sdoots's Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360) review

Optimus would be satisfied.

This, the latest attempt to bring Transformers to the video game realm, is finally the one that gets it right. It does everything that you could want in a game with the Transformers name on it. You can transform at any time, you can play as about 14 different Autobots and Decepticons, and Starscream is still a tool. 
Gameplay boils down to old-school behind the back shooting, with no cover system to be found. It almost has a vague Unreal Tournament feel to it in the sheer chaos of the combat. There's also a large variety of weapons, and the different categories of Transformers have different vehicle mode weapons as well, such as tank cannons, machine guns, and rockets. These, combined with the shotguns, assault rifles, and rocket launchers, among more unique weapons like the fusion cannon, allow you to deck out your robot of choice in a range of different ways. 
Of course, it's always nice to have some pretty things to look at while you're blowing stuff up, and the game has stellar visuals.  There's particle effects all over the place, and just enough bloom to make things look nice without hurting your eyes. Characters look big and chunky, much like their cartoon and comic counterparts. Just about the only thing worth complaining about in the visual department is the lack of scenery. As a result of the game taking place entirely on the world of Cybertron, every area looks pretty much the same, with steel and electronics everywhere. Occassionally you'll leave the innards of the mechanical planet to venture through cities and prisons, but these too are composed of nothing but metal. It's not a problem, and it's something I can understand comes with the territory when making a game that takes place on Cybertron, but it's still really noticeable when the levels all have the same general appearance to them. I would seriously wager that they used the same textures on almost every level. 
The Single Player offering is somewhat weak, and while it is fun, I never found myself playing through more than a single mission at a time. They mostly feel uninspired and some even have sections ripped straight from other games, like the Halo Vehicle Escape sequence in one of the Autobot missions. As for multiplayer, the game offers a class based system that in some ways feels more rewarding than the game it borrows most from, Call Of Duty. The killstreaks benefit your entire team rather than just yourself, and the abilities have a synergy to them that very few other games do. Finally, the game also offers the now standard fight-against-a-bunch-of-dudes-until-you-die mode, called Escalation. It borrows more from Nazi Zombies than anything else, but it's still an enjoyable romp thanks to the unique opportunities the game allows. 
In conclusion, War For Cybertron is a solid game on it's own merits, and the Transformers license carries it even further. Any shooter fan should check it out, and any Transformers fan would be a fool to do otherwise.


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