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Transformers: War for Cybertron (PS3)


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted June 25 2010 - 11:16 AM

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Transformers: War For Cybertron (PS3)

So, Activision sent me a copy for review one week after visiting their booth at E3, and I have to say, I have mixed feelings towards this game.

First of all, it took a good 20-25 minutes for the game to install and load from the moment I first inserted the disc into my Playstation 3, something I have not been accustomed to with console gaming. In the past, I have always been up and running with new games within 5 minutes of inserting the disc on games such as Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, The Simpsons Game, and Lego Indiana Jones. Little Big Planet took maybe 10 minutes, tops, but there were a lot of updates that needed to be downloaded as part of the Game of the Year edition. Now that the game is installed, it still takes close to 10 minutes for the Start screen to load, and that's after skipping through all the company logos.

Essentially a prequel to the Michael Bay films, War For Cybertron is the final battle on the Autobots' home planet, and the game plays like a shooter, a genre I'll admit I've never been very good at. That being said, although I found it difficult, even in easy mode, I was able to complete Chapter 1 in less than 4 hours. My main complaint is the authors' selection of L3 (pushing down on the Left analog stick) to transform from character to vehicle and back again, while using L1 (the Left analog stick) for character movement. I found myself unintentionally changing form several times throughout the game.

Animation is very good, and the sound design is very clever, using 5.1 effectively by providing discrete sound cues to help navigate you through the game. Shooter fans will appreciate this game, and Transformers fans even more so.

*** out of *****

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted June 25 2010 - 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by Toddwrtr 

Essentially a prequel to the Michael Bay films, War For Cybertron is the final battle on the Autobots' home planet

Point of order: the game actually has nothing to do with the Michael Bay films at all, and is, in fact, tied closely to the original cartoon--so much so that it is now considered a canon source by by Hasbro.  The plot follows the eruption of war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, and includes a few gems that old-school fans will love; one highlight is showing how Starscream came to betray the Autobots and join up with Megatron and the Decepticons.  Another key moment follows Optimus taking over as Autobot leader.

I only mention this because I know a lot of fans didn't like the direction Michael Bay took with the franchise.  This game is basically a fan's dream come true: you are playing the original transformers from the 80's cartoon.  Most of the voices are authentic (Peter Cullen is there as Prime), or very close in cases where the voice actor is dead or unavailable.  You are basically playing the cartoon; it's awesome.

The initial load time was indeed quite long--about 20 minutes for me (I had time to literally make a sandwich, eat it, and clean up while it was loading).  However, I definitely don't have a 10-minute loading time after-the-fact; the time from booting the PS3 to playing the game is maybe one and a half minutes.

There are a few very interesting game modes, and the title shines in both single, co-op, and multiplayer modes.  There is a campaign, which you can play solo or co-op (online co-op, not local splitscreen).  Here you work through the timeline of the war on Cybertron, as told/hinted at in the original cartoon and comics (there are a few interesting changes, too).  Five levels for the Decepticons, and then five more as the Autobots.  Each level has a number of chapters, and you can replay from any of these checkpoints later on, should you wish to go back for any missed items.  In each level you choose between one of three Transformers to play as--the other two will act as CPU-controlled minions, and add dialogue as you play.  Most of the greatest hits are here: you can literally play as Megatron on the first mission, Starscream, Prime, Ratchet, et cetera.  I found the hard mode to be a little too easy at times, with the main challenge coming from having to ration your ammo, and choose when and where to switch weapons.  On hard mode, I was able to play each chapter in about two hours (there were two chapters what were slightly shorter, and one that was longer).

On the multiplayer side of things, the game is also amazing.  Unique to the game is "escalation" mode, where you select one of the Transformers unlocked through the campaign (or any pre-order you might have), and play alongside 2-3 other players online.  Your team faces wave-after-wave of enemies, each wave more difficult than the last.  Defeating an enemy gives you what is essentially currency, which you use at vending machines scattered around the map: here you buy ammo, new weapons, grenades, health, shields, or even unlock doors on the map, expanding the level (usually adding more hiding spaces for you, and better vending machines).  This mode is actually hard, as the enemies are relentless and outnumber you like 30-1 sometimes.  It's great fun, though.

There are also the standard multiplayer fair: deathmatch, capture and hold, something akin to the bomb maps on Counterstrike, et cetera.  In this modes, you actually *create* your own unique Transformer (name and all) by selecting an archetype which determines a few set things, and the modifying it with chassis parts, weapons, special abillities, and other fun stuff.  You gain XP in a pseudo-RPG fashion, and levelling up unlocks more stuff to mod your character with.  Want to make a red and yellow sports car that can cloak and has a sniper rifle, or a black and  white jet that can heal allies and lay mines and force fields?  Well, you can.  The only bad thing about this mode is that there is no floating hosting ability, so if the host drops, everyone gets dropped from the match--this is being patched in the future, however.

All-in-all, this is the best Transformers game ever, on any system, and perhaps the best ever use of a classic 80s IP.  This has been a great year for gaming: Red Dead Redemption, God of War III, BioShock 2, Heavy Rain, FF 13, to name a few.  However, Transformers: War for Cybertron just might be the sleeper hit of the year.  In my opinion, there is far more playability here than even Red Dead Redemption, and for the fans/children of the 80s, perhaps a masterpiece.

I give it a 9.5/10.  A must-own title for fans.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 28 2010 - 06:24 AM

I was in the mall on Saturday and Gamestop appeared to be SOLD OUT of this already!  I've never seen that there before. Most reviews have been great.  I'm looking forward to trying it, although the lack of local multiplayer sucks.
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#4 of 6 ONLINE   Bryan^H



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Posted June 30 2010 - 07:41 AM

This game is selling amazingly well.  It deserves every bit of praise it gets.  Flawless! I give it 2 grades: For people just looking for a very fun game with perfect level design, and a great game engine-A For people that grew up on the Transformers cartoon(storyline puts the Bay films to shame) and are into video games-A+++++++++++ Completely out left field, it's pleasant surprises like this game that keep me interested in playing video games at 36 years of age.

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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted July 01 2010 - 08:30 AM

Excellent.  :) I wouldn't say "completely out of left field," though.  I've been reading previews of this game in magazines and on websites for a year or so. FWIW, when I mentioned that the game was sold out, that was only the PS3 edition (and only on the shelf -- they might've had copies in back).  The XBox and Wii versions were there.
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#6 of 6 OFFLINE   wardeezy



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Posted July 06 2010 - 09:56 AM

This game is definitely the best transformers game to come out up to date,I just finished the campaign yesterday.The Decepticon storyline was good but kind of lacking compared to the autobot story which is truly a great ride.I got online to play deathmatch the first day I got it but got beat up pretty bad maybe now that i have completed the story I can do some damage