Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron on PS3 Impression

A fans dream and gamers delight. Transformers: The War for Cybertron on PlayStation 3 is as much for gamers who grew with the franchise as it is for gamers looking for a solid single and multi-player experience different than other titles on the market. A deep knowledge of Transformers will enhance the gaming experience but is not mandatory as the narrative is clear and moves at a fevered pitch putting gamers into both Autobot and Decepticon roles while offering up faceless, class based bots online full of upgradable goodness. Is this it? Impression over? Nope, let’s take a deeper look.

Gameplay – Play through a third-person adventure as both Autobots and Decepticons from the rise of Megatron to the acceptance of leadership from Optimus Prime. The single player campaign puts gamers into the blossoming civil war and takes them all over Cybertron and its moons running and gunning and of course transforming to accomplish objectives. It’s a fan-service filled single-player adventure with a robust multiplayer, online mode piled on top. Deathmatch, Power Struggle, Conquest, Cod of Power and Countdown to Extinction are the modes of play (team deathmatch also) and while multiplayer won’t rewrite the Halo and CoD’s of the gaming landscape it’s well executed and fun. Gamers can choose a specific class of robot, level them up and take the action online with gameplay that offers up transformations on the fly. Every class of character is unique with unique skills, a nice, deep online experience awaits.

Graphics – The characters look great and transformations are fluid. Some of the cutscenes and up close shots show pretty plain details but the in-game look more than makes up for it. Cybertron and its moons feel connected but sport a look that separates each level. The cinematic scenes will get fans juices flowing like no Transformers game before it. The grunt transformers also look rock solid and well designed. The best looking Transformers title yet.

Sound – It starts with the legendary Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and never slows down. The voice work rocks, sound effects are true to the animated heritage and the background music delivers to fit the pace. Transformers delivers in the sound department.

Design – Mixing design elements from both the prequel stories on the new movies and the original comics and cartoon. The design of not only mainstream characters but secondary grunts shows a familiarization with the source material, fans folks, this game was made by fans and the design shows in each bot. The planet of Cybertron is a well designed character with levels requiring transformations to advance and a different feel to each setting. Using a Decepticon based beginning leading into Autobot based moves the story along wonderfully.

Miscellaneous – Fan-service galore. This is not a Fallen driven story, it’s one based on the mythology of the Transformers franchise pulling in plenty of characters and references to the cartoon and comics. It does not hurt this is a rock solid action game but when it’s wrapped in so much fans will dig, it’s simple a game not to be missed.

Overall Transformer fans should already own War for Cybertron on whichever system they own. It’s packed with great fan-service, a worthy story driven narrative that puts gamers in the driver’s seat. Seeing so many characters in their original Cybertronian forms is a joy and the voice work is rock solid. Level design can feel familiar but gamers won’t notice when Trypticon is bearing down on you. Fans looking for a fun, different, online experience should also take a look as this is a surprising deep online experience that requires more than plain-ol-fragging. Who knew transforming into a jet could cause so many lock-on issues?

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