More Than Meets The Eye
2010's War for Cybertron began the story of the Autobot/Decepticon civil war, and sequel Fall of Cybertron picks up where the first game left off, with the Autobots preparing their deep-space ship the Ark for evacuation from the dying mechanical planet.
The second chapter in what we're hoping is a trilogy, the game shows how the robots-in-disguise travelled from their mined world to our distant planet, eventually crash-landing on prehistoric Earth, where they lay dormant for many years.
While the original was split into two separate campaigns, one for the Autobots and the other for the Decepticons, Fall of Cybertron features a single narrative that alternates between each, which proves to be a definite boon when it comes to tight storytelling.
One minute you'll take control of an Autobot battling to secure Energon resources for the Ark's evacuation and the next you'll play as a Decepticon aiming to sabotage those efforts, enabling you to see both sides of the conflict firsthand.
The game also drops the original's three-player co-op structure, meaning you don't get to choose which character you play as in each level, but you'll still step into the suits of a host of fan-favourite TransFormers who offer plenty of varied gameplay.
One Will Rise. Then Another...
Third person perspective running 'n' gunning remains the main hook, but each Transformer is different. Optimus Prime levels feature an emphasis on shooting, for example, while the acrobatic Jazz can swing between ledges using his grapple hook in platforming missions.
Starscream takes to the skies in excellent aerial/ground hybrid levels and Cliffjumper's cloaking ability is perfect for stealth forays. The melee-focused Dinobot section of the campaign can become repetitive, but given that the game delivers a roughly 12-hour single player adventure in which you get to play as a different character in almost all 13 missions, this is easily forgivable.
Fall of Cybertron also boasts a solid online offering that adds plenty of value to the overall package. There are a handful of familiar competitive multiplayer game types such as Deathmatch, Conquest and Capture the Flag, which see you playing as one of four classes rather than known characters, but the star of the show is Escalation.
It's a frantic four-player co-operative experience in which players face off against increasingly powerful waves of enemies. Each character class has unique support functions like the ability to absorb projectiles, heal team-mates or replenish ammo, while successful kills and captured objectives are rewarded with points that can be used to unlock weapons and upgrades, activate traps, or open doors to access new areas.
While TransFormers nuts will get most out of Fall of Cybertron, it's a great game that offers something for all action and shooter fans. Featuring an entertaining story campaign and fun multiplayer modes that entice you to come back after the credits roll, it does a great job of making you feel like an absolute badass as you rip down structures, swoop from the skies, gun down enemies, slash them in two, or roast them with your dino flame breath.
- A cool TransFormers story.
- Regularly switching characters keeps gameplay fresh.
- Makes you feel like an absolute ass-kicker.
- Melee combat could be less repetitive.
- A few polish issues, lessened by installing the game on Xbox 360.
- We'll probably have to wait two years for the next chapter.