Transformers: War for Cybertron is set millions of years in the past, during the civil war between the noble Autobots and the vile Decepticons, on the Transformer homeworld of Cybertron. As the game is set long before any Cybertronian had ever met a Human, characters transform into futuristic, utilitarian vehicle modes instead of replications of Earth vehicles.
Originally intended to stand on its own as a franchise, War for Cybertron's character design is a deliberate homage to the original 80's cartoon, "The Transformers", though the characterization and storyline are entirely original, such as the idea that the villainous Starscream was originally an Autobot. Overall, the entire style of the game is a mixture of various inspirations, with the developers stating that for inspiration they looked at the cartoon, the live-action movies, the comics, and several unrelated science-fiction films such as Tron, Aliens and Blade Runner.
War for Cybertron is a third person shooter with vehicular combat elements included. Its most defining feature is the seamless transition between the two modes of play; a single button press and the player character transforms between Robot Mode and Vehicle Mode. It has three player co-op in both campaigns, but local co-op with neither, unfortunately, and an extensive multiplayer component with class customization similar to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sub-series.
A demo became available on June 10th, 2010 exclusively on the Xbox 360. Stupidly, it was multiplayer-only, with Team Deathmatch and Conquest being the two available modes. Players were also limited to only selecting the Soldier or Scout class. Both classes had a level cap of 3 (the retail game level cap being 25).
Although originally intended as a stand-alone storyline, Hasbro has since officially made War for Cybertron, and "Exodus", the tie-in novel, canon as the backstory of the newest animated series, "Transformers: Prime".
In November 2010, Hasbro announced that a sequel was being planned for a 2012 release. No further word came of this until October 2011, when a GameInformer-exclusive story announced Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, still intended for a 2012 release.
There are two different campaigns detailing the war of Cybertron. There is the Autobot campaign where the player follows Optimus on his quest to unite the Autobots and defeat the Decepticons. Of course, Optimus is most widely known to audiences as Optimus Prime, but in War for Cybertron, Optimus has not yet become a Prime and is not very high in rank--often taking orders. But as the campaign progresses, he rises to assume his position as Prime and become the eventual leader of the Autobots.
The second campaign follows the Decepticons and features Megatron as the main character. You will follow him on his rise to power and his spiraling decent towards becoming the evil character he is more commonly known as, he wishes to initiate the "rebirth of Cybertron's golden age" through any means necessary.
Both campaigns are fully playable in drop in, drop out co-op with up to three players.
War for Cybertron's core shooter gameplay is a cross between Gears of War's slow paced tactical shooting and Ratchet and Clank's high speed arcade shooting. It is not a cover based shooter, but due to precision being required it isn't entirely arcadey either.
Transformation can be done at any point altering gameplay significantly. Your character can shift from robot to vehicle and vice versa at the touch of a button no matter what you are doing. The large arsenal of ranged weapons, four diverse character classes and array of abilities provide many gameplay options in both single, co-op and multiplayer. Many enemies also have the ability to transform, clever use of both robot and vehicle mode is vital to success.
Your weapons in War for Cybertron will match the color scheme of your character when used and are not actually held but are instead different forms your character's arm gains the ability to morph in to. Certain weapons such as the Ion Blaster have designs and names taken from or heavily influenced by the original cartoons weapons, the Blaster being highly reminiscent of G1 Optimus' iconic Ion Blaster rifle.
Each character has a single melee weapon at any given time that appears when the melee attack is used. All characters can hover and strafe in vehicle mode and are equipped with ranged weapons.
- Scatter Blaster
- EMP Shotgun
- Energon Battle Pistol
- Ion Blaster
- Photon Burst Rifle
- Null Ray
- Neutron Repeater
- Plasma Cannon
- Magma Frag Launcher
- Energon Repair Ray
- X12 Scrapmaker
- Thermo Rocket Launcher
- Fusion Cannon
- Thermo Mines
- Flak Grenades
- EMP Grenades
- Energon Grenades
- Energon Blade
- Energon Double Axe
- Energon Club
- Energon Hammer
In order to use a chassis (character model) in multiplayer you must have unlocked them in single player.
Every chassis can be customized in terms of colors. If you want a pink Optimus Prime, then a pink Optimus Prime you shall have. However, the visual customization is severely limited, as you can only change the colors and there are only a few of them with some being faction-specific.
The multiplayer consists of class based competitive and co-operative gameplay with a high emphasis on customizable abilities and load outs. These customizations include class, weapons, skills and character color and chassis. Killstreaks are also available in the form of upgrades of which their are 18 attainable per class. A player may only equip two of the four available weapons at any time and only use three upgrades.
Multiplayer game modes include:
Deathmatch - Standard free for all player verses player combat
Team Deathmatch - Standard team vs team deathmatch
Power Struggle - Capture randomly generated nodes to gain points, team with most points wins
Code of Power - A variant of capture the flag involving a 2 and half minute time limit in which to capture opponents Code as many times as possible
Countdown to Extinction - Defend your base from enemy attacks while also attempting to acquire and deploy a bomb that does massive damage to the opponents base
Conquest - Capture and hold up to three nodes for as long as possible, team that holds the most nodes the longest wins
The four classes are Scout, Scientist, Leader and Soldier and each class has unique abilities and weapons. The weapons and abilities for the classes are:
- Play style: for people who like to stealth and fight with speed
- Primary Weapons: Plasma Cannon & Scatter Blaster
Dash: A quick burst of speed that lasts for a short time.
