‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ pretty much begins where ‘War for Cybertron’ left off. It is the final dying days of ‘Cybertron’ and the ‘Autobots’ are locked in an epic battle of survival against their long time foes, the ‘Decepticons’. The story sets off with ‘Autobot’ leader ‘Optimus Prime’ and loyal soldier ‘Bumblebee’ on the ‘Autobot’ spacecraft; the ‘Ark’. But as usual the ‘Decepticons’ are always at hand to gate crash a party and they spring an attack on the ‘Ark’ and as they flee ‘Cybertron’, ‘Optimus Prime’ soon finds himself engaged in a one on one battle with arch nemesis ‘Megatron’; but things soon go from bad to a hell of a lot worse. Can the ‘Autobots’ finally win the war against the ‘Decepticons’? Well that ‘Autobot’ is up to you, “Roll out!”
‘Transformers: War for Cybertron’ was a good looking game, but it didn’t blow anything out of the water. Many of the environments became very samey as you progressed through the game and at times, many of the enemies began to blend into the background, making things that little more difficult. So it pleases me to say that ‘Fall of Cybertron’ is a noticeable improvement on its predecessor, it’s not leaps and bounds above, but an improvement none the less. The environmental textures are very well rendered and they look that little more sharp and the locations even have a little more variety to them (not by a great deal might I add).
The environments are not the only features to have received a makeover, the ‘Autobots’ and ‘Decepticons’ have also joined in on the treatment as well. At quick glance, the Transformers look just as they did in ‘War for Cybertron’, but a little subtle changes here and there, gives them a look that edges towards the more traditional G1.
Gameplay for ‘Fall of Cybertron’ is more of the same, in fact very little has actually changed or advanced since the original. This is not a bad thing, as there was nothing wrong with the gameplay mechanic from ‘War for Cybertron’, so why fix something that isn’t broke? ‘Fall of Cybertron’ is a very easy pick up and play game, which is a big part of the games appeal. The principle is simple, shoot and destroy anything that moves, before they get you. This method makes ‘Fall of Cybertron’ one of the more appealing third person shooters on the market.
But even though the gameplay principle is basically the same as ‘War for Cybertron’, ‘High Noon Studios’ have still made some little tweaks here and there. Now you can upgrade your Transformer via collecting ‘Energon Shards’, you can then spend the ‘Shards’ in the in-game store called ‘Teletraan 1’ and they can be used to purchase upgrades for your Transformer’s skills and abilities as well as purchase new weapons.
Just like ‘War for Cybertron’, you also get to play as the ‘Autobots’ and ‘Decepticons’ and it’s not always with the same Transformer too, which depending on who you take control of, will change how you approach the game; oh and have a mentioned the inclusion of the awesome ‘Dinobots? Well their here too and you simply cannot go wrong with a bit of ‘Grimlock’. Just when things begin to get a little stale, you will switch the stories perspective from ‘Autobot’ to ‘Decepticons’ just in time and then add the very satisfying transforming into the mix; you can literally jump from on foot battles to vehicle based in a click of an analog stick. All this helps to keep things fresh and on your toes and the pace of the epic battle never stays the same.
It may be unusual to say, but despite the quality of the gameplay, graphics and replay value, arguably my favourite category in ‘Fall of Cybertron’ is the audio (which has to be a first for me). Not only do you have the original and iconic voice of ‘Optimus Prime’ from ‘Peter Cullen’, but for the first time in twenty five years, ‘Gregg Berger’ has returned to his role of voicing the mighty ‘Grimlock’ and what video game would ever be complete without the industry Legend ‘Nolan North’ who performs the voices for ‘Cliffjumper’, Bruticus’ and ‘Brawl’.
And we can’t talk about Transformers without talking about the instantly recognisable transform sound effects. We all know that sound effect is now playing through our minds as we read through this. ‘Transformers: Fall for Cybertron’ is arguably one of the strongest games in this department and this comes to no surprise to us Transformer fans.
Unfortunately, I’ll get the bad news out of the way first, unlike ‘War for Cybertron’; ‘Fall for Cybertron’ has no co op modes. I don’t know why ‘High Noon Studios’ decided to leave this feature out; you’ll have to ask them. But that doesn’t deny the fact that we have a highly enjoyable single player campaign, with various upgrades to acquire and also many hidden items such as ‘Audio Logs’ and ‘Blue Print Schematics (which will unlock new weapons that will be accessible in the Teletraan 1 store). So there’s enough in the singleplayer campaign alone to encourage us achievements hoarders to come back for more.
And when you’re done with the single player campaign or just want to get a little more value from your game, then ‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ has a very capable multiplayer mode to boot. We have the old Faithfuls such as the traditional ‘Team Deathmatch’, ‘Conquest’ and ‘King of the Hill’ and a match type called ‘Headhunter’, in which when a player dies, their spark falls to the floor, then opposing players score points by picking up the spark and returning it to a node. The team with the most sparks at the end of the time limit wins. ‘High Noon Studios’ have also included the return on their own take of the survival wave based mode, called ‘Escalation’, which can played with up to four players.
And just like the cool feature that was included in ‘War for Cybertron’, the ability to create and customise your very own Transformer for the online modes makes a return. Here you have full control of your Transformers image, name, voice, weapons and abilities, you can even purchase new sets of enhanced armour and abilities for your Transformer as you rank up and earn some online currency. So there’s certainly plenty of reasons to come back for more, even when the single player campaign has long been done and with future DLC coming our way in the near future, there’s every reason to keep ‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ in your gaming collection for a very long time to come.
‘Transformers: Fall of Cybertron’ is a case of more of the same, but better and if you played ‘War for Cybertron’ then you will know what to expect. I’d be surprised if ‘Fall of Cybertron’ was to win over any new fans or non ‘Transformer’ fans for that matter, but if you wanted to give it ago, I’d strongly recommend playing through the first game, as ‘Fall for Cybertron’ starts off where ‘War for Cybertron’ finished. But for fans of the franchise, this game is pure bliss, from the epic single player campaign, the awesome sound effects, competitive multiplayer and the awesome create a Transformer feature. To put it simply, fans of Transformers not only need this game, but they need the original too and if for some reason you’re a so called Transformers fan and you haven’t played either of these game, then I’ll be hunting you down with a wet kipper to slap you across the face!