Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review
By: Andrew Bohnenberger
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a third person shooter developed by High Moon Studio and published by Activision. Fall of Cybertron is the follow up to 2010’s War for Cybertron. Does Fall of Cybertron improve on the previous titles flaws while staying true to the Franchise?
Fall of Cybertron takes places directly after the events of War for Cybertron. In War of Cybertron, The Autobots struggle to defeat the Decepticons on their home planet of Cybertron. In Fall of Cybertron, the story follows the civil war between the two factions and the Autobots attempt to seek refuge in the Milky Way galaxy. I felt that if you are a fan of the Transformers series you will find nostalgic fan service and proper portrayal of the characters and events of the classic G1 story arc. The voice acting is superb which is most likely due to the voice cast from the cartoon series returning to reprise their roles including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Gregg Berger as Grimlock.
The graphics in Fall of Cybertron are fantastic. This is another game that showcases the versatile Unreal Engine 3 when it comes to re-imagining this cybernetic themed world. All the animations are fluid especially when robots transform to and from vehicle form and the game runs at a smooth thirty frames per second during all the huge sprawling battles in the game.
Now the gameplay in this game is a mixed bag and is where I found most of my complaints. My biggest gripe is that the co-op campaign from the original game was removed in favor for a single player campaign showcasing each of the Transformers. My major problem with this decision is that there is a lack of replay ability for each level since you cannot choose a different Transformer to take on the level with. Also there is one singular campaign where you go between both Autobot and Decepticons that I felt lacked the freedom to choose which side of the battle you wanted to approach first. To me it seems like the developers wanted to bring more gameplay variety by sectioning off each level with a transformer and their unique ability. The problem with this decision is it often ended up boiling down to the same generic run and gun shooting with waves of enemies. Usually I am not against the idea of fending off hordes of enemies as long as there is plenty of enemy variety which I feel the game lacked. I can count of one hand the amount of enemies I encountered with only slight variations throughout the campaign. While you could make an argument that there were more gameplay variety with levels that focused on individual Transformers and their abilities, the abilities that were truly unique only lasted a short time with the more generic gameplay sections taken up most of the game. Some of highlights in the game in terms of unique gameplay include stealth sections with Cliffjumper, grappling hook sections with Jazz, and melee combat with Grimlock. Not to mention the best sections in the game where you get to control huge Transformers like Metroplex and Bruticus who tower over and lay waste to all enemies on screen. Lastly, I would have enjoyed more open ended areas where you could effectively switch off between robot and vehicle forms rather than the corridor based areas the game committed too.
While I feel that Fall of Cybertron lacks less features than War of Cybertron, mostly due to the elimination of the two co-op single player campaigns, I still think there is plenty of content to warrant the $60 price tag especially if you are a fan of the multiplayer. The game features a six to seven hour campaign, four multiplayer modes, and a co-op horde mode called Escalation. The four multiplayer modes include team deathmatch, conquest, capture the flag, and headhunter. Simply put, Conquest is Fall of Cybertron’s version of capture and hold and headhunter involves collecting sparks of a downed transformer and returning it to a node. If you liked the multiplayer modes from the first game, you will find anything original except the ability to customize your transformers appearance down to the head, torsos, legs, and arms. As for me, I think the stand out mode is Escalation because you and your co-op buddies must work to together to take out hordes of enemies while opening up different sections of the map and upgrading your abilities in order to work in tandem with each other.
In conclusion, it is not that Fall of Cybertron is a bad game, it is that it is totally unoriginal when it comes to the gameplay mechanics is introduces. Most of the time I was playing this game, I felt like I have done this countless times in other games. While I can appreciate the game going for a more action oriented run and gun gameplay style rather than the tired cover based shooter formula, I felt the environments did not leave enough open-endedness to experiment with what made the game so great in the first place which is transforming back and forth. Overall, I do not see the multiplayer having long legs and with only a six hour campaign with no replay ability it won’t hurt to rent this game before you are swamped with other upcoming fall releases.
Rent: With a six hour campaign and multiplayer that lacks any type of long lasting community, this game is only worth a purchase of you are a diehard Transformers fan.