A decent game through and through but nothing spectacular. twf2005.com
This reviewer really thought he would hate this game. This idea was based on the fact the two movies that have come out using the Transformers license have been absolute abominations – and he expected the game to be no different. However, Transformers: War for Cybertron is far and away the best thing creators have done with the license and stands on its own as an all right 3rd person shoot um’ up.
The story is more coherent and pleasing than either film, the game being a prequel to the two blockbusters. You play as both the Decepticons and Autobots, each given 4 chapters that tell the story of what happened on the Transformers home planet, Cybertron, before they came to Earth. As you may of guessed, it was a rather hectic affair. Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, decides that he wants to take over by controlling Dark Energon, a mysterious substance that grants unlimited power, and Optimus Prime and his gang of heroic Autobots are out to stop him.
The plot can be pretty vapid at points as the game goes on, especially considering we are seeing it from two sides – however, there are some fanboy moments thrown in like the act that caused Starscream to turn to the Decepticons or how Optimus got his “Prime” moniker.
Optimus Prime rockin’ out. Gamerant.com
The gameplay in Transformers is good for what it is, but nothing you haven’t seen before out of other 3rd person shooters. You have your standard assortment of weapons with a futuristic, neo-pulse rifle twist, but basically boil down to the tried and true standards: machine-gun, shotgun, sniper rifle, bazooka, etc. The transforming in the game is handled well. By clicking in L3 you instantly change into your vehicular alter-ego and are privy to a new way to attack the onslaught of robotic death heading your way. However, this reviewer was a little disappointed, there didn’t seem to many differences in transformation from robot to robot – its either small, fast car, larger tank, or jet. Since so much of the series was based around how the Transformers, well, transformed, the game falters in fully grasping the overall concept and more over, screwed players out of better vehicle designs – something this reviewer thought the game would have in spades.
Gameplay boils down to just shooting – no cover, no real departure from standard over the shoulder gun play see in many games previous. Gun fights have a medium pace to them, not exactly fast, but by no means slow. Stay too long in one spot you’ll get shot (no duh!) but simple side steps and the like help squash that. Mix in aiming with L, firing away with R and lobbing grenades with the B button – there really isn’t much more to talk about in terms of gameplay that aren’t obvious. There are a fair amount of predictable enemies: standard grunt, shield guy, snipers, bazooka guy, remedial boss fights for the most part. Added to this, players move from one chapter to the next, mainly consisting of cliches like, “We gotta get X for Y for some reason that was just announced– don’t question, just do it. Oop, more guys to shoot at, what a surprise.”
Levels are nicely built though and the action is varied and a little more difficult than expected. This reviewer played on medium difficulty and found himself dying quite a lot early on, a welcomed surprise that the game wasn’t just meant to be coasted through. Aesthetically, Transformers seems to blend together. It’s a cool art design, with the puzzle-like mass of Cybertron clicking together or being blown apart in fancy synchronization of what looks like the mainframe of a giant blue computer.
“Ker-punch” says Megatron. Ign.com
The fact Transformers has two player co-op is big plus. This is the kind of game that will be throughly more enjoyable with a partner in tow. A nice, pop-corny blend of blast um’ up action and semi-challenging platforming. There is also Escalation mode – a single-player all out fight where the computer simply sends wave after wave of enemies at you for as long as you can last – very action game 101 though.
Multiplayer is a decent affair, but be warned, it has a steep learning curve. Like many games out today, Multiplayer is based on a point system which increases by using one of the 4 classes – Soldier, Scientist, Scout and Leader. Each is fashioned as you’d imagine. The soldier is a run and gun type without much depth, the scientist is more of a support character with turret and healing ray, the scout is your quick, all-purpose sniper, and the leader is a cool blend of tank and general heavy weapons. The more you play with each, the more perks are available to add to each class. Each character also has their own vehicle that corresponds to their overall style. Mutliplayer is a fine, fun happening at first, but with only a few maps and gameplay modes there isn’t a terrific amount offered to return to again and again.
Perhaps the only reason why Transformers will get some attention is the obvious fact that – wait for it – it’s Transformers! The popularity of the 1980’s cartoon skyrocketed with the release of the movies and the video games that have been attached to them have all been quite weak. War for Cybertron makes a thruster leap in the right direction but really doesn’t bring more than a decent game to the table. With great license comes great responsibility. Fans are clamoring for a better game. They’re freakin’ fighting robots! It can’t be that hard to fashion something that should be at least considered fun!
High Moon (the game’s developers) ultimately succeeded in this – but didn’t quite reach for anything that will rock the gaming world. A massive Transformers fan will no doubt be able to look past all the blasé game mechanics and the seen-it-before action, because its a Transformers game that finally lives up to some of the coolness the license deserves. However, that aside, and your stuck with just an average, to slightly above average 3rd person shooter, nothing more deserving than a rental.
– Jonathan Pickering