Review

Transformers: War for Cybertron Review (PS3)

Some games try to be art. They build massive worlds, use dynamic control schemes, create incredible characters and plots or do something unique that no one else has done. Transformers: War for Cybertron does none of these things, and still is a good game. It does this by succeeding where all previous Transformers games have failed, by giving fans of the franchise a true console title for their collection, and by just being solid.

War for Cybertron is the prequel to the recent blockbuster films, recanting the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Two connected plots are available from the start, from both factions, with the Decepticons led by Megatron and the Autobots by Optimus (not yet a Prime).The Decepticon story begins first, with Megatron putting a plan in motion to take over Cybertron using Dark-Energon, a sort of anti-matter for Transformers main energy source, energon.

One of the major battles takes place entirely in space, where you get to fly around like Descent or Freespace

What will really get players riled up is the authenticity of the characters and the story, which is spot on, from the voicework to the often nonsensical plot developments. It's like being a kid again, watching the original Transformers series.

Yet, to be fair, there isn't anything remarkably excellent about this title. Combat, story, acting, gameplay, duration...it's all well done. Perhaps the remarkable part is that this is the first time such has occurred with a Transformers title. Everything is very tight, from the transformations to weapon selection and on and on. Developer High Moon Studios deserves much credit for getting everything right, and not adding on tacky and unnecessary extras.

Bosses are big. Not Shadows of the Colossus big, and perhaps easier to beat, but daunting nevertheless

The 12 hour single player campaign goes through the entirety of the War for Cybertron, from Megatron's nefarious start to the ultimate evacuation of the planet. Spread across eight main levels and two boss levels (each with just as many sub-levels and frequent save points), the campaign feels long and somewhat drawn out, though action remains excellent throughout. A choice of three Transformers is available for each level, each of these Transformers offering a different ability, weapon set and vehicle, though actual re-playability is limited. Some of the boss fights (the final boss in particular) are long winded and excruciating, which does make the victory sweeter, but in some cases just exhausting and frustrating.

What is upsetting about the campaign is that it's really made for three player co-op, but there is no split-screen option. For anyone wanting to play at home with friends or family, tough luck. The same holds true for competitive play. It would have been a tremendous help for it to allow at least two players on a single console. Sharing some of the awesome moments, such as the flying missions or the epic boss battles, is best done in person, not online. Luckily, Activision was kind enough to send two copies and I was able to get the best of both worlds, albeit not on the same TV.

If there’s anything more satisfying than Optimus Prime taking out his axe and pummelling bad guys in half, I haven’t found it

This is especially true because WfC is extremely fun with friends. It's almost like the original Mechassualt, which was one of the all-time best XBL games for the original Xbox, thanks to its simplicity of controls, design, weaponry and gameplay. It’s simple enough for anyone to easily jump in and play and actually have fun, yet complex enough for more competitive and skilled gamers to not feel held back. Unlockable characters, an excellent leveling system, a number of great and memorable maps and easily one of the most memorable multiplayer titles makes WfC a hidden gem for online play.

If there's any one thing that can be stated about Transformers: War for Cybertron, it’s that you should buy this game. The single player campaign is good, and the multiplayer portion is a surprise hit. It may seem like a childish title to pick up, and while you can certainly play in a family setting, all gamers can appreciate the simplicity of design in a game that just works. And that's what Transformers is, a game that just works, one that breaks the cycle of poor titles with solid design and nothing fancier than it needs to be. It isn't more than meets the eye...and yet it is.

Top Game Moment: Finally defeating Trypticon with my brother after a good 30 minutes of play, thus saving the Autobots from certain destruction.

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Comments

By BoneArc (SI Elite) on Aug 06, 2010
BoneArc
The Game is Surely A step in the right Direction for Transformers ... finally we got a neat looking game at the place of those movie to PC titles .... they just sucked big time .
This atleast has a Nice CoD-like Multiplayer !
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Aug 06, 2010
Wowerine
CoD like MP? Yeah right. Not to many games can compare their MP components to the CoD series...