TRANSFORMERS™: WAR FOR CYBERTRON EXPLORES A BRAND NEW, PIVOTAL CHAPTER IN TRANSFORMERS LORE
Highly Anticipated Action Shooter Defines New Chapter in the TRANSFORMERS Universe
New Action Game Delves Deep into the TRANSFORMERS Universe
Experience the legendary battle between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS as Activision Publishing, Inc. brings you Transformers™: War for Cybertron by award-winning High Moon Studios. Based on Hasbro’s legendary TRANSFORMERS property, the game takes players to the TRANSFORMERS characters’ home planet of CYBERTRON for a new look into the epic story of the grand civil war that spawned one of the most brutal rivalries of all time.
If there was one thing that I used to race home from school for when I was but a lad, in my knee-length shorts running excitedly home over cobbles, with my school satchel bouncing like a saddle bag across my back, it was…no, er wait a minute? Why do I keep getting images of the Hovis advert when I recall my childhood? Oh Lordy, next I’ll be talking about taking jam jar’s to pay to get into the cinema and ‘beef-dripping’ sandwiches.
The thing is ,when Transformers was around it was at a time when there were quite a number of epic cartoons doing the circuit on TV. What with the likes of He-Man, ThunderCats and those pizza munching half-wit’s that lived in a sewer being taught Ninjitsu by a 6 feet tall talking rat, and before you ask ‘No,’ his name was not Roland. The eighties was a time of cartoon heaven as we were spoiled for choice by the sheer number of quality series.
But even with the veritable feast of animated fare that was on offer to me when I was a nipper, it was one cartoon in particular that stood out from all the rest. They all had their high points and their endearing features, however there was only one that just had it all, and had it in spades! Explosions, laser’s, action, fighting, hand-to-hand combat, guns and of course the ability to reconstruct the main characters into awesome looking vehicles. I am, of course, talking about Transformers.
So when I played the first in the Transformers series, Revenge of the Fallen, back when it was first released I was, as you can imagine, in my boyhood element as I ran around collecting ‘orbs’ and power ups as Bumblebee.Even better that was being able to act out the schoolboy fantasy of smashing the hell out of the evil Decepticon’s as the head-honcho himself, Optimus Prime. My boyhood dream’s, it seemed, had been replaced by digital reality, and once again I was 9 years old as I took on the role of the Transformers of my formative years.
Imagine then my absolute joy when I then learned that Activision and High Moon Studio’s were to develop a prequel to Revenge of the Fallen, and that you would be able to play as either Autobot or evil Decepticon in the War for Cybertron? Well, as you can guess, the 9-year-old boy in me came racing to the surface demanding to be taken to the store immediately to queue for day’s on end to ensure that my copy was safe and sound. Was it going to live up to my childhood expectations?Let’s find out shall we?
Gamers’ and Gameresses, I bring to you the GamesMediaPro review of…
… Transformers:War for Cybertron.
Unlike the general trend for gaming titles when there is a movie in the offing, or there is a one on release at your local cinema? Transformers War for Cybertron has not adhered to the standard rules of play, in that it does not stick to the movie plot, and instead takes us back in time to when Optimus wasn’t yet quite Prime and his fellow Autobots were in command of their home world of Cybertron. All is well and good and the robotic birds are tweeting digital tunes in the scrap metal tree’s, before transforming some left over grease and circuitry into ‘cyber guano’ and depositing it on the visor of your shiny new Transformer transport . That is until the dastardly Megatron, the evil villain from the Saturday morning ‘must watch,’ arrives with his ‘posse’ of ne’er -do-wells and embarks on a ruthless conquest of domination over the planet.
The storyline plays out over twelve well-designed levels of varying difficulty, beginning with the obvious Tutorial , which is the gaming norm. The fact that you can play as the Autobot’s only after getting around half way into the campaign is not really a problem, as fans of the long running series will no doubt be thrilled to be able to play as the ‘bad guys’ for the first half of the game. It is however, very possible to skip forward in the mission timeline and jump directly into the fray as the Autobot’s. This, although available, is not what we chose to do, and I am pleased to tell you that after playing the title through a second time and deciding to jump forward in time to play as the Autobots, we would advise you to do the former of the options as opposed to the latter. Far more fun awaits in the game’s entirety we can assure you.
The missions range, complexity and purpose are all properly thought out affairs that offer a well-balanced blend of action and strategy, as well as a fair bit of dextrous hand-to-eye co-ordination, as in the case of one of the most ambitious and yet visually impressive moments of the game during the Starscream chapter. We would not want to ruin your enjoyment of this cracking title too much by littering the review with spoilers, but if you don’t gasp at least three times during this awesome display of graphical content and superb physics from the Unreal Engine then we suggest an immediate trip to your local health centre for the nurse to confirm that you still have a pulse.
