Review by procterorange
"More than meets the eye?"
As a kid in the 80's, watching the Transformers on weekday afternoons was a way of life. Giant, transforming, alien robots fighting to save the day was a recipe for success. And succeed it did. From action figures, comics to movies, The Transformers are without a doubt an American icon. It would seem to be a no brainer for a great game, but with sub-par movie tie ins, the Transformers have never really received the game they deserve. But thankfully, High moon studios decided to do our favorite robots justice by staying true to the animated series and not forgetting what makes the Transformers great in the first place. War for Cybertron should not be missed, especially for those who hold the series near to heart.
If you have played any other 3rd person shooter, you'll have no problem jumping right into the action. There's nothing groundbreaking about the controls, that's not necessarily a bad thing, High moon just didn't try to fix something that's not broke. Left trigger to move, right trigger to look, trigger buttons fire you get the point. But, while the controls are like most shooters, this one does something others don't. What's that? To transform of course. With a simple press of the left analog stick your robot smoothly transforms into their vehicle. The satisfaction of running up on a foe with low ammo and quickly transforming to your vehicle to unleash a barrage of bullets is something to experience. So, make no mistake, this game is fun to play. With a variety of different weapons from rocket launchers to sniper rifles, the game offers plenty to tackle your objective in the way of force. My only complaint in speaking of weaponry is that I found myself running out of ammo a little too often, so your search for ammo is always on going, and sometimes you'll find yourself coming up empty handed. I wouldn't consider it a major design flaw, but it can get rather annoying at times, especially in the heat of battle. The game never presents itself as overly difficult, it seems to offer enough challenge without being cheap or unfair. With checkpoints pretty close to one another, you never really mind having to replay a certain area. You will also, more than likely, fight a boss more than once on occasion. With one shot kills expect to go back to the drawing board on your strategy, but like the levels, a lot of the boss fights save your progress depending how far you have them worn down. These small complaints should in no way distract you from playing, as I mentioned before the game is a blast. On top of a great single player and co-op campaign, throw in a solid multi-player experience and it's a win, win.
When I first heard details of War for Cybertron, I was excited with the fact that we would get to see the Transformers on their home planet and the events that would lead to their eventual landing on earth. Without spoiling the story too much, Megatron is harvesting a powerful substance known as Dark Energon. With this new found power, Megatron has the power to corrupt and destroy all of life on Cybertron. Of course, this is where the Autobots step in with their attempt to stop the Decepticons and save their home planet. What I really enjoyed was that High moon has let us decide which side to experience the story with first. Feeling evil? Jump on in the Decepticons campaign and witness the rise of Megatron? Feeling honorable? Then play as the Autobots first and witness the rise of Optimus Prime. Want to do both? Don't worry. In order to beat the game you must complete each campaign, but the order is up to you. It's also fun seeing different sides to what's going on as you progress through the story. All in all the story is pretty solid and gives you enough reason to see it out through to the finale.
War for Cybertron is sporting some pretty nice looking graphics. A 7 may seem a little harsh, but I don't really think High moon could have done too much more to improve the visuals. The problem (If you consider it one) is that the entire game takes place on Cybertron. Being that the Transformers are on Cybertron, a robotic planet I remind you, there's not much to look at but metal objects and structures. So, It does tend to become visually repetitive. I also should mention that you never get the sense of scale of these gigantic Transformers. If anything you'll feel quite small at times when facing much larger foes. But of course It would have made no sense for them to be bigger than everything else on their home planet. I also can't help but to mention the somewhat dull vehicle design for a majority of the robots. I understand completely the fact the story takes place before the Transformers come to earth, but that's no excuse to make a vehicle look more like a turtle shell than a intimidating machine of destruction. There are some pretty cool looking models for some robots , but I believe that High moon missed an opportunity to really design some mean looking vehicles not chained to the perception of earth vehicles. The visuals are nice in several other departments though. The character models are great and the transformation from character to vehicle are smooth and slick. A few times I would transform over and over just to watch the animation. This was done very nicely with all the moving parts and gears sliding into place. The explosions and gunfire visuals also deserve some props, these were nicely done as well.
Two words. Peter Cullen. The man, the voice of Optimus Prime. I'm so happy High moon had him do the voice of Optimus. I really couldn't imagine it any other way. In the same way there's no other voice for the Joker than Mark Hamil and there's no other voice for Optimus than Peter Cullen. High moon, I don't know what you guys paid him but I'm glad you did. Besides Optimus, all the voice work for the characters are decent enough. At times, I did find myself wishing the robots had a bit more of a robotic voice. Close your eyes and listen and with the exception of a few, it sounds like the voices of any soldier in a war based game. You also might want to grab some crackers, because there's no lack of cheesy dialogue between your companions, this isn't all that bad really, it just gives it more of that animated feel from the series. But with the explosions, sounds of gunfire, the transforming sound and the metal riffs keying up at the right time, War for Cybertron has a really solid sound to it.
Replay value 8
My time with War for Cybertron clocked in around or above 10 hours. 10 hours is a nice length for a game of this type ,but when it was over it was time to jump into the multi-player aspect. This adds a huge amount of replay value to an already stellar single player game. With several different modes and customizations, much like the campaign, multi-player doesn't disappoint.
After finishing the campaign and spending some time with multi-player, War for Cybertron is title that should not be missed. It's a game long past due for the series that serves the fans and the Transformers justice. If your pondering to rent or buy, that depends, if you're a die hard Transformers fan and enjoy jumping into games with friends, pick it up. Just want to have a blast over the weekend with a awesome campaign to witness the defining moments for the Transformers, then it's worth it's weight in a rental fee. Either way, War for Cybertron does not disappoint. Here's to hoping High Moon brings the battle to earth.
- A blast to play
- Peter Cullen as Optimus
- Solid campaign
- Solid multi-player
- Repetitive visuals
- Weak vehicle design
- Where's the ammo when I need it?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/18/11
Game Release: Transformers: War for Cybertron (US, 06/22/10)
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