Transformers, regardless of whether you grew up with them or only know them through the Michael Bay movies, have become pretty ingrained in pop culture. Lately, the vast majority of Transformers games have been based off the movies, but War for Cybertron takes things back to the first generation, before the classic TV series started. Autobots and Decepticons are waging war on their home planet, fighting for opposing ideologies. What we end up with here is a pretty decent romp through classic Transformers with a well done multiplayer mode to top things off.
TRANSFORM AND ROLL OUT!
Chrome Everywhere - The game looks amazing. Sparks shooting everywhere, dynamic lighting, detailed character models, they all look great. It’s often joked that the Unreal engine is used for bulky manly protagonists, but given that Transformers are supposed to be bulky and blocky, it works out perfectly.
Transforming - For some reason, the last Transformers games were infamous for making you constantly hold down the button for vehicle mode. Luckily all you have to do here is a simple press of the left analog stick. While it’s odd that vehicles can strafe and move just like you do in robot mode, it makes getting around much easier. All the vehicles can boost, which will make them control more like vehicles.
While the single player campaign wisely includes section wheres vehicle mode is a must, the unique mechanic really shines in the multiplayer modes. Being able to race across the map and ramming into people using the truck’s special ability is a great way to provide help to your teammates. Also, going from a ground battle straight to the skies really opens things up.
G1 Done Justice - The developers were big fans of the classic Transformers, and it shows, especially in the writing and the voice acting. Peter Cullen once again returns to his role as Optimus Prime, and delivers a stellar performance, as does the rest of the cast. Megatron is still a huge prick, as he’s always been. Soundwave even has the small robots that transform from tapes, which form the basis for a boss battle.
Multiplayer - There are a beefy amount of modes here. Outside of your usual deathmatch and team deathmatch, there’s also Conquest (capture the flag) and Countdown to Extinction where the goal is to plant a bomb in the enemy’s base. And as the trend these days thanks to Gears of War 2, Escalation is the game’s version of Horde mode.
CRASHED AND BURNED
Glitch in the System - I came across more than a few issues, like getting stuck in the scenery for whatever reason. It was nothing game-ending, but it did cause me to get killed a few times. Usually, transforming or wiggling the stick enough would dislodge, but it really pulled me out of the experience.
Dog Fights - The jet transformers leave a bit to be desired, like a button to quickly turn around by doing an S turn. All you have is a barrel roll. The barrel roll is handy, but seeing that tanks have the ability to turn 180 degrees, I don’t see why you wouldn’t give this option to the jets.
Disappointing Climax - Each campaign wraps up with a boss fight, but the ending to Autobot’s campaign felt much shorter than it should have been. I felt let down when the game’s final battle didn’t involve Megatron at all, nor did it lead up to the epic battle showing both armies rushing at each other, with their oversized champions behind them. Hopefully a more satisfying conclusion can be done in a sequel.
Fans can rejoice. Not only is this hands down the best Transformers game ever made, it’s also a very robust third person shooter in its own right. You can tackle the story with up to 2 other people at a time, or enjoy a well done multiplayer experience. There are plenty of reasons to keep this game in your console after you’ve finished the main story, and that says a lot of a licensed game.
Send your comments to the author