For this game in particular it seems important for readers to know just how big a fan the reviewer is of the source material. I suppose it’s so they can judge whether or not their opinion is valid. Well get ready to hate I guess because I am definitely not the biggest Transformers fan. I never really had the toys as a kid, only saw the cartoon a couple of times, and didn’t care for either of the recent movies or the video games based on them.
But but but, before you start throwing full wine bottles at your computer screen, let me say that despite all of that, for the most part I quite enjoyed War for Cybertron.
One of the smartest decisions made here is that the game completely ignores all of the material from the movies. It takes the action back to Cybertron and the Transformers home turf. There is no attempt to cram them into our world, instead a world can be built around them that makes sense. And there’s no Shia, which if we had review scores would mean at least an extra 1.5.
This change does help the game play because these levels are designed in a way where often transforming makes actual tactile sense and doesn’t just feel like an option that’s available should you decide to use it. Yes there are sequences specifically designed to make you use your vehicle form, but even during routine shootouts there are moments where it sometimes makes the most sense to transform.
Now although the environment switch is definitely a step up from previous Transformers games, that doesn’t mean there still aren’t issues. For one, Cybertron isn’t the most exciting place to look at. The structural engineers weren’t very creative and the entire planet is mostly made up of drab, grey hallways and the occasional open room to have a firefight in. The environment hardly changes at all from level to level and a sense of déjà vu sinks in quickly and never goes away.
That brings me to my next issue with the game, it doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of variety. While I was definitely enjoying myself for a great chunk of the game, I was doing the same things at the end that I was at the beginning and by that point I was more than ready for the campaign to end. You run or drive down a hallway, end up in a large room where you shoot a lot of bad guys who look the same, usually activate some sort of switch, and it continues like that. Each chapter generally wraps up with a boss fight and although fine, none of them are particularly exciting or memorable.
It sounds like I’m really down on the game but like I said I enjoyed the majority of it. For I would say 75% of the single player campaign I was into it. I thought the shooting felt good and the lack of true cover mechanics didn’t really bother me all that much after a short adjustment period. A lot of people complained about the constant need to collect ammo and health, and that’s certainly a factor, but I was never that bothered by it. Transforming works well and I found these sequences, particularly the flying sections, quite fun. Overall the game feels good but by the time I had completed the campaign (which will easily take a good 10-12 hours) I had had my fill and felt no desire to revisit it.
The multiplayer on the other hand remains fun even after sinking in a decent chunk of time. It uses the Modern Warfare strategy of having constant incentive to keep leveling up and keep playing. I primarily stuck with Team Deathmatch but there are a variety of modes, including this game’s take on Horde mode where you and your teammates take on wave after wave of enemies. There is also online coop for the campaign however I was not able to try this feature. When you’re done with the single player campaign there is definitely a lot in the multiplayer that will keep you coming back.
Again, it’s important to remember that this is all coming from someone who isn’t the biggest Transformers fan. So if you are a fan, you can take all the positives I just listed and multiply them by about 1000 because there is a lot here for you to like, including good ole Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus. If you absolutely hate Transformers then of course move along, but there should be something here to like for even the most casual fans.