Transformers: War for Cybertron [PS3] (8.5/10)

Transformers: More than meets the eye! Transfomers: Robots in disguise!

Ahh….Transfomers…what’s not to like? There are Autobots and there are Decpticons, and they are fighting and stuff….oh, and there is Optimus Prime, who is awesome. Yeah …Ok, I have a confession… Growing up, I never really watched the Transformers series or played with the action figures. Really, all I know is what Michael Bay taught me. Therefore, I can’t say how well War for Cybertron fits in with the series.

War for Cybertron is a prequel that takes place during the war between the Autobots and Decepticons as they battle for their home world of Cybertron. All in all, the story is actually really well told. It felt a little campy at times, but I think that’s what they were going for. It was all very endearing and I got the feeling that there were a lot of references meant for fans of the series that were going over my head.

The game controls like a standard 3rd person shooter. Analogue sticks to move, L1 to aim and R1 to fire. (why they did not use L2 and R2 I will never know) X jump, click in Right stick to melee, etc. The controls feel really great, and are very responsive.

Tearing through Transformers throughout the games’ two campaigns (Autobot and Decepticon) Is a blast. You begin each mission by picking one of three playable characters. (the characters available vary depending on the mission) Each character has a different weapon and two special abilities. One of the abilities is one that the character always has (cloak, use a shield, dash in a certain direction, etc.) and others can only be used once you have collected enough energon by destroying enemies. (whirlwind attack, temerarily become super strong, etc.) This keeps all the characters from feeling the same.

There is a nice variety of weapons and you are allowed to carry two at any given time. (The one you start with an an additional one) You have your shotgun-like weapons, your pistol-like weapons, snipers, rifles, missile launchers, etc. You can even rip turrets off of their stands and carry them around (how cool is that?)

As you progress through the missions the characters will talk to each other and their witty banter is great. If the War for Cybertron characters are anything like the ones in the animated series, then I really need to watch the cartoon. It is as corny as can be…but in an endearing way. I really grew to like these characters even if I can’t understand a word soundwave says…

“But wait”, you say, “Isn’t this game called Transfomers? What about the …you know, Transforming!” I’m glad you asked that question! At any time during the game, you can simply clicking in the left analogue stick will make your character instantly transform into his vehicle mode. (note: you can change this to the triangle button if you keep clicking in the stick by mistake like I did) The transforming animation is awesome. When I first started playing I just kept transforming back and forth just to watch the animation. You can transform at any given moment, even in midair. (which allows for some really cool moments)

and after you transform, it almost becomes a different game. The aim button becomes the accelerator and before you know it you are zipping across stages with ease. Each vehicle comes with its own weapon and it is great to zip around a stage firing in every direction.

In addition to turning into ground based vehicles, there are certain missions that allow you to fly. These missions are always extra fun and lead to some of my favorite moments in the game. Unfortunately, there are only two of these missions (out of 10). It is a real shame that the developers did not throw in more.

However, as much as I love playing as a vehicle, it is not a perfect experience. In the land levels, the developers don’t give you much incentive to transform and you spend most of the time humanoid form. Granted, there are a few times when you need to be a vehicle and those times are almost always fun, but the game really leans towards the shooter mechanics. Also, in the flight sections, some of the dogfights with other transformers feels a little off…your only weapon is a lock on missile and since you have to hold the reticule over the enemy to lock on, you find yourself flying to the edge of the battle standing completely still and firing rockets. Dogfights should be fast paced and action packed and these really were not.

That being said some of the best moments in the game were in vehicles and I do applaud the developers for at least trying to make the slower shooter gameplay mesh with the fast paced vehicle play. This is a hard franchise to turn into a game, and my research on the subject shows that there have been a lot of crappy transformers games out there. (and by research, I mean IGN…and Wikipedia)

Cyberton also features a large variety of gameplay modes. Unfortunately, almost no one plays it. The only modes I were able to try were team deathmatch, online co-op, and escalation. You should be familiar with the first two, but the latter may require some explanation. Basically, escalation is just a handful of players fighting off waves of NPCs. All three modes are fun little diversions but I don’t expect that most players will spend a lot of time with them.

I do have a few other problems with the game. It does get repetitive after a while, and the lack of split-screen co-op is a shame. (I wanted to play with my brother so badly!) That said, War for Cyberton is a great game. If you are a fan of the series, get it. This is the transformer experience you have been waiting for. If you are not a fan, still consider buying it as it is a good game and just may turn you into a fan.

Autobots, Roll out!

(P.S. this game has the coolest ending credits sequence since portal)

3 Responses to “Transformers: War for Cybertron [PS3] (8.5/10)”

  1. October 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Wow lol you’ve officially beaten me on review length haha 😉

  2. October 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I really wanted to play this. The online looked amazing. And as always I would have chozen to play as The Decepticons first.
    Good review by the way.

  3. October 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    thanks KingreX32. It is a great game and you should definitely check it out if given the chance. The online does have some potential but unfortunately there is rarely anyone online to play with (unless you wanna try team deathmatch) I should have dwelved into that aspect of the game more as the multiplayer mode features 4 distinct classes that can be customized (both in terms of weapons/abilities and the actual look of the robot) and it rewards frequent play by allowing you to unlock different upgrade options. It is a really good system if you play online a lot…but as previously stated there is not enough of an online community to encourage players to stay online.

    oh, and on a side note, I just realized that this is post #666. I suppose I have cursed the transformers franchise once and for all. 😛

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