After completing Transformers: War for Cybertron on Xbox 360 I breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a great fun game, which would very much appeal to people who grew up with Transformers, though not always sticking entirely to the “true” side of the Transformers characters. It is very reminiscent of Gears of War 2, but with robot skins and environments. A very pretty game aesthetically and is hugely epic in proportions. It feels very immersive and you often wish to explore further areas – they are not normally available though, and you’re left with quite a linear straight forward path to follow. It’s hard to stray as it is not really an open world to explore. You often don’t get to see “different” areas as such, as impressive as they are, you tend to find yourself looking at the same kind of visuals and environments through it. As huge and winding as it is, and as pretty as it is – there comes a point where you need variety and get bored of seeing metal everywhere.
The story itself is quite typical of Transformers and takes place before the robots arrive on Earth. There’s an Autobot campaign and a Decepticon campaign, you can choose to start playing through on either, or in fact play both at the same time – if you do it chronologically, as I did, then you start with Decepticon. You get a wide choice of the main characters, with a few less recognised ones – each with their own powers and weapons.
I played through the final chapters as Optimus Prime as it seemed only appropriate to beat the game and save the Cybertron world as him. I did play through on Normal difficulty, as an avid gamer and someone who felt that it would be a bit too simple on Easy – and after all, the Transformers themselves should have a challenge to save the world – however in the later chapters there was a noticeable difficulty spike where some of the battles were near impossible and hugely frustrating. You can change the difficulty at the start of each chapter should you wish to.
The online multiplayer is again a very fun experience, Deathmatch doesn’t have a lot of depth, just pretty generic but enjoyable. You can customise your own characters quite a bit, and play in two teams of Autobots and Decepticons, the team with the highest kills wins after an allotted period of time. There are a lot of people still playing online which makes it very enjoyable and stops it being repetitive.
Escalation is a mode in which you can play as one of the main characters, including some DLC characters, and fight in teams similar to Halo’s Fightfight. It is co-op based and you can use points earned during it to unlock other items, weapons etc.
Just for giggles, Nolan North voices Brawl – he really IS in every video game! Among the other voice artists are quite a few well-known people in the sci-fi and fantasy arena.
A very worthwhile game and overall enjoyable, mainly let down by the repetitive visuals and increasingly difficult levels towards the end.