Review by Perfect Light
This is the Arkham Asylum of Transformers
Finally, a Transformers game that is fun to play. I'm not saying this game is as good as AA, I just mean it's a game for a franchise that has suffered horrible games in the past. This game returns to the style of the G1 cartoons and is really a perfect breath of fresh air for fans and non-fans alike.
I know most people won't agree with me, but I'll start off by saying having the left stick transform is one of the most annoying things in video game history (aside from Super Monkey Ball). I switched it to Y and never looked back. That tripped me up for a while, too, because Y should always be switch weapon, similar to how X should be reload. Always. ALWAYS! Anyway, the controls were fluid and responsive and controlling your robot never felt clunky or annoying.
I've heard some people whining about how bland everything on Cybertron is. But I don't understand what else could be done. It's a robot home world, what do you expect? Honestly, there are some cool set pieces (not to give anything away) such as highways that form themselves as you drive on them. The boss fights sometimes consist of screen-filling monstrosities and other times elaborate and well-known Decepticon characters.
Everything sounds like it should. Transforming makes a cool effect and the guns sound perfect. Peter Cullen predictably returns as Optimus and Corey Burton makes an appearance as well. Fred something-or-other who played Saren in Mass Effect does a fine job with Megatron, and it seems a Power Ranger has taken on Bumblebee.
You won't find any complex twists or anything like that here, but it's okay. The story works enough to drive the action and in a video game that's pretty much all I want from a TPS. I won't give anything away, but it's cool to see some origins, as the game takes place earlier than anything else in Transformers lore.
Arguably the most important part of any game, the gameplay is where War for Cybertron shines. When you transform into vehicle mode you go into a hover form that can move in any direction and you can hold the L Trigger to lower your wheels/wings and move much faster. The transforming is fluid and easy and adds another complex layer to combat that is welcome in today's boring shooter market. Also, if you drive quickly and then transform you'll slide to a stop and it looks totally awesome.
On an interesting note, you start as the Decepticons and then change to the Autobots halfway through. The levels consist, predictably enough, of shooting segments and long open roads where vehicle form is preferred. The campaign is decent at around ten-ish hours (depending on how much you rush) and thoroughly enjoyable the whole way through. Also, the final boss is a sight to see. Shooting, transforming and heading for cover, then changing back and firing some more is totally satisfying.
One complaint is the constant search for ammo. Perhaps if you didn't go trigger-happy like I do it wouldn't be a problem but half the time I found myself meleeing everyone because I didn't have any bullets. This happened ten minutes into the first level and was somewhat unnerving. Apart from that, no complaints.
The game contains a multiplayer, but I think that games need to stand on single-player alone. Anything beyond that is just extra incentive to play. So if you plan on playing online, the game adds much more length onto its ten-hour bulk. If you enjoy a good story and interesting gameplay, the 60 dollar price tag depends on how much you like the Transformers. I don't regret a single cent.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Transformers: War for Cybertron (US, 06/22/10)
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