2010’s War For Cybertron was an eye-opener for many. It was this generation’s first transformers game that was actually good. After a slew of Michael Bay-inspired crapfest. It was nice to see a game sticking true to the premise of giant robots beating the living daylights out of each other without any winning from Shia LaBeouf or distractions from Megan Fox, but we digress…
What makes fall of Cybertron such a joy to play is its insistence to sticking with what made War For Cybertron a fun jaunt through the Transformers home planet. The controls remain untouched; you click on the left analogue stick to transform into a jet or car and you click on the right analogue stick to melee your opponents. Unlike most. If not all other third-person shooters. There is no specific button to hide behind cover. After all, being a bad-ass robot ensures you don’t need to.
Our preview took as through two diverse missions. First up, we played as the iconic bumblebee, trying to help his fellow. Autobots stave off an attack from the decepticons as they are trying to leave Cybertron. While the core controls remained the same, transforming from robot to vehicle mode never gets boring; the animations are smooth and feel very fluid. The driving could be a bit tighter, but there’s little else that’s wrong with it .shooting down similarly sized enemies felt satisfying and movement felt a tad less clunkier then the last game. In addition, the sense of scale of the battle was realized well in spite of being a death dealing robot, you still feel like you are a small part of a colossal war effort. There were a few great set-pieces as well as a lot of NPC chatter. At times, we felt we were playing a Call of Duty campaign, but with robots, which is never a bad thing.
The second mission had us playing as Vortex, a Decepticon that can transform into a helicopter. This level has you chasing down a shipment energon. Flying felt slow unless the boost button was held down, but the sense of verticality and scale as we flew over ancient Cybertronian routes was immense. Be it evading traps or gunning down resistance , the controls felt snappy and responsive. This obviously holds true when we transformed into robot mode as well. It was less set-piece heavy than the Autobot mission and showed off some of the AI, which is surprisingly component even on normal difficulty.
While both Autobot and Decepticon missions and ended in cliffhangers, both had their share of jokes. From a jibe at Bumblebee’s buffoonery at trying to lord over other decepticons. There was a lot for longtime fans to chuckle over. In addition, the characters themselves had more in common with the series first generation of cartoons than with Michael Bay’s creations, which is always a good thing.
Aside from that, there’s multiplayer as well, which allows you to create your own Transformer. Some options were unavailable in the demo but you can customize a few of the regular classes to your liking. As was the case in the last game, you have four classes to choose from: scientist, which lets you be invisible for a spell; Destroyer ,a slow-moving, heavy class that lets you deal insurmountable damage, and damage, and titan, which is the robot equivalent of a soldier class with all-round proficiency.
Kills and assists help you gain experience, which lets you gain experience, which lets you customize your character further and use new weapons and abilities. Though the trial version had only the basic team deathmatch and conquest modes, the full game promises a lot more ,including Escalation-the series take on the popular cooperative horde mode. Regardless of the game mode, the net code holds up well even in the biggest of firefights on a paltry 512 Kbps connection.
Though the multiplayer mode seems quite meaty on paper, our only concerns is that it might be little more than your humdrum, nameless shooter. There does not appear to be anything that’s stands out, except the transforming mechanic inherent to the series. Further more, compared to the last entry. Fall of Cybertron will be missing killstreak rewards in multiplayer with the developer citing balancing issues. In its place would be some of the aforementioned rewards placed as pick-ups on the map.
Overall, the game’s art style holds up quite well. You are treated to an assortment of colors as you blitz through the battlefield instead of the usual, muted tunes of grey and brown. As the screen shots will attest, this is one of the more colorful shooters around. Graphically, it is not exactly a showstopper, but has enough going for it to prevent it from growing stale. Compared to the previous installment, the lighting is much better and other technical aspects like shaders and textures are vastly improved. As it is powered by the Unreal Engine 3, we were pleased to discovered that both ps3 and xbox 360 versions of the game were free from texture pop-in and screen tearing . which plagued War for Cybertron. The gameplay is bit quicker too.