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Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War for Cybertron is a third-person shooter video game developed by High Moon Studios and published by Activision. It was released in North America on June 22, 2010 and in PAL regions on June 25, 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Two portable versions were released for the Nintendo DS, one featuring an Autobot campaign, the other a Decepticon campaign. A game for the Wii called Transformers: Cybertron Adventures was developed by Next Level Games and utilizes the same characters and setting as War for Cybertron. A sequel, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron was released on August 21, 2012 in North America and on August 24 in Europe.

The game takes place on the planet Cybertron, prior to the Transformers arrival on Earth. The Autobots and Decepticons are engaged in a civil war. The game can be played starting from either faction's perspective, but begins chronologically with the Decepticon campaign. The game revolves around the use of a substance known as Dark Energon, which the evil Decepticon leader Megatron believes will allow him to return the planet to what he refers to as a golden age.

War for Cybertron received generally positive reviews from critics. Aggregate websites GameRankings and Metacritic report scores in the mid 70% range across all three platforms. Several reviewers cited it as an improvement over past Transformers games. Critics generally felt that the cooperative and multiplayer versus modes were solid, but cited repetitive visuals in regards to the game's setting.

Transformers: War For Cybertron Gameplay

War for Cybertron is played from a third person perspective. Transformers are classified into four main categories, Leader, Soldier, Scientist, and Scout. Each character in the campaign is classified as one of these types, and their weaponry, abilities and vehicle form are largely influenced by their character class. Players can change between forms at will, and each form has unique abilities. While in robot form characters can also collect different weapons, reminiscent of those found in first-person shooters. While in vehicle form each character can boost their speed.

Each campaign level gives the player a choice of three Transformers. The campaign can be played in single-player or cooperatively via online multiplayer, and players can enter or leave the game at any time. If fewer than three players are present, the game's AI controls the remaining playable characters. Cooperative and competitive modes of the game are limited to online play, with no split screen features available. The game levels are designed to allow characters to comfortably navigate and play the game in either mode.

Critical reaction has been generally positive, with many reviews citing that War for Cybertron is an improvement over past Transformers games. Aggregate scores across all three platforms were fairly uniform. The PC version holds a score of 76.25% at GameRankings and 76/100 at Metacritic. The PlayStation 3 version has a 78.47% and 77/100 at the two aggregate sites, while the Xbox 360 version reports scores of 79.45% and 76/100. Individual review scores ranged from a 50% approval by Edge magazine to a 94% approval by Gaming Trend.

Reviewers praised the in-game voice acting. G4TV's Matt Kell noted that Peter Cullen's voice work as Optimus was "commanding and familiar", adding that the other actors "even do their best to replicate the voices of the original cartoon." Mike Nelson of Game Informer agreed and noted the game's excellent dialogue, stating "the script has all the overwrought melodrama you’d expect from giant talking robots." Several critics also gave high marks for War for Cybertron's multiplayer. IGN's Arthur Gies noted the influences from Unreal Championship, Tribes, Team Fortress 2, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 adding that "War for Cybertron leverages its transformation mechanic to create something that feels shockingly new." Tom McShea of GameSpot noted that the game's Escalation mode provided a Transformers twist on Gears of War's Horde mode. GamePro's Kat Bailey noted that the multiplayer was "probably the most appealing part of the package", adding it had a "strong suite options." 1UP.com's Matt Miller lauded the ability to play through the game's campaign with up to three players online, as did G4TV's Matt Kell. Both reviewers also praised the new character designs, with Kell calling them "inventive." Wired.com's John Mix Meyer gave praise to the game's campaign length, stating "The game’s 10-hour single-player campaign means there’s plenty of time for the crazy transformations to strut their stuff." John Hamblin of Eurogamer praised the transformation animations. He stated players will "occasionally wish there was a Max Payne slow-mo option so you could appreciate the nuance of these feats a little more."

The repetitive visual design of Cybertron drew criticism from critics. Tom McShea of GameSpot stated that "the majority of the game entails walking through similar-looking corridors." Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann also cited repetitive visuals, but conceded that "the metallic world of Cybertron doesn't lend itself particularly well to a lot of environmental variety." 1UP.com's Matt Miller also raised issue with the repetitive visuals, but provided a counterpoint in saying "there are a host of features in place to save the game from spiraling into mediocrity." John Hamblin of Eurogamer and Tom McShea of GameSpot also pointed out the game's vast lack of ammunition. "Watching Lord Megatron repeatedly suffering the indignity of being shot at by drones while he desperately scours the debris looking