Version tested: PC
Being a huge Transformers fan growing up, I couldn’t pass this up. I didn’t play the first game so there won’t be any mention of it in this review.
Essentially, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a third-person cover-based shooter disguising itself as a Transformers game. The game didn’t capture what it feels to be a Transformer and it was pretty disappointing.
The most important part of anything Transformers is the transforming and it wasn’t pulled off well. It had its moment but most of the time you will find yourself frustrated at the lack of space given to transform freely. The game takes place in a lot of tight hallways and the transformations are only utilised in certain sections of a chapter, like needing to travel from one point to the next. The game is broken up into chapters and you will use different Transformers from both factions but the variety of transformations are basically limited to land and air vehicles with the exception of Grimlock’s T-Rex mode.
Out of the 13 chapters, I only really enjoyed and felt like an actual Transformer in four or five of them. The whole game was very limiting as well as scripted. It’s basically getting from point A to point B while killing the same soldier types with small little collectables hiding in certain corners of the map.
Another thing I didn’t like was the Transformers you played can’t be distinguished that much from one another. Weapons can be freely changed and none is unique to any character. You could very well find one weapon that you really like and play the whole game with that same weapon as any character. Would have preferred if they made each character have a unique weapon and one changeable weapon. The store where you can change and upgrade your weapons was also a little annoying when I was trying to navigate its menus. Playing it on the PC, I had to use my mouse to painstakingly go through the menus that I wanted. It was just horribly done.
The game looks good though, everything is big and shiny. Probably one of the few good points about this game. The animation when they transform looks sweet too but sadly the camera will most of the time be from the back and you can’t get a good look to appreciate the complicated animations involved.
When it comes to multiplayer, the game handled transforming a lot better. Giving you free reign whenever you want to transform but it will mostly be used to get in and out of battle. The game promises you lots of customisation options but that’s just simply not the case. While you can change different parts of the body, only the chest will affect the vehicle mode and putting on an Optimus head on your character will just make it a different kind of Optimus rather than a character unique to you.
All in all, I think the Transformers brand is a weakness rather than a strength. If this wasn’t a Transformers game I would probably not be this harsh on it but since it is, the game failed to capture the spirit of the franchise. Is this worth your money? Not at full retail it isn’t. Rent it or wait until it gets cheap, real cheap.
The game is available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.