As far as the combat goes, this is your standard third person action shooter with the emphasis being placed firmly on the word ‘action.’ Gone are the usual ‘duck and cover’ tactics offered by the vast majority of 3PS titles out there, such as the latest Kane and Lynch, Gears of War or Lost Planet. Instead what you see is what you get, and what you get is action. Plain and simple no-holds-barred, hang on to your knickers Missus, bullet and bombs action! And we loved it! Who cares that you couldn’t get your hulking great 15 feet tall robotic assassin to hide in a cubby hole as his life bar regenerated. This is Transformers! Just blast your way out of trouble and enjoy it!
One feature that we know you will all enjoy out there, and that is Activision’s very familiar style that run’s throughout the vast majority of their titles, that being the levelling up system afforded your playable characters. Everything from personal traits such as ‘cloaking’ and ‘healing’ are upgradable as well as the weapons that come as part of your characters actual physical make-up, or as an actual item that can be used. For those of you out there who prefer you action a little grittier than the rest we can suggest that you level up your weapons first, the other attributes are great if you like a bit more subtlety and refinement to your gameplay, but for those of you out there who are fond of an FPS frag-fest like we are here at GamesMediaPro Towers? We would argue that even though it may seem that the weapons upgrades take a little time to actually ‘kick in’ as it were, once they do you will be glad of the fact, especially as you progress deeper into the game’s storyline, and the gameplay becomes a lot more challenging.
One particularly fine addition to the title was the introduction of a three player co-op campaign that allows for many great moments for friends and loved ones. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a wife or girlfriend who games as well as a family member or friend then get them involved too? I played along on the co-op with my wife, (who just happens to be a better gamer than most, lucky me), and who held up her end of the combat with far greater accuracy and imagination than the AI partner that joined or gruesome-twosome to make a trio for Cybertronic hell. That being said, the Artificial Intelligence is far superior to some of the mindless drones that have been substituted for partners on other titles. These AI automaton’s will actually put up a good show, instead of just walking around aimlessly blasting everything but the enemy, or worse still just standing by as they witness your slow agonizing death at the hands of a vengeful mob.
The campaign is a definite high point in Transformers War for Cybertron, with the inclusion into the gameplay of a veritable plethora of Transformer type goodness. Everything from the classes of Autobots and Decepticon’s themselves whose range stretch from cars and trucks, right through to the jets of the more familiar characters of Starscream and the like. There are more than a few nice touches in the campaign mode, the upgrades we enjoyed for instance as well as the twenty odd actual Transformers that are available for you to step into the shoes of.
But on top of all that great single play action comes the added bonus that you have the three-way co-op and the multiplayer to enjoy also, and trust us people, enjoy them you will.
The CooP gameplay that allows you to mix it up with two friends is a fantastic piece of innovation from High Noon , and a welcome one to boot. Although you can jump in and out of strangers games at any old-time, you must, however, begin a new game and select any mission from the list, from which to take on your CooP battler online, or start the campaign in full with your pals.
Multiplayer is much the same as multiplayer the world over. So you can rest easy that with an Activision title that you will indeed be on familiar ground. What with the recognisable upgrade system and controls we urge you just to grab your ‘trolla and quite literally jump right in.
There are some truly great gaming times to be had during the online multiplayer, and we readily say to you to take advantage of the battle mode that sees up to 10 Transformer‘s fighting out until the victor’s stand triumphant over the smouldering corpses of their fallen adversaries. Escalation, which is a similar experience to the Gears of War ‘Horde’ mode, is a little belter of a mode and pits comrades against a tidal wave of incoming cyber soldiers as they struggle for survival. A neat touch in the Escalation mode is when you wish to re-supply your ammo in between rounds and you must spend the points accrued by dismantling the enemy bodies. To obtain further bonus weapons and some truly large calibre guns then pool together the resources of your friends points with your own to unlock this giant killer weaponry.
To summarise then is to highly commend both Activision and High Noon Studios for taking the boyish dreams of a young lad and turning them into the adult guilty pleasures of a gamer reliving his childhood. This is a job well done by all involved and is a signal to other developers and publishers that movie crossovers can, indeed, be as successful as any other genre out there. The voice acting from Peter Cullen in particular, is top-notch and the gameplay is action packed stuff from beginning to end.
Graphics: Metallic worlds may not have offered up much in the way of inspiration for some developers, but High Noon have managed to bring Megatron to look to life , and make it look as you always imagined it to be in your mind’s eye. 8
Gameplay: It’s just action all the way here. So much so that you are not even given the option to take cover, and why would you want to? You are a Transformer after all! So strap on a rocket launcher and grab your gun, let’s kick some Cyber Butt! 8
RePlay Value: With a first-rate single player campaign that saw us playing through twice just to bring you this review. Then add the three-way co-op for you and your friends to battle through together? Then add the Multiplayer mode and Escalation? You may assume that the game is going to score highly on our replay value chart? You assumed right! It’s a cracker. 8
Presentation: Kid’s are going to absolutely love this game, and why wouldn’t they? It has everything that you want in a game and then some. Great imagery, fine voice acting, an excellent single player that will have you playing solo and co-op time and again. Oh, and a smasher of a multiplayer. But to make it such the blockbuster that we know that its going to be is the fact that it not only appeals to the kid’s out there, but that it also appeals to the ‘big kid’ in all of us. Transformers gets, and justly deserves an 8