- Secondary Weapons: Null Ray & Energon Battle Pistol
- Grenades: EMP Grenades
- Killstreaks: Orbital Beacon, Energon Recharger, Orbital Beacon 2.0
- Abilities: Cloak: Turn invisible and be undetectable until you attack.
Decoy Trap: Spawn a fake pickup that stuns enemies.
Mark Target: Tag an enemy with EMP that weakens armor and makes them easy to spot.
- Play style: for people who like sniping and healing
- Primary Weapons: Photon Burst Rifle & Energon Repair Ray
- Secondary Weapons: Neutron Repeater & EMP Shotgun
- Grenades: Energon Grenades
- Killstreaks: Health Matrix 2.0, Overshield Matrix, Nucleon Shock Cannon
Spawn Sentry: Creates a turret that shoots at enemies.
- Abilities: Shockwave: A wave attack that stuns and knocks back enemies.
Drain: Leech health from enemies and give it to yourself.
Disguise: Take the appearance of an enemy player.
- Play style: for people who like to support their team
- Primary Weapons: Ion Blaster & Magma Frag Launcher
- Secondary Weapons: Fusion Cannon & Energon Battle Pistol
- Grenades: Thermo Mines
- Killstreaks: Intercooler, P.O.K.E V2.0, Thermo Mine Re-Spawner
Moleculon Bomb: Slows down enemies and does massive damage upon detonation.
- Abilities: Warcry: Increase teams strength and armor.
Shield Barrier: Wall of energy that blocks incoming fire.
Transform Disruptor: Force enemy to transform and be stuck in that mode.
- Play style: for people who just want to deal and take damage
- Primary Weapons: Neutron Repeater & Thermo Rocket Launcher
- Secondary Weapons: EMP Shotgun & X12 Scrapmaker
- Grenades: Flak Grenades
- Killstreaks: Ammo Matrix, Electromagnetic Pulse, Omega Missile
Whirlwind: Powerful melee attack that hits all enemies in range.
- Abilities: Hover: Float in the air for brief time, increasing weapon range and damage.
Ammo Beacon: Automatically refills ammo of near by teammates.
Energon Sling: Temporarily disables an enemies abilities.
The Lore (aka Logic) of Transformation
People who question the need for the Transformers to have alternate modes prior to arriving on earth and using them to hide from human detection should realize the reason they had them to begin with was always to travel more efficiently, gain new abilities or specifically in the case of Decepticons, gain flight or extra firepower, something the Autobots adopted later when they gained access to the same technology. Even in the original cartoon this was shown in the first couple of episodes and should you be a fan of Transformers you would be well aware of this. In War for Cybertron, High Moon took the transformation logic a step further and had every character have a vehicle mode but not one that features a cockpit. While some of the characters appear to have them they do not and this is a visual design element only.
The ability to hide in plain sight while on earth was a bonus to their already existing needs for transformation and could be a game mechanic if a sequel is made and is indeed set on earth. Of course if this does happen every character will need to exchange their Cybertron vehicle mode for an Earth equivalent.
Issues regarding the PC port
PC gamers, please be aware of the plethora of issues regarding the PC version. In the PC port, you cannot customize your controls [details about a third-party workaround can be found in this thread on the Steam forums], the FPS is locked at 30, you cannot change graphical options other than resolution and texture quality, the camera is more sensitive on the X-axis than the Y-axis and you cannot balance them, there will be no DLC available (confirmed by Activision), there is no chat in multiplayer mode (text, voice, animations, scripted orders, etc), and there are no dedicated servers, and no ping listing. Despite the numerous issues, there is a growing PC fanbase who thoroughly enjoy the game and custom user mods have been already been created to bypasses the 30FPS lock amongst other issues.
PC System Requirements
- OS: XP/Vista/Windows® 7
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz or AMD Ahtlon 64 x2 Dual-Core 4000 2.0 GHz4 2.4 GHz
- Memory: 2GB of RAM
- Graphics: 3D hardware accelerator card required - 100% DirectX® 9.0c-compliant 256 MB video card and drivers*
- DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c (Included)
- Hard Drive: 9GB of uncompressed hard disk space (plus 400 MB for the Windows® swap file and 12 KB free for saved games)
- Sound: 100% DirectX® 9.0c-compliant true 16-bit sound card and drivers
- Other Requirements: A 100% Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7-compatible computer system
Keyboard/Mouse 100% Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7-compatible mouse, keyboard and drivers
*Supported Chipsets for Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7
- All NVIDIA® GeForce® 7900 GT 256 MB RAM and better chipsets (excluding 8400 cards)
- All ATI Radeon™ x1900 256 MB RAM and better chipsets (excluding Radeon HD2400, HD2600, and HD3450)