What Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron Got Right
- + Great, explosive campaign
- + Awesome flight levels
- + Solid multiplayer
What Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron Got Wrong
- - No campaign co-op
- - Awful final encounter
It took a while, but Transformers fans finally got a decent licensed game with Transformers: War For Crybertron in 2010. That game felt new while still offering a memorable offering for diehard fans of the franchise, forcing the awful Michael Bay-inspired game adaptations deep down the barrel of crap cash-ins. That game's sequel, Fall Of Cybertron, doesn't really introduce anything new to the experience, but it's still a fantastic third-person shooter that thankfully improves on its predecessor, although it disappointingly lacks some of that game's better features like campaign co-op. What makes this game so much fun, and what propels it above other games in the Transformers universe?
It's clear that developer, High Moon Studios, has upped the ante visually with this fantastic sequel. There's clearly more detail and polish this second time round. Most impressive is the game's environmental variety, something War For Cybertron lacked with its repetitive, clunky metal environments that increasingly lacked personality as you progressed through the campaign. Fall takes place in the same war-ravaged world, but you'll be visiting areas that give this experience a considerably more memorable and aesthetically pleasing aura, something I think the first game lacked.
Interestingly, the world's design is intricately moulded around the campaign's gameplay. War had you choosing any Transformer from either the Autobots or Decepticons, which made for a flexible experience and more freedom, but it essentially meant you could finish the game having played the exact same way throughout. The difference with Fall is that levels are designed around certain Transformers, meaning that, while you're unable to choose which characters you enter into battle with, you know you're going to fight in an environment that is perfectly suited to a character's skills and main attributes.
The obvious downside of this is that the experience feels more linear than it did in War. Although I feel this is a fair compromise for more design variety and combat experimentation. This also makes for a stronger narrative and better character development, as levels with the likes of fan-favourite Grimlock last well over an hour, and certainly introduce us to personalities that we wouldn't have otherwise cared about with the first game's mindless combat direction.
My only problem with the stronger narrative is that it leads to more scripted events, and while the cutscenes offer a fantastic insight to the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons, certain battles are let down by what seems like an over reliance on storytelling. The final level is a perfect example of this: it's certainly some of the most fun I've had with a shooter for a long time, but it's letdown by an awful final battle that restricts combat to a few single-button pushes. This is unfortuantely the case for a majority of the big battles.
"It's clear that developer High Moon Studios has upped the ante visually with this fantastic sequel."
There is, thankfully, still a very deep and engaging upgrading system, allowing you to improve each character's weapons and skills with the game's currency system. There's also a stack of unlockables to find throughout the world, so there's certainly replayability there, if not because the campaign itself is so fun, then because it will take a while to find absolutely everything hidden in the game world.
It's just a shame that there isn't campaign co-op. Even if a small 2-3 hour campaign was offered, separate from the main campaign, it would have made for a great experience, and would certainly have added more value to the experience than the modest competitive multiplayer does. Thankfully, the game's Hoard-like "Escalation" mode, which supports up to four players, is addictive fun and well worth your time.
The competitive multiplayer has a fantastic character customization system, built into a solid online experience with standard modes, great combat and quick gameplay.
The Final Verdict
While its letdown by a lack of campaign co-op and some disappointingly dull button-prompt battles, Fall Of Cybertron is still a fantastic third-person shooter, with great set pieces, explosive combat and solid multiplayer.