Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review (Xbox 360)
Posted by Todd Vote on 10.22.2012
Transformers: The Fall of Cybertron crashes onto the Xbox 360, does it live up to the high marks set by War for Cybertron, or does it fall off the deep end? Come in for the full review.
Title: Transformers: The Fall of Cybertron
Developer: High Moon Studios
Players: single player campaign; multiplayer online
Rating: T for Teen
Transformers: The Fall of Cybertron is the hotly anticipated follow up to Transformers: War for Cybertron. The story in that games shows exactly what happened on Cybertron that lead to the destruction of their home planet. Fall of Cybertron (FoC) sees a continuation of that, and shows what ultimately drives the Autobots and Decepticons to leave the planet and seek out a new home.
With the first game, High Moon offered a very satisfying co-op experience, allowing you to choose from several Transformers for each mission, which in turn offered a more open narrative. FoC is far more straight forward, as here High Moon opted to drop the co-op from the campaign, design each level with a specific robot in mind. This streamlines the narrative, and better helps them tell the story they want to tell. The co-op was greatly missed, as I found that to be one of the best parts of War for Cybertron, the fact that you and a buddy could play together. While the co-op was missed, the new method they used, which allows them to offer a much better story arc overall, doesn't feel out of place. It has allowed High Moon to make the story more personal which serves to bring the gamers further into things. Again, the co-op is missed, but I think going about things this way helps the overall product.
Throughout the campaign you will be given an opportunity to play as Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, Jazz, as well as Decepticons ranging from Swindle all the way to Soundwave and Megtron. Oh yeah, and I would be doing a great disservice if I didn't mention the machine, the myth, the legend: Grimlock! Yes, Grimlock has his own mission in the game that allows you to take control of the leader of the Dinobots. Not only does Grimlock get his own chapter, but he has a storyline that sort of wraps around the whole game.
FoC's look closely matches the first game, only now we are being treated to visuals of a much more unstable Cybertron, that has been war torn and beat up. From war raging in the backgrounds to broken, destroyed, dying Transformers being on display throughout the campaign. The Autobots and Decepticons have a look similar to that of their G1 counterparts. In other words, they look awesome. One animation I noticed in particular was when you pick up a new weapon, the weapon transforms and becomes a part of your characters look. They don't hold guns, their arms literally become the guns. It's a minor detail, but something that caught my eye, and I felt it worthy of a mention.
Folks that played War for Cybertron should have absolutely no problem picking up FoC and jumping right into the action. The game plays very similar to the first title, with only a few tweeks here and there. Shooting and aiming are of course mapped to the shoulder buttons, while the face buttons enable you to jump, change weapons and reload. Gone from the first game though is the point system, and the point multipliers. Instead they have been replaced with a monetary system, which enables you to buy perks, defensive items, and to upgrade your guns at Teletraan 1, the in game store that you can find at different points throughout each mission. money earned here, and all upgrades purchased carry over from mission to mission, regardless of whether you are controlling Autobots or Decepticons. So no need to preserve your hard earned cash here, spend it on the things you will want through the whole game.
FoC features a stellar voice cast, most notably Peter Cullen returning as Optimus Prime. Sadly, no Frank Welker as the voice of Megatron, but we can't have it all, can we? But we do get some of the always great Nolan North here voicing Bruticus and others. The music and sounds of the game are all done extremely well, as is expected from High Moon after an incredible job they did on War for Cybertron.
FoC has brought back the fun, addictive multiplayer portion, allowing you to test yourself online against other players, through several different game types. Some objective based, then of course good old fashioned death match. Also included is the leveling up system, similar to Call of Duty, you can get perks and things to improve your game. You are given four classes, each with a level cap to hit all their own. Once you max them out, you can enter Prime mode, which is basically Prestige mode from the CoD games. The online is fun, addictive, and easy to pick up and play.
of course, no game is complete these days without Escalation mode. This is the area where you and some friends can get together and fight your way through endless waves of enemy robots, increasing constantly in difficulty. I'm all for games including these type of play modes, because sometimes you just want to kick some Decepticon ass.
+ Another great effort from High Moon Studios
+ Multiplayer and Escalation mode are great fun
- Its a shame they had to take away the co-op campaign.
- The campaign, being more streamlined is a bit shorter
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a worthy follow up that manages to build on the strengths of the first game. Though co-op play was missed, it allowed for them to have a more streamlined story that made it worth it. You won't be disappointed if you give this game a shot.
The game looks amazing!
Building on the strength of the first game, the game is well done
Great voice work, and sounds accompany a fun gaming experience
Multiplayer and Escalation will keep you coming back for a while.
I love this series, and can't wait to see if they follow this up.