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Transformers: War for Cybertron


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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:20 PM

So there's this Transformers game for which I've seen no advertising, no idea it even existed until I accidentally came across a mention of it in the XBL. Having enough money on a trade-in card, I decided, the heck with it and bought it.

I'm kind of glad I did.

WfC takes us back to the dark ages of Cybertron, when the war was still raging and Megatron was just beginning to put together his plan to destroy Iacon and deal a crippling blow to the Autobots. I've only played the first of 10 chapters, but the chapters are big, and beefy, and it feels like you're actually playing with giant robots.

But it's also very familiar if you've played Halo, Gears, or any of those sorts of games. The true novelty, IMO of the game, is the ability to play as these familiar characters. Loading up the campaign as Megatron and going to town with his fusion cannon is just seven shades of awesome, and transforming in mid battle, using your tank's jets to shoot of a ramp, and then transforming in mid-leap to bring your mace down on the unsuspecting head of a Sky Commander is just pure brilliance (and hard to pull off, but so sweet when you do)

Unlike a lot of modern shooters, this is not a tactical cover game. You don't 'slide' or 'lock' into cover, you just run behind it and around it, and enemies are very agressive even on lower difficulty levels, which creates a far more frentic pace than on something like Gears, but that has charm in it's own right. My biggest problem so far is that with a dozen plus enemies on screen, you just lose track of all the moving objects. It's a niggle that will no doubt go away with practice.

The animations are gorgeous too, and the fact that the cutscenes are rendered in the game engine for the most part means that you never really feel that distinction between cutscene and gameplay. It's all kind of neat.

And the voices....

Cue Cullen as Optimus Prime, Johnny Yong Bosh as Bumblebee, and as a mass effect afficianado hearing the voice of uber-big bad Saren as Megatron is just creepy on all sorts of levels, especially given the nature of the mechanical enemies in Mass Effect. Of course given that he plays resident unfunny guy and deadpan Snarker Baird in Gears means I know his voice well.

Are there bad parts? Well, the combat system IMO lacks depth. It's pretty much a third person run-n-gunner, at least on lower difficulty levels, I imagine strategy will become more important on the higher ones, but ultimately it's an uncomplicated game. Is that a bad thing? Maybe, it definitely feels less polished than some of the other shooters I've played but on the other hand it suits the game well.

The one thing I don't like, but which was sort of inevitable is that you kill dozens, hundreds of mooks (autobot and decepticon) and with the exception of named characters they are treated as cannon fodder. While that's understandable in a war, it feels odd to dehumanise Transformers when I've always felt they all had interesting unique personalities. Maybe that's a legacy of the cartoon where in the movie I could name every dead Autobot in the battle for Autobot City.

I haven't tried the multiplayer modes yet, so we'll have to see how those are.

Last but not least, this game feels like a love-letter to G1 fans. There's plenty of nods and references to the original series and movie and for an old school fans that's nice. I can't prove it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that whatever the official statement says, this game was scripted and written for the 20 and 30 year olds who watched the series as kids and have never had a proper Transformers game.

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#2 Hawkeye

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 01:27 AM

I *really* want to play this game, but my Xbox died 2 days before it was released. I also wanted to play Lego Harry Potter :( I shall play it when I get my xbox back from Microsoft in 2-3 weeks!
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.

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#3 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 02:50 PM

Thanks for the review. I've been meaning to give this game a try and just keep forgetting to. It sounds awesome. I'll have to pick up soon.
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#4 Hawkeye

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 03:40 PM

I picked it up, it's a brilliant game. I've played through the campaign a couple of times, but unfortunately I couldn't really get into the multiplayer.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.

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