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.