Since watching the original Transformers series on the desktop version of Hulu back in 2006, I’ve always wondered: what really happened to the Autobot’s home planet: Cybertron? Back in 2010, High Moon Studios started telling the tale and was briefly interrupted by the movie game of Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. Fortunately, they did come back to the story and we get to see what happened when the planet fell into complete chaos.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron tells the story of the last days of Cybertron through the eyes of the Autobots & Decepticons. The single-player campaign is an enjoyable experience includes some good action sequences, but it’s nothing special for hardcore Transformer fans while newcomers to the series from the Shia LaBeouf trilogy can jump in knowing about a third of the characters. Outside of the campaign, there’s also a great multiplayer that’s completely unexpected!
Looks and Sounds Like Right Off the Lot - Graphics, cutscenes & menus: the presentation in Fall of Cybertron surpassed my expectations for a Transformers game. Previous console games in the franchise have always been bland sporting what has been done by other games. This time around while it’s not perfect, I felt all of the graphics & game sounds created an experience I hadn’t anticipated but didn’t blow me away either.
Using my Skullcandy headphones, I felt like I was in some area with a lot of metal but I didn’t get the overwhelming sense that the game could have been set in a realistic place. While I understand the Transformers aren’t real, video games for me have always been about captivating the gamer by transporting them to a virtual world similar to how books were for previous generations. It just felt average. In a fight with Megatron, he throws down a probe to invert your optic sensors. That changed it up making things a little different but it didn’t really change much.Multiplayer Fun Like a Demolition Derby - While the single-player was just average (as I explain more below), the multiplayer for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron completely worth it! Picking between four classes: two heavy & two light, you have a lot of variety giving players the chance to have it their way if they want to fly around as the Scientist class or stomp your way to destruction as the Titan class.
Just like any other competitive multiplayer shooter, there are objective gametypes and also there are the classic deathmatches. The shooting mechanics for the game are great but the key is the balance between the classes creating an interesting multiplayer mix: take MechAssault and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with a touch of Star Wars: Battlefront. The one part of the single-player that translated well was the transforming between the normal mode to vehicle mode & the usefulness of the vehicle mode. The maps in multiplayer are huge so you are going to need to move around the map really fast and the best way to do it is flying around as the Scientist class.
THE DEATH OF CYBERTRON
A Boring, Lonely Ride - With epic Transformer battles, you think that there is no way the campaign could be screwed up but it was. The opening of the campaign seemed great by the consistent pacing of setting up the story with action-packed sequences, but when you reach Cliffjumper’s mission, things change completely and not for the better; it seems to drag out for little to no purpose. Afterwards, the story slowly progresses as mission five through eleven could be run through in less than an hour with small story tidbits.
Pathetic Monster Truck Fight - Fall of Cybertron's final boss fight might rival for Borderlands final boss fight for most pathetic end boss fight ever. The mechanics were as simple as any boss you’ve had to fight before in any video game. Megatron doesn’t really put up much of a fight other than him being perfectly programmed to combat the way the controls were set up. With a few moves during the whole fight, you were left after defeating him wondering ‘was that it?’ I won’t mention any other fights because that leads into heavy spoilers.
Need More Detailing - As much as I wanted to love everything, not one part of the game has a perfect coat of polish. There was a certain bland taste that always seemed to pop out showing off the title’s potential. Maybe if High Moon Studios was given a chance to gloss over and Activision let the title get released in early February, Fall of Cybertron could have been the Arkham Asylum of the Transformers IP.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is the best video game in franchise history. Does that make it a good game though? Yes, but it strays away from greatness due to a poor single-player experience. For those people who watched the original cartoon series, you really owe it to yourself to not only pick up War for Cybertron but also Fall for Cybertron. The game is easy enough for your kids that watch the new Transformers series to jump into without a problem. Those people who are into Mech games may want to give this a try as this series is the only one on the current generation of consoles that I can recommend.
*This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game with a review copy provided by the publisher.*