Developer: High Moon Studios
Release Date: 8/21/2012
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War for Cybertron was the first Transformers game that was actually good and not based off of any of the three movies (hey, I liked them!) It’s based on the characters of the Generation One cartoon series and even brought back some of the original voice actors. Fall of Cybertron continues in this fashion, but brings out some of the lesser-known Transformers and puts them in the campaign. The game is overall the same as the last one, but with more polish and fine-tuning.
The story is decent and entertaining, but nothing memorable. It picks up from the last game where Megatron is still trying to wipe out the Autobots, but this time prevent them from escaping on the Ark. Optimus Prime and his gang is desperately trying to gather enough Energon to power the Ark, but Megatron and the Decepticons, as well as the Insecticons, are causing problems for everyone. The planet is pretty much lost at this point and all Optimus cares about is getting his Autobots off the damn planet and to safety. You play through thirteen chapters of various different Transformers from both sides to experience this pretty cinematic and entertaining story.
You play as regular Transformers and the larger ones. Bumblebee is your first one in the first chapter. Optimus Prime and Megatron are used quite a bit, but also Cliff Jumper, Bruticus, Jazz, Vortex, Grimlock, Starscream, and even for a brief moment in the final chapter, Jetfire. I preferred this over choosing between just a few different ones like in the last game. It made the campaign more unique, and less repetitive and boring. Each chapter is completely different with different gameplay elements thanks to each Transformer being unique. Sneaking around cloaked as Cliff Jumper, grappling as Jazz, flying around as Vortex, and stomping things into the ground as Bruticus was awesome. The vehicle forms are better controlled and I used them a lot more than I did in the last game. Even the gunplay is tighter.
The enemies are smarter this time around, and there’s a bit more of a variety. The Insecticons add to this variety and are spread throughout the campaign. Even the objectives are more varied instead of just pulling levers all the time. There’s a new upgrade system via the Teletraan 1 which allows you to use Energon Shards to upgrade weapons. These upgrades are actually useful and make a huge difference. I still wish I can upgrade my vehicle form, but they are already powerful enough. The campaign just stands as a solid cinematic Transformers story and is just so much better than the last game. There are still a few issues like difficulty spikes, minor collision detection issues, but it isn’t nearly as abundant as the last game. This game is hard, and if you don’t take cover and watch out you will die in a few hits. Using shields and Energon packs helps, but at least you won’t die every 5 seconds like the last game.
The graphics are really good, but it still uses the Unreal Engine 3 based on the consoles and it could look better. I was hoping the PC version would have some enhanced visuals, but it doesn’t. There are some ugly muddy textures here and there, but overall it looks way better than the last game. War for Cybertron already looked dated when it came out. The art style is gorgeous and the voice acting is just top-notch. The multiplayer comes back again, but not much else has changed besides being able to build your own robot. After a while, you will get bored with the last game, but hardcore fans may stay. If it makes you feel better you get to be a T-Rex as Grimlock later in the game. I just can’t tell you how many surprises this game can throw at you. There is just a ton of love put into this game and tidbits for fans.
As it stands, Fall of Cybertron improves immensely over the last game, but still, doesn’t offer enough variation and diversity to make this game of the year worthy. There is more variety here than the last game with different Transformers used in each chapter, but I really wanted something even more epic. What’s here is great, and this really is the best Transformers game ever made, but I know it can be even better.