Review by scary_ghost_man
Gaming, Transform and Roll Out!
When I first saw the trailer that revealed this game, I got a little excited, but just a little. It looked interesting and, needless to say, got me to pay attention to it. I won't lie to you either, when I first saw gameplay footage, I thought "cool", but I wasn't completely convinced yet. I was, however, convinced about a few things already. One; this Transformers title is serious. High Moon Studios were definitely doing their best to make this Transformers game THE Transformers game to play. Two; it would have action, visuals, and everything in-between that would rival top games such as Halo and Gears of War. I'm glad to tell you it does that and more.
Gameplay-I'll start with one of the most important pieces of a game. That is, of course, how the game plays. For those that have played Gears of War, this game will play fairly similar for you. Not a fan of Gears? Don't worry, because Transformers still feels different enough. If comparing to Gears for both fans and non fans, I feel Transformers has a much smoother form of play. Since the game doesn't focus on hiding behind cover, it is built around being able to quickly and flawlessly move around the inevitable battles the player will face throughout the game. And of course, this game wouldn't be called Transformers if you couldn't Transform, and High Moon has definitely made that feel downright awesome. Transforming in game feels perfectly fit. It can be done just about anytime and just about anywhere, and fast enough to switch between the two modes without really worrying about being vulnerable. Transforming is more of a tactic rather than a necessity, which I find is good. When and why you transform is your choice. All missions are fit to accommodate you playing them while in Vehicle or Robot mode. On top of that, controlling your vehicle is very easy. Just like the popularized Halo vehicle controls, holding down the left thumb stick forward to accelerate and using the right stick to turn is all it takes. You can also speed boost with the left trigger and, of course, fire your vehicle mode's weaponry. The flying vehicles also handle extremely well, which I was a bit concerned about but I came to find they were just as easy to use as land vehicles. On the downside, it doesn't seem like there is a very large selection of weapons, and running out of ammo seems to be fairly common. This is countered by having your separate vehicle weapon which can be used until you find ammo.
Story-The game does not tell an overly complex story. This is good, as it stays true to the Transformers style. It is interesting enough to keep you focused on more than just action and battle though. There are two campaigns of course. One for the Decepticons and one for the Autobots. What I think is good about this is that these two campaigns really form one larger campaign. The Decepticon campaign takes place before the Autobot one, not alongside it. That means each side will have their share of triumphs and defeats, as each has their own unique set of events. High Moon has also done a good job of not giving too much credit to the good guys. Playing and finishing the Decepticon campaign will make you enjoy destroying the series' force of good, the Autobots, even if you didn't want to.
Graphics/Sound-Pretty much all top notch here. Despite the game taking place entirely on Cybertron, the environments are still well crafted and neat. The game does a very decent job of capturing the feeling of the Transformers' home world, and does an even better job of keeping this world interesting and lively throughout. While many environments are similar, I would not consider them bland or boring by any stretch of the imagination. Cybertron feels like a living, breathing character itself. Many of the game's environments portray this feeling very well.
As for sound, you can't really go wrong with that awesome noise of transforming. Beside that, however, is a good set of voices. All of the characters seem perfectly matched to who they are. Peter Cullen obviously does best as his signature character, Optimus Prime. Despite Megatron not having the original G1 voice return, he still has a voice that portrays who the character is extremely well. On top of the characters, the sounds of Cybertron and warfare are everywhere. As I said before, High Moon has made a living, breathing Cybertron, and that doesn't stop at looks.
Playtime/Replayability-I'm the kind of gamer that likes to take their time. Still, I'm confident that most can agree that these missions are quite lengthy. This can be both positive and negative. While I do like that these missions are long and definitely full of good times, by the end, you may find yourself just wanting to take a break, depending on your play style that is. I admit I never timed myself, but it felt as if each missions generally took anywhere from 40-50 minutes. Like I said, I like to take my time, and you may not. I can't say it's a bad thing though, as it definitely keeps you wanting to play till the end, and that's really the most important thing. As for replayability, that is pretty high. The game offers a multiplayer component that is by no means "tacked on". Much like other games of modern days, you can pick a class, weapons, character models, abilities, and more. UNLIKE other games of modern times, you can transform. Which is badass. I would also like to note that most other games have a single rank for yourself in multiplayer. WFC has individual ranks for each class, and each class keeps the game balanced. Most importantly, every class is as fun to play as the next.
In the end, it all comes down to "Is this game for me?" That answer is most likely yes. Whether your a huge fan of Transformers in general (especially the originals) or a huge fan of Action/Third Person Shooter games, it is likely to fit your gaming needs. The fact that these two have been combined into a great game makes it all the better. If you're on the fence like I was, it's definitely worth checking out. You just might find it's more than meets the eye.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Transformers: War for Cybertron (US, 06/22/10)
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