Following up on the stellar title “War for Cyberton”, Activision hopes to surpass the success of that game with Transformers: Fall of Cyberton. For Transformers fans, it has all of your favorite Autobots and Decepticons, and the models in the game are not based on the movie, but rather the cartoons. With all the game has to offer, this should be an excellent title for fans of the series. The game retains being a third person shooter with the ability to transform into vehicles, and yes the sound effect is included. They also have the right voice for Optimus Prime. However, some of the other random Autobots just sound like people. This just seems out of place to me.
During the single player campaign, you will play each chapter with a different character. The story involves you starting out as the Autobots trying to hold onto Cybertron. You earn money to spend at kiosks called Teletraans to upgrade certain aspects of the guns, and also to buy other accessories and perks. Smaller stations called Armory creators will give you different guns along the way as well or accessories such as drones and blockades. There are also secondary actions that are used by hitting R2 to do different things like call in an air strike for Optimus or enter a cloak mode with Cliffjumper. This has to regenerate over time. All of this adds to the variety of the story and help to separate itself from being a typical shooter.
The ability to transform also makes this differ from a typical shooter. This adds a different experience to the title in terms of gameplay. You can switch which hand you want to shoot from to help with certain angles. You can also melee by pushing in the right stick, which is certainly handy if there’s a lot of enemies in your face. However, there’s no cover system in this game. I find this very strange that you cannot simply duck behind something. You can transform, but it takes a few seconds to happen and you will take hits in that span. With games like Gears of War and Resident Evil that play in a third person with a cover system, it definitely feels like this game needs it when playing. Otherwise, you will find yourself hiding behind pillars to block the line of fire from enemies. I also find it too easily to transform by pushing in the left stick just a bit too much. Otherwise, Fall of Cyberton controls pretty excellent for the most part.
There are different ways to kill certain enemies, which adds to the overall difficulty of the game. Speaking of difficulty, it can be downright overbearing at times. If you need to, when you die, you can adjust the difficulty on the fly. And depending on the enemy, it won’t take much to die sometimes. The A.I. is okay for the most part. You’ll see the enemy do some dumb things, but sometimes they will sneak around behind you. If you’re caught during a stealth mission with Cliffjumper and you go to hide, there’s really no way of getting out of it.
Fall of Cyberton runs on the Unreal engine. The artist for the game has changed the look of the models in comparison to War for Cyberton to give more of a “warrior-type” feel. The cut scenes look very good and you can see these details in the art. As for the actual in game graphics, there seems to be a high amount of bloom effect, which takes away from the potential of having a vibrant, colorful game. The game runs very smoothly and close to 60fps, if not that. Unfortunately, I have had the game crash twice on me now. Not sure what causes this, but there definitely needs to be a patch released for that.
There are a lot of multiplayer options for Cyberton. I’m a sucker for survival modes in games. Cyberton features a mode called Escalation, which was in the previous title. You work with up to four people and can choose from any famous Transformer. The issue is with this, if someone already has it selected, you can’t play as it. You fight off waves of enemies, including bosses, along the way. You earn money, much like the story mode, to upgrade to different weapons. As you progress, you will open different areas of the map. You will have to revive peers in the field of battle as well. This sets the stage for an easy pick-up and play experience that’s addicting.
A co-op campaign was left out of Fall of Cyberton, which is something the previous game had. This was due in favor to having the story mode feature the ability to play as different characters. Playing the campaign, you do feel like you would enjoy co-op on this. I don’t really see how that feature would prohibit the ability to do co-op? However, the Escalation is sufficient enough to get your co-op fix.
The rest of the multiplayer campaign is excellent. There are four classes of Transformers you can customize the look, and upgrade weapons. There are three tiers to unlock each class with by achieving certain levels with each one. The classes are titled Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan, and Scientist. The Infiltrator is like a scout, as they are fast and generally the small cars. Destroyer is like the general, medium type of soldier. The Titan is heavy support, as it can transform into a tank. Finally, the Scientist is a medic, as it can heal people on the go. Each class also has a special weapon, such as a Whirlwind effect with the Titan. The Destroyer can set up a defense barrier, and the Infiltrator can cloak.
There are four modes, on top of the Escalation mode, for multiplayer. This adds a good bit of depth to something that could have been very little. Yes, it has traditional Team Deathmatch, which goes without saying. You might feel like you’re playing Unreal Tournament with Transformers doing that. There’s also a Conquest mode, which you accrue points by controlling different areas. The two other modes, Capture the Flag and Head Hunter, are a nice change of pace. Most shooters have the Deathmatch and the Conquest, but it’s been a minute since a good Capture The Flag mode in an online shooter. The Head Hunter mode involves collecting sparks, and the first team to 30 wins the match.
Transformers: Fall of Cyberton isn’t outstanding in any one area, but it does everything well. It doesn’t lack in any one area, but it’s not revolutionary either. Is it trying to be? No. It’s a great game for the fans of Transformers and an excellent follow up to the first iteration. The multiplayer customization is great, and it adds a lot of replay value to the title. The story is stellar, and the way the chapters are broken up to give the player a chance to experience all the Transformers is great. This game will fly under the radar in comparison to other shooters, but it’s definitely worth a purchase.
GRAPHICS: 8 – I have seen better looking games running on the Unreal engine. The overuse of the bloom effect hinders the possibility at a colorful game. Otherwise the new artwork on the models looks well, and the game runs extremely smooth.
SOUND: 9 – The sound effects are great. The sound of war enshrouds you while you’re in battle. The truly epic musical score is fitting. The voice acting is great, however some of the soldiers during the story mode just sound like regular dudes. Feels a bit out of context.
GAMEPLAY: 7 – The game controls fairly well and it runs very smooth. The ability to transform into a vehicle adds a different component to this shooter. The lack of a cover system seems a little strange to me in today’s world.
ONLINE: 9 – A highly customizable multiplayer setup for players. Four modes might not seem like much, but throw in the Escalation and there’s enough to keep you busy. I did not encounter any issues during the game with lag, but if hosts are migrated it starts the match over. Also, there are not a lot of people playing this online.
REPLAY: 9 – With the multiplayer modes, Escalation, and awesome Customization, there’s a lot to come back to. DLC involving Dinobots are also coming out in September.
BOTTOM LINE: 8.5 – If you’re a fan of the Transformers, or even grew up with it back in the day and lost touch, this is a must have. Any fan can appreciate the story, on top of the nostalgia of this game. If you’re not a fan, and are looking for just a shooter, the lack of a cover system and a few other things might deter you. However, the customization options in multiplayer, and the overall replay value of this game make it worth a purchase.