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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” for diehard fans of the franchise

    Press Photo
    Press Photo

    Before I’d even played “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” I assumed it was going to be no better than Michael Bay’s overindulgent cinema debacles, but the game proved me wrong.

    Its charm isn’t apparent to newcomers. Only fans of the previous games in the series will be attracted immediately. The campaign chronologically begins at the end of the story and players take control of the Autobot — that means good Transformer — Bumblebee.

    The first level is a classic tutorial but without any of the context to make it interesting. Everything is driven by pure nostalgia. The controls are a little odd at first, especially the ability to shift shooting hands and, in effect, slightly shift the camera angle.

    Then, just as the player gets comfortable walking around and shooting their weapons, the game introduces vehicle transformations. This is immediately disorienting, and probably the most difficult aspect to adjust to. The caveat, however, is that eventually the rapid transformations between human form and vehicle form become one of the most enjoyable parts of the gameplay.
    After that first level, things start to improve. Optimus Prime, the poster child of Transformers, becomes the player character, and the story starts to make sense. The Autobots and Decepticons — those are the bad guys — are at war. The Decepticons, led by Megatron, ruined their planet, Cybertron. The Autobots want to get out, but due to their vindictive nature, the Decepticons aren’t having it. They, as usual, want to wipe the Autobots out entirely.

    Aside from cheesy dialogue and an abrupt increase in difficulty, things steadily get more enjoyable. More weapons become available and the controls are a bit more natural. All in all though, the Autobots prove to be pretty unlikeable, despite being the ones everyone should like.

    Eventually players have a chance to be the Decepticons. This is when the game flips the fun switch and becomes a blast. I don’t know whether it’s the superior character design, more complex story and motivation or more enjoyable levels that changes things so much, but it’s probably some combination of the three.

    Flying vehicle forms are introduced. Even better, more innovative weapons start showing up. There’s a power struggle over who should lead the Decepticons, a botched assault saved only by the player’s efforts and suddenly it’s like the Power Rangers up in there because Transformers start combining.

    There is some saving grace for the Autobots though. When the story switches back to their point of view, the player’s vehicle form becomes a damned Tyrannosaurus rex that spits fire from its mouth. It’s not the easiest form to control, but it’s so bad-ass that it doesn’t matter.

    The last level is hands down the best, as the player gets to control all the best Transformers on both sides of the war. Then, of course, there’s an exciting showdown between Optimus and Megatron that actually feels like a final struggle.

    So despite the story not making a whole lot of sense all the time, eventually, it is fun. Plus, without giving any spoilers, the sequel that it sets up looks immensely intriguing.

    As for the multiplayer, it’s OK. There’s an even greater learning curve, and lobbies aren’t that full, but there’s a huge potential for customization. Players can level up their Transformer and unlock all kinds of weapons and upgrades, though there are only four game-types to use them in.

    It’s not the game’s fault for having empty lobbies, because competing against the likes of “Call of Duty” is impossible. It could be a great time if more people played.

    All things considered, the game is worth taking a look at. It’s a fun way to spend a handful of hours, playing the game and then putting it down. There’s no way “Fall of Cybertron” can keep you busy for a long time, but if you can afford it, check it out.

    — Jason Krell is the copy chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @Jason_Krell.

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts.

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