It’s finally here!
Well almost. Transformers Fall of Cybertron is set to launch on August 21st and I am pumped! Let me take you back over a year from today and explain where this all started.
I have been a transformers fan since I was 8 years old and started playing with the toys that originally hit the shelves. This love has followed me throughout my life as Transformers have invaded almost every form of Media known to mankind ( Comics, Cartoons, Toys, Movies, Video Games…)
I am also proud to say that I have even played the ” Movie Tie In” Transformer Video games that have released alongside the recent big screen movies we have been blessed with ( or cursed depending on what side you are on).
When 2010’s ” War for Cybertron” was released everything changed. This was the first Transformer game this generation that wasnt a movie Tie in and forged a path of its own establishing a new history and re writing the very lore that had been with Transformers these past decades. In short it was a massive Re boot for the Transformers Universe and since it was a video game and not a movie we all got front row seats and experienced it through the eyes of our favourite bots!
The game was a critical success as well as a creative one. Graphics, multi player, story…this was a AAA game and it showed in all aspects, BUT….it was still an under the radar” game meaning that very few people got to experience it.
The name Transformers doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a mature shooting experience or a game that has the nuts and bolts to go toe to toe with the likes of Call of Duty or HALO.
War for Cybertron kicked ass and took names…and now we have an amazing sequel that in my opinion will win ” Game of the Year” this year across a majority of publications. Watch for it
Fall of Cybertron chronicles the Autobots exodus from their home planet Cybertron with the Decepticons in hot pursuit. Basically it sets up the story that we all came to know in the 80’s animated cartoons. Of course in keeping with the first game High Moon studios have the blessings of Hasbro in crafting a completely new origin story and don’t be surprised if you see alternate versions of your favourite characters back story or completely re imagined characters all together ( HINT HINT….THE DINOBOTS ARE IN THIS GAME!)
This time around the game is a single player experience at its core as opposed to the 3 player co op of the last outing. This gives the developers an edge when it comes to story telling as they can shove you into the shoes of characters without having to worry about 2 potential friends tagging along…from a narrative point of view this changes things for the better.
Co Op returns in the form of the survival game mode ” escalation” where you and your friends face waves of enemies and open up new arenas with in game currency while playing in the shoes of iconic characters like Optimus Prime and others.
Once players have digested a rather beefy story/campaign ( rumour is that its close to 10 hours!!) they will be swarming into what I feel is probably the most entertaining multi player game I have ever played. Now keep in mind that all my opinions are based on a Hands on with the XBL demo currently available but if the full game is anything like the demo then trust me when I say we are all in for a BIG treat!
Multi -player is composed of your standard stuff, meaning Team Deathmatch and capture and control game modes but it’s how it’s all delivered and packaged that makes all the difference in the world.
Players will start by creating a custom Transformers character for each of the games 4 classes; Titan, Destroyer, Scientist and Infiltrator. Each class comes with its own abilities/perks and a variety of weapons and equipment. The coolest part about the whole process is the visual customization. You can swap out arms and legs as well as heads and chest pieces before applying a pre selected color theme from a pallete of approx 50 different ones.
By the time you step out into the virtual arena of cybertron you will have a completely unique looking bot that is yours to improve upon. As you progress through the games ranks you will unlock more body parts and weapons to outfit your bot with. All those years playing with my transformers toys wondering how to swap out parts with all my toys is finally in the palm of my hands. A childs dream come true.
With all this fluff you would think that the game itself is going to suffer when it comes to standing tall with other shooter titles like Gears of War and HALO. Not so my friends.
Fall of Cybertron looks and handles like a dream. The games control’shave been tweaked for a better experience and certain buttons have been re mapped to allow for quick response in battle.Transforming from robot to vehicle is smooth nd adds a tactical element to the game instead of just sprinting and jumping across the maps ( Sprint is a welcome new feature as is the ability to quickly roll to the side ala Gears of War)
Hit detection feels like it has also been cleaned up and is spot on with all the weapon having well illustrated targeting reticule in line with the type of gun ( sniping, close range etc..)
Graphically the game is pushing the limits of what Unreal Engine can do on current Gen hardware. The game has amazingly detailed environments and character models are now shoved closer to the camera and have an amazing sense of definition. Your transformer will have all sorts of moving servos and parts animating on him while you move about the enviroment really driving home that you are in control of a Configurable robot.
The game graphics are on par with last years Gears of War 3 from what I have seen so far and really makes you feel like you are not playing your normal third person shooter. Transformers Fall of Cybertron is something special indeed and it oozes this every second you are playing the game.
In the end it will be the pocket books of the consumers that dictate whether we eventually see more games in this series but I hope that players put aside whatever misconceptions they have about the franchise and realize that Fall of Cybertron deserves to counted amongst the better games in the genre.
If you are one of the people who scoff at the idea that a Transformers game could deliver the qualitys some of the big name shooters…well think again. There is more here than meets the eye!
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash