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Transformers: War For Cybertron Review

Evidently, creating an action game around excessively armed, mechanized combat units has been a persistent challenge. How else could one explain the succession of mediocre titles which have permeated the Iron Man, Armored Core and Transformers franchises? While exceptions exist within the 2D simplicity of 1993’s Cybernator or the forty button intricacy of 2002’s Steel Battalion, the majority of mech (or in Iron Man‘s case, mech-like) games consistently fail  to exemplify the gratification of directing a thickly armored death-tank down a annihilation-bent warpath.

Strip away the jingoist rallying orations dispensed by Optimus, dialectic interludes where giant robots awkwardly ponder existential issues, along with the healthy servings of canonical back-story and Transformers: War for Cybertron is a competent third-person shooter which will undoubtedly charm Autobot aficionados. Skillfully, there’s just enough wonton destruction to satisfy action fans who don’t know a Megatron from a metric ton.

Capably blending equal parts creation myth and ecological admonition, the game commences as the nefarious Decepticons are threatening the livelihood of Cybertron by introducing  Dark Energon into the planet’s core. Recognizing the potential for catastrophe, the ever-valiant Autobots dispute this tactic, escalating both factions into an impassioned confrontation.  Through the duration of the game’s twelve stage main campaign, players take control of combatants from both sides, offering a pleasing perspective on the dispute. Perks such as three player online co-op, a stout selection of weaponry, and the choice of three different mechanized soldiers for each fracas help elevate War for Cybertron. Sadly, the game is slightly hampered by dubious artificial intelligence- CPU cohorts offer a modicum  of fire support, while computer controller opponents are far too predictable.

More enjoyable are Cybertron‘s online multiplayer matches which offer groups of up to ten online competitors a variety of skirmishing variations. Beyond the requisite Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Conquest modes, there are deviations which task players with planting explosives, and a Capture the Flag mode where the pennant is a devastating melee weapon. To add depth to the matches, players are permitted to choose a character class. The selection also determines the secondary form which each player can morph into. Ranging from formidable tanks to cloaking cars, each converted forms influence a particular play style. Cybertron’s multiplayer component ensures gamer retention by offering additional loadouts, as well as active and passive abilities. Sadly, there appears to be some balancing issues with the weaponry- some of the unlockable artillery was able to put a mech down is a single shot or two. Additionally, there’s an cooperative mode known as Escalation which presents an perpetual procession of encroaching foes.  Teams are obliged to coordinate their attacks and share resources, lest they’ll be quickly overpowered by the stalwart hordes.

Even the most fastidious set of eyes will be pleased by the title’s visuals and typically solid framerate. Each Transformer is delicately detailed and recalls a G1 vibe rather than the more contemporary Michael Bay interpretation. Cybertron itself feels forlornly mechanical, as natural formations intermingle with high-tech hardware. Hearing Peter Cullen robotic intonations will stir the emotions of even casual admirers; the rest of the cast offers an admirable performance, as well. Soothing orchestral passages give way to rock chords as antagonists approach, offering a solid soundtrack to underscore the action.

Devotees will undoubtedly revel in War for Cybertron; the game combines the personality of the series with the playability of a box full of G1 action figures. Those less fascinated by the versatile robots may still appreciate the game’s core campaign while finding the title’s online components present “more than meets the eye.”

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

59 comments

  1. Maladjusted Manny

    OMG- a good transformers game. Call hell and ask if the temperature really dropped.

  2. Great review, I bought the game last week and totally love it.

  3. Ash is the Name

    Never had the toys. Never watched the show. But the damn MP demo was pretty freaking great.

  4. Rocks on the Scotch

    Those less fascinated by the versatile robots may still appreciate the game’s core campaign while finding the title’s online components present “more than meets the eye.”

    You had to go there, didn’t you?

  5. Boogers for Breakfast

    What everyone’s favorite Transformer in the game?

