good. This game contains potentially everything a true Transformers fan would want and leaves out all of the brooding teenage nonsense that kept the movies from becoming something more than an ejaculation of explosions. The developers give you what you deserve: hundreds of gigantic robots fighting one another to the death. No filler, no side-story, just action from start to finish. Gone is the co-op from the prior title, but back is the class-based multiplayer and horde-style Escalation mode. The package is stacked with callbacks and signature moments from a franchise nearly three decades old but has enough modern gaming mechanics to keep it competitive in a world crammed full of shooters.
The adventure kicks off with a bang and players are forced from moment one to scramble into high gear. Megatron and company have found a way to open a portal to a more resource-filled world and the Autobots are attempting to stop them before the evil doers get through. Do not pick this game up if the terms Decepticons, Autobots, or Dinobots mean nothing to you. Playing as three factions gives fans the chance to explore almost all of their favorite characters, from the most obscure to random “red shirt” robots doomed to die quickly and without remorse. The campaign can be finished in one sitting, but I would not consider that a downside with how much you actually accomplish along the way. The game has loads of replay value with many weapons to unlock and upgrade, as well as hidden audio logs that give more backstory into the gigantic universe. The ending has a distinct branch that should make any Transformers fan want to immediately see what the other path holds. The multiplayer is deep and engaging and the level-up mechanic will keep progress-addicts glued to their couch.
Third-person shooters live and die by their mechanics and Fall of Cybertron fairs well enough, but a lack of cover system and unbalanced difficulty keep it from being truly great. I understand that robots don’t need to hide behind things, but if you’re watching thousands of enemies do it, why can’t I? The melee combat is rewarding, both visually and violently, causing bits of scrap and shrapnel to fly around the battlefield while you plan your next attack. The ability to transform takes strategy to a place most games can’t even comprehend, especially with a mix of land and air vehicles. With over 30 playable characters, the creators of this game had to design levels that fit your playable character, so Autobot levels have more straight-away driving sections, while Starscream and other flying robots get more wide-open levels for jetting around. The mix of land and air combat along with great voice acting and art direction makes for an awesome love letter to the fans that have been there since the first generation. Do not pass on this game if you were ever a Transformers fan, and be sure to stick around and give the online multiplayer some action after the campaign is over.
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