Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is the direct sequel to 2010’s War for Cybertron and, like its predecessor, is developed by High Moon Studios. Having played through everything the demo has to offer (in this case, two levels from the campaign and a taste of the multiplayer) it seems as if the title is shaping up very nicely for its August 24th release.
The first level puts players in control of Bumblebee as he moves around the Autobot ship carrying out objectives whilst trying to deflect a Decepticon attack. First thing players will notice the moment they begin is how nice Fall of Cybertron is to look at: it really does have great graphics. Like any good Transformers game should, it understands the source material. It looks, at least from what the demo shows us, that developers High Moon Studios have used the license to full force and because of this have made a game that fits the Transformers universe perfectly; it looks exactly like you would imagine them to really look should they exist and what their world would be like.
Compared to the other mission on offer, the Bumblebee level is significantly more action-orientated with explosive corridor shootouts that show the games satisfying shooting mechanic to full effect. Gameplay is fast, frantic and more importantly, a hell of a lot of fun. Whether this level of enjoyment can be carried throughout the entire game without becoming too monotonous remains to be seen, but at the very least the core mechanics are solid and work perfectly. There is no lock-on mechanic so expect a lot of strafing and jumping to kill the enemies but the majority of environments seem large enough to compensate for this without making the player feel restricted.
Coming from someone who didn’t play War for Cybertron, one of the biggest surprises for me was how much of a big scale the whole single player demo was on. Once the level opened up and allowed players to move about outside as Bumblebee’s vehicle form, the environments were unexpectedly huge with space seeming to go on forever and the whole map being overshadowed by a colossal Decepticon ship as it tore the Autobots’ apart piece by piece. While any fan of the franchise knows that no matter how big some of the Transformers get, there is still room for them to get bigger and when some of the larger members of faction appear, it becomes rather epic.
The second level on offer is slightly different to the first one and focuses much more on the vehicle side of the franchise. Put in the shoes of a Decepticon this time, players must work their way through a huge map whilst dodging lasers and taking down foes as they follow a second Decepticon in front of them. As an air-vehicle, there is the immediate verticality added that the shooting sections in the first level lacked and the environments are detailed, wide and fun to fly through with something constantly to look at. Whether this is a one-off scene or there will be multiple moments like this is unknown but I hope that High Moon Studios use this great mechanic to its full potential.
Multiplayer in Fall of Cybertron is definitely fun but I fear there isn’t enough to keep players coming back for more. You can level up your Transformer to unlock new items like weapons and armour but that seems about it in terms of longevity. Despite this, multiplayer modes look fun and I had a great deal of enjoyment playing Team Deathmatch. The ability to change between robot and vehicle adds a new element to the game and makes for some exciting moments. It certainly is great fun but whether fans enjoy it or not depends on how long people are playing it after its release.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron certainly has the potential to be a great game. The shooting mechanics are solid and fun; the graphics look fantastic and the multiplayer is good enough to possibly give it some longevity. Whether the rest of the game is as good as the demo shows it to be remains to be seen and won’t be decided until the reviews come out, but at this stage, it certainly has a good chance of being one.