  6. Those screenshots cant be real. If they are….drool!

  7. Looking for a Jazz code for 360. Anyone got one?

  8. I’ll get this. Just waiting for a price drop.

  9. Man, I want this game. I see three people of my FL playing it.

  10. is any of the mp stuff split screen? Please tell me.

  11. Dude, hook up your readers and listeners with some Transformer codes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. mang, this review is way late. You need to get on that before the game comes out.

  13. Beast Wars game or a drown a kitten, Activision.

  14. Kisuke Urahara

    Wow. A good Transformers game. That’s amazing. I only have one friend that is currently playing this, and he just got it a few hours ago.

  15. I’m seeing some crazy high scores for this. Like IGN giving the game a 9.

  16. Eyes like Knives

    Good review. Big time Generation One fan right here.

  17. Yeah, I wouldn’t turn one down either.

    Loving the multi.

  18. Good review. I’ll pick this up sometime, someday.

  19. MegaTron isn’t a gun anymore. Deagle, who the hell did you not notice this? He used to be a Walther P38. Now he’s a tank.

  20. Anyone with a Shockwave code? I’ll pay money.

  21. The game looks good but I don’t know if I’ll buy it. Probably just rent it, get my solid shooterness and transformers nostalgia out of it and thats it.

  22. I played the demo and I may buy this after it’s been out a few weeks. The demo was pretty fun.

  23. Drunk Tiger Woods

    Yep, the demo was much better then I expected.

  24. Why did they make some of the great Transformers only available through DLC? That pisses me off.

  25. Good review. This weekend there’s double XP BTW.

  26. Iron isn’t a mecha. He’s an armored exterior controlled by a person, can fly and has weapons….

  27. Good review, but cheesy conclusion. I kinda expect that from Deagle.

  28. WAT? You’re kidding, right? What would High Moon make such a huge change?

  29. I’ve surprised this game turned out so well. Maybe the best Transformer game yet?

  30. I’m sure the manchildren will love this.

  31. Well, let’s be honest: Megatron wasn’t ALWAYS a hand gun – in fact I think he’s been a tank of some kind in more continuities that he has been a pistol. Sure, in G1, he was the pistol and in the movi0e, Galvatron was a cannon, but in G2 he was a badass tank and in Beast Wars he was a Crocodile.
    I will allow this.

  32. Demo didn’t really interest me, although I’ve never been a huge fan of Transformers either. Good review. =)

  33. I may have to get this today. 10 player mp is a strange number.

  34. this game is worth 60 easily.

  35. Sorry, but after a rent, this game is average at best.

  36. I was about to say the same thing. Good call, Nola.

  37. I’ve been hearing a lot of that. Still I’m skeptical.

  38. It’s a really great game. The fan service was just non-stop in this game. If you are a long time Transformers fan you will be hanging on the conversations, lots of G1 references.

  39. Sounds pretty good. I might have to play this.

  40. GS store-credit cards, mount up!

  41. Too bad there’s no war on Planet Funkatron.

  42. I need to try the demo. How is the matchmaking, and is there any lag?

  43. I need to pick this up, the multiplayer demo was a lot of fun.

  44. Nice review. I liked the site.

  45. Awesome review 🙂

  46. I’m amazed by the good reviews this game is getting.

  47. At least one of the best.

  48. Lets just pretend Beast Wars NEVER happened.

  49. How many different transformers are in the game?

  50. This game wasn’t really on my radar until I tried the demo. Now, I think I’ll pick it up.

  51. Anyone got any codes at all?

  52. Great review!! Might have to check it out!!

  53. hope to win the dlc content for toy soldier

  54. The game was below my radar until I kept seeing all the positive reviews. I’ll get my husband the PC version as a present.

  55. God I want this game so badly. nice review.

  56. Wow surprise how good this game is

  57. Looks awesome.

  58. Still on the fence about this one. Like the co-op though.

  59. Great review. Haven’t had the chance to play the full game but i enjoyed the demo.