Transistor is like candy, in that it gives you a rush but ultimately leaves you feeling a bit empty.
Initial impressions are fantastic - the first few minutes of the game has genuine emotional punch, voice acting is great, graphics are vibrant and evocative, and the game’s soundtrack is arguably one of the best ever released for a computer game (I’ve purchased it). The game is set in a unique and engaging world, and a range of intriguing characters are regularly hinted at.
Disappointingly, the story remains surprisingly lightweight given the cracker start, and the game finishes with both the world and the characters remaining enigmatic and unexplored.
Gameplay is primarily combat in a modified “real time with pause” style, which suits me great and has a ton of potential. You have the ability to combine a large number of different powers and effects, creating some genuinely interesting combinations. Unfortunately there is little variety in enemies, and consequently, combat lacks depth and replayability.
I feel bad being critical about a game this good, but for a game only a few steps away from having been a genuine classic I can’t help but reflect on what might have been. If only the developers had explored the intriguing world and characters they have created in a little more detail.
Regardless, Transistor is undeniably a top-shelf game by any measure, and a worthy (though not essential) addition to anyone’s game catalogue.
I like candy.