“More Than Meets The Eye”
Set amongst the burning ruins of a dying planet, ‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ is an exhilarating, at times truly spectacular, Third-Person Action RPG - and is very simply, the single best gaming interpretation of the iconic Transformers franchise. Campaign:
Released in 2012 by High Moon Studios | Activision, ‘T:FOC’ is the second entry in the Transformers trilogy and is clearly the series’ high water mark - The opening credits thrust you into the midst of a massive space battle over the destroyed planet of Cybertron, besieged by Decepticon Battle-Cruisers, and front row to the ultimate stand-off between Decepticon supremo, Megatron, and Autobot leader, Optimus Prime. The game then flashes-back 6 days, and drops you in to play through the final few days of the conflict and events leading up to that historic last stand. An engaging story-fueled campaign takes you across a lovingly-crafted, richly atmospheric Transformers universe, putting you in control of popular characters (from both Autobot and Decepticon factions) such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Bumblebee, Cliff-Jumper, Jazz, Grimlock and more. Gameplay | Graphics | Sound:
From a technical standpoint, gameplay is a pretty standard Third Person RPG | Shooter | Racer (for the Transformation bits). While there is nothing groundbreaking here, there are several elements that do elevate this title – 1. Unlike other RPG’s where you control one main character throughout, here each of the campaign’s 13 chapters is framed through the viewpoint of a different Transformer allowing the gamer to control many beloved characters each with their own weapon systems, unique transformation, special abilities etc, providing some great overall variety - 2. The game’s pacing is also well constructed with third-person Shooting sections broken up through Stealth, Platforming and Vehicular missions, and intermittent set piece elements that are truly epic in both size and scale. – and finally, 3. A good number of collectibles, upgradable weapons, multiple endings and ultimately, the sheer glee of controlling some legendary characters builds great replayability into this title. Sound Design is also particularly noteworthy, with a grand operatic score accompanied by voice-actors from the original TV-series reprising key roles as Optimus and Megatron. Great graphics, well optimized K&M controls, an ‘Escalation | Survival’ mode, and a highly customizable Multiplayer experience round out a well polished title. Flaws:
For all it does well however, one cannot escape the glaring fact that gameplay is rather restrictively linear. Further, an uneven Multiplayer experience (of dropped connections, hacks and exploits, exclusion of the popular Co-op option) in addition to an unseemingly high pricetag of $60 for a 3-yr old title (Note: Steam Sale Price at $15), mar the overall package.
Overall, ‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ is a fantastic interpretation of a beloved franchise – and although a pretty average RPG on a technical level - its grand cinematic campaign, breathtaking scale, phenomenal sound design, cast of iconic characters and high replayability, elevate the game to something more than the sum of its parts. This is an ode to the Transformers universe made by fans, for fans – and this is as close to ‘Prime’ as you will ever get – Highly Recommended! (Rated 9/10)