War for Cybertron review
Become Megatron and Optimus Prime, all in the same game
Transformers: War for Cybertron is a third-person shooter developed by High Moon Studios and published by Activision. Being an official entry into the series, Hasbro has a toy line releasing in 2010 based on War for Cybertron. The game is also said to be an official chapter of the Transofmers’ Universe back story, similarly to the comics. The game takes place prior to the Transformers: Prime animated series, when the Transformers still live on their home world, Cybertron. The game has two single player campaigns, one for each faction, but both are rather similar in length and context. There is also an extensive selection of multiplayer and coop modes, which add longevity. With a very accurate and true-to-source material setting and characters, this title is probably worth your while – regardless if you’re a fan of the series or not – and is likely the best game in the Transformers series.
The plot of Transformers: War for Cybertron is set long before the events of the Transformers: Prime television series. The game features both a Decepticon campaign and an Autobot campaign, though they are not inter-linked so players can complete them in any order. Given the game’s story though, it’s best to play through as designed – first as Decepticons, than as Autobots. The Decepticon campaign focuses on Megatron’s quest to recover an all-powerful dark energon power, and then use it to take over the whole planet and begin his rule as the ultimate leader. Having acquired the power, Megatron and his subordinates battle Omega Supreme, a giant Autobot robot guarding that holds the key to the center of the planet, where Megatron wants to infuse the dark energy. The campaign follows this group of Decepticons on their quest, and things go rather well.
Of course, after that the Autobot campaign takes over. Now playing as Optimus Prime, the player’s task is pretty much to un-do everything they just accomplished in the Decepticon campaign and save the planet. If you are OK with having the game force you to un-do the evil things you’ve previously worked so hard for to complete, then play on and see that the ending doesn’t quite play out as nicely as some may expect. Through the campaign, the player will get to meet many popular personalities such as Zeta Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Silverbolt, Air Raid and more. The Decipticons include characters such as Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Brawl, Barricade and many others. Though the campaigns are linear, enough thrills and interesting set pieces are delivered to provide a fun and worthwhile experience, though with little replay value.
At the outset of each chapter, the player can choose between three different characters to play as. The selection always includes the leader (Prime and Megatron), as well as two support characters of varying classes. The game is setup for a coop experience, hence if you’re playing single player, the other two characters will still accompany during the course of the game, controlled by the AI. Depending on which character you choose to play as, the gameplay is barely affected. Each character comes from a specific class, with at least one unique ability - but playing through the campaign means the abilities aren’t used often since the game isn’t overly challenging. As such, there is very little impact on the game regardless of who you choose to play as. The abilities range from a temporary speed burst, to a short-range melee attack burst, to temporary shields.
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