Transformers: War for Cybertron was the title that Transformers fan had been clamoring for. Gone was the aftertaste of the horrible movie games and the earlier games based on the alternate animated series. It brought the classic characters back to their roots and gave fans of the original series a look at where things had begun before the twenty year old cartoon started. Fall of Cybertron continues the story from War for Cybertron, (which if you haven’t played it yet, do yourself a favor and get to it) and not only brings new characters into the fold, but also a more enjoyable and stimulating story than the previous title offered. Gone is the “Dark Energon” tripe and in its place is an involved storyline detailing the Autobots frantic attempt against the clock to escape Cybertron and the behind-the-scenes activities that the Decepticons are occupied with in preventing the Autobots escape and ensuring their own survival.
Fall of Cybertron takes place over the course of thirteen chapters, and like the previous game, it flips between both sides of the fight. Also like the previous title, each chapter will let you take control of differing characters. While some of the chapters let you take the role of the more prominent characters like Bumblebee and Megatron, the more neglected characters like Swindle, Cliffjumper, and yes, even Grimlock, also get their time to shine. For the most part, each and every character handles the exact same; melee attacks, transformations, and weapons remain identical across characters, however each character does have their own inherent ability such as Optimus’ airstrike and Jazz’s grappling hook, which are used in accordance to the level they are presented in.
The focus of Fall of Cybertron is clearly on the story and it is made evident given how much narration is given through the conversations between characters and the audio logs that can be found throughout the game. Just about everything that you are curious about during the time playing is explained. Everything from how the Dinobots came to become “Dinobots” while still on Cybertron and the creation of the Nemesis; the “Ark” that the Decepticons use for their space travels. Places visited in War for Cybertron are revisited and the events that took place are brought up quite a few times during the game to reinforce the point that everything that happened in the previous game is still relevant to what is happening on the planet.
As the storytelling and the characters of Fall of Cybertron are its strongest element, the actual gameplay feels great– until you get into the combat. Being that the game is split up three ways: narration, combat, and exploration, it’s a pretty large portion of the game that takes a hit. During almost every battle, trying to take cover is useless as you can’t crouch, and standing behind a waist-high wall will have you getting repeatedly shot in the face. It’s equal to standing out in the open, so your best course of action is to keep moving, but likewise, you’re scrambling around out in the open, continually getting hit. Transforming to your other form is your only other option, but even then your weapons don’t do nearly enough damage to warrant it. You are able to find consumable “power-ups” to help you along the way, as well as Teletraan Stations (stores) where you can upgrade weapons and purchase perks such as allowing you to move faster, and gain additional health.
Other than the 8-9 hour singleplayer campaign, you can partake in some online mayhem with the Multiplayer modes and the wave-based Escalation mode. Escalation is your standard Horde-type offering whereas you and your friends use set character Transformers to fight off waves of increasingly difficult enemies while trying to survive. The multiplayer portion adds some interesting changes to the regular gameplay as you are able to create and build your own custom Transformer. You have the choice of 4 different classes; Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan, and Scientist, each of which has its own abilities and is its own different type of vehicle. You are also able to change the look of your character’s parts. You can change the shoulders, head, arms, etc. as well the colors, and decals. By winning rounds, you’ll also unlock more items by gaining XP as well as earning money which will also allow you to purchase new items, like new heads, to give your Transformer a unique feel from the rest of the players on the field.
Fall of Cybertron takes just everything that worked from the first game (minus the co-op campaign gameplay, unfortunately) and improves upon it tenfold. The characters are more interesting on both sides of the battle, the backstory that relates the Transformers last few hours on Cybertron is executed flawlessly, and the action rarely switches gears from the intense opening scene. Putting the minor annoyances of the combat aside, Fall of Cybertron is a game that is well worth being a part of the series mythos.
Title: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron