"Doing Transformers Right"
Where do true fans of the Transformers series turn for real Transformers love? If you said any of the three Michael Bay movies, you'd probably be somewhat wrong. While there are a few shout-outs to true fanboys / fangirls in the films, it's in the Transformers games (from developer High Moon Studios) where the real passion for the mythos of the franchise lies. Their newest release, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, is a follow-up to the 2010 War for Cybertron, and this entry continues to do the Transformers world justice in both game and story. Beginning the story from where the first game left off, War for Cybertron puts gamers right into a civil war between Decepticons and Autobots on the home planet of Cybertron.
There's nothing here that will blow you away as far as plot, and those who aren't complete disciples to the Transformers canon may be lost in some of what is going on. Regardless, if the story and plot elements weren't enough to placate the fandom, the inclusion of Dinobots and Insecticons seals the deal. Gameplay follows in the footsteps of War for Cybertron, marking a return to over-the-shoulder, third-person shooting.
The gameplay seems a bit tighter and less sluggish this time around. Still, it's the sort of old hat, generic game controls you experience in most video game releases. Not bad, not good, just there, doing what it needs to do. That said, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron's story mode is much different than its predecessor. Instead of choosing whatever Transformer you want and playing through a generic level, you will be given particular Transformers, and the level will be tailored to that Transformer's particular skills. The ability to transform between robot and vehicle is also there. However, controls haven't been specifically fitted for either gameplay mode, making the vehicular combat option a sort of weak addition to something that seems so vital to a Transformers game.
Perhaps being able to switch from robot to vehicle would have been an awesome, memorable gimmick to implement in a 1980's NES console game. I feel in this age of gaming, it would seem only to make sense to develop the hell out of two different play controls: one for the robot modes, and one for vehicle modes. On top of this, the story mode won't give seasoned gamers much of a challenge. Lack of a solid cover system will leave third-person shooter fans moving past this title quickly. Level designs are enjoyable enough, and it's fun to see the Transformers do battle through some really nice-looking maps. Voices, music, and sound effects are a shining highlight here, and Transformers fans will be pleased with a classic remix of an old song and familiar voice acting.
Full customization comes out in the online modes. Designing your Transformers from the ground up is always a favorite thing for giant robot fans like myself. Team deathmatch, survival mode, and a sort of tag like game called ‘headhunter' mode all are included to keep the game lasting long past the story mode. It seems like most gamers will probably spend most their time online due to the customization aspect and the fact the story mode doesn't offer the thrills which Transformers team death match does.
High Moon Studios really cares about Fall of Cybertron and the product. They took what they heard gamers didn't like with War For Cybertron, fixed it, and implemented even more fan service. They listened to the fanboys / girls, they got a good grip on what makes Tranformers important, the mythos and the canon, and cranked out a product that is spot-on for the market they are selling it to. It's great to see a studio care so much about a huge franchise-based title and see the results, as Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a very playable game that fans will eat up and casual players won't mind picking up.
GameDynamo's Score for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (X360)
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