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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review

A long time ago Transformers was all about being more than meets the eye; many years later and plenty of different reincarnations, much has been stripped away from the original ideals of this long running toy advert for Hasbro. I am not being cynical; in fact I have no problem with the close connection of entertainment and a 30 minute advert, as long as the stories are good. Like myself, many fans have very close connections to what is now fondly referred to as Generation One, waking up early on a Saturday morning to get though mindless tosh of Timmy Mallett and Tommy Boyd to see my favourite TV show.

Those were the good days; since then my generation have had bitter experiences with revisiting old favourites, ever since The Phantom Menace, the word prequel has made many shudder, what was first a hopeful return to days gone turned into.... well, The Phantom Menace, so my guard was initially up a lot higher than normal considering how poor Mr Bays versions were, but then War for Cybertron turned out to be a lot better than many thought possible. Now we have the sequel to the prequel, Fall of Cybertron (FOC) and thankfully from start to finish FOC manages to be one huge homage with High Moon Studios giving us its interpretation of what happened in the days running up to the moment the Ark crashed onto prehistoric Earth. There is a lot to live up to, War for Cybertron was a pretty good take on the Transformers mythos, taking the good bits from the old shows and giving it a modern shine and yet again, this version of Transformers is in safe hands and will offer so much for fans to take in there will be a lot of 30 something men getting all giddy in their living rooms over the next few weeks.

The story has a similar flow to the first game, with you initially taking control of numerous Autobots as they race to escape Cyberton and try to find a source of Energon to power the Ark, with the game then switching over to the Decepticons who are trying to stop them. 

The action is continually ramped up after each level, starting with simple blast and cover action, then adding more and more ideas and culminating with the games eye watering action packed finale, with only the sudden ending leaving you a little on edge and expecting more; but then it is so well tied up that any fan of Generation One will know exactly what happens next. The action is again a basic over the shoulder shooter, with debris and walls offering cover but no real cover to cover system like the Gears of War games. Each Transformer has access to the same weapons via Teletraan1 terminals that are dotted heavily throughout the levels and can carry two at a time, a standard and a heavy weapon plus an assortment of backup items like a shield, health regeneration, combat drone or a variety of grenades.

High Moon Studios have spiced up each level with a little variety in the way that each Transformer will have their own special power that will assist with progressing through the level, like the awesome Optimus Prime levels that has the Autobots fearless leader using Metroplex and his aerial barrage to stop Decepticon troops and heavy weapons, Cliffjumper using stealth to avoid and dispose of enemies, Jazz and his energy grapple hook and even Soundwave letting loose with Laserbeak and Rumble. Though all great, these are all topped with the moment you hear the words "Combaticons. Combine into Bruticus," with every hair stood on end and though a little short-lived, the resulting anarchy, destruction, and painful screams of the Autobots as you crush them is one of my gaming moments of the year. High Moon Studios tries to give the fans everything they ever wanted and they mostly succeed, though it does feel a little rushed as just as you get used to one Transformer, you move onto another level but what we do get is all quality, we even get to see an even darker side to Shockwaves experiments, a great side story involving Grimlock and the Dinobots, lots of Insecticons and of course, constant bickering between Megatron and Starscream.

Though the solo campaign will be over a bit too quickly, there is loads of time to put into the multiplayer aspect of Fall of Cybertron. First up is Escalation, based over two maps, Ancients and Oblivion you have to survive 15 waves of non-stop attack from all corners of the map. Four of you need to team up as some fan favourite Transformers and keep it together to survive till the end, starting off with quite a basic weapons layout and standard special weapons like a support drone or health beam. To get better weapons or even open more areas to venture through you need to spend cash, earned by killing the many enemies that approach you. 

Aside from Escalation you also have the very deep and fun multiplayer mode, allowing you to choose from four classes and take part in some huge battles across very impressive and large maps (maybe a little too big at times). The four classes on offer differ widely from one another and each require different skills to master like the Destroyer, the Infiltrator who is your small and quick Transformer who does not have much in the way of firepower but has a very useful stealth mode, the Titan with his dangerous tornado move and the Scientist who can boost nearby players health.

The four classes to choose from are selectable at any point of the game, allowing you to adapt your tactics depending on what the opponents are using. I did find this mode to be a little one sided, if all of the opponents choose the larger Transformers, the smaller ones are all but useless and are just cannon fodder, a pain if you want to upgrade your Infiltrator, however, slowly and surely, one game at a time you will eventually rank up via some of the in game challenges that earn bonus XP, allowing you to then visit Teletraan1 and add some more powerful weapons and upgrades to your arsenal and maybe even get more than just assist kills for a change.

Having played the multiplayer on WOC quite a bit, surprisingly not a lot has changed for this version and the same old tactics are already being utilized, giving newcomers to the game an unfair disadvantage. Modes included are the usual line-up of multiplayer must haves with Team Death Match offering a first team to 40 wins, Capture the Flag, Conquest where you capture and defend nodes spread around the map and finally Headhunter, where you kill your enemies and collect sparks, with the first to 30 winning. For such a fresh approach to the story mode, though engaging and entertaining, this is a little bit too cut and paste.

Though I enjoyed the multiplayer modes as they are deep and require plenty of skill to start getting the higher kill runs, it's the story mode that stole the show, a perfect prequel and homage to 80's Transformers right down to the air punching closing credits.

Words by Ash Buchanan

Review Policy (Version tested: Xbox 360)

Edited On 31 Aug, 2012

( 1 )
BaldBoxer's avatar
BaldBoxer 4 years ago
Doesnt really look like my cup of tea, anybody played this think its worth giving a try

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