Transformers: War for Cybertron
(alternate versions on Wii, Nintendo DS)
Release: June 2010
Price: Around $30
(original price was $60).
As long as the Transformers
have existed there have been video games chronicling the exploits of
our favorite robots in disguise. Many of the previous games have been
regarded with indifference or even dislike.
Personally, one of the first TF games that I played
and truly liked was 2004's Transformers
game (based off the Armada concept). Unlike some games (1997's Beast Wars comes to mind) it seemed
like it made decent use of the transformation gimmick. The last game I
really put any effort into was Beast
Wars Metals. I liked Armada but never played it all the way
through (but liked what I saw). I also tried 2007's Transformers and 2009's Revenge of the Fallen games (both
based off the live action movie continuity) and found them to be decent
(although the “drive from one point to another, engage enemy drones
then drive somewhere else and repeat” aesthetic felt a bit tedious).
Enter 2010 and the release of War For Cybertron from developer High Moon Studios.
produce a truly good game? Or would it follow the often taken
route and be another mediocre media tie-in video game?
Most reviews online tend to hail WFC as a monumental
success. I was late to the party, only purchasing the game in December
so I was aware of its reputation. Still, I wanted to give the game a
play through and see if it was all it was cracked up to be.
|I don't tolerate failure!
"Simon Furman is not a hack--but I am!"
- Enough variety to keep things interesting.
All of the game involves playing one of three robot characters (the
others are computer or co-op player controlled). You can be Optimus
Prime/Bumblebee/Ratchet/Ironhide/Sideswipe/Warpath for the Autobots
and Megatron/Soundwave/Onslaught/Barricade/Breakdown/Brawl on most
stages. You move through long maps and attack a variety of enemy
targets. You can simply shoot them or use a melee weapon (such as an
axe, mace, sword) to bash them into submission.
One stage of the Autobots and one stage of the
Decepticons involve taking the role of the aerial warriors instead. You
can be Jetfire/Silverbolt/Air Raid on the Autobot side or
Starscream/Thundercracker/Skywarp on the Decepticon side. You fly to
your target and use a combination of aerial combat and land based
combat to achieve your goal. The aerial stages were a great addition to
The non-aerial stages have their charms too. As an
Autobot, you use gun batteries to take on Decepticon opponents from a
giant Decepticon drill machine and also ride a giant robot slug while
attacking all enemies from gun batteries on its back. There’s also a
stage where you have to dodge missile launching Decepticons as they try
to blow the floor out from under you. As Decepticons, you have to
attack Zeta Prime and avoid his vast energy creations as they try to
squish you flat.
The end boss of the Autobots is Omega Supreme and he
is tough but entertaining to fight. The end boss of the Decepticons is
Trypticon. He struck me as tougher to combat (he pummels you with
missile volleys if you're not careful). Both are varied enough in their
attacks and your counter strategy to defeat them that they don't come
across as repetitive.
Additionally, transforming into vehicle mode has
some use (like in the Armada game). You can use it to get through some
distance areas quicker and can use it to fight too (you have a weapon
in that mode as well. Which is good if you screw up and run out of
regular ammo and need the extra juice to take on your enemies).
Like most modern games, this one has various hidden
icons and items to hunt down or perform in order to get
trophies/achievements, which helps add to the replay value.
You can play the missions solo, in co-op mode or
even in group multi-player maps (I admit I didn’t do any
multi-player/co-op stuff but I like the set-up in this game for that
just the same).
Excellent graphics overall. The in-game play and also the cinema scenes
all look excellent. The sound effects adhere to established cannon for
the most part and fit well with the game.
- Great Voice Work.
Peter Cullen plays Optimus Prime and it feels right here. Fred
Tatasciore is Megatron (I’d thought it was Frank Welker as he sounds
like him from “Prime”). Anyway, he sounds suitably menacing. Steve Blum
channels Vic Caroli’s G1 narrator for the set-up texts for
The first five stages follow the Decepticons as Megatron plots to gain
control of Dark Energon.
The remaining five stages follow Optimus and his Autobots as they fight
to stop Megatron from gaining his ultimate victory. (I played the
Autobot campaign first).
A departure from any one previous continuity, this is like a slightly
re-imagined G1 story. Optimus, Megatron and Soundwave are the same but
Starscream is now the officer in charge of the space station
controlling the Dark Energon (until he later defects). Omega Supreme is
closer to how he was in Animated (the key to ancient power) with
Ratchet needing to power him up later in the game. Zeta Prime is the
leader until Optimus assumes command... All in all, though, the changes
are not jarring and fit the plot well. (Although I still don’t see this
as a precursor to Prime, no matter what Hasbro says).
- Some areas are slightly repetitive. You get locked into an area and
have to fight a horde of enemy clones. Repeat. You fight car drones,
jet drones, missile drones, the odd “brute” with shield and axe.
I’ve given the matter more thought and don’t see how they really
could’ve avoided this completely though...
- No Devastator? What the hell? :)
- Nice graphics overall, but agree that sometimes the NPC robots blend
into the background too much.
- Glitchy in places. You go to get a gun or energon cube and it won't
work for some reason. You just pass over/through it instead.
- Stan Bush redid Ground Zero
slightly for the end credits (you mileage
may vary, but I disliked that. Why not something completely new?)
- An excellent Transformers video game and easily the best one to-date.
I look forward to the inevitable sequel (which has been confirmed as
being in the works).
(All pictures in this article courtesy IGN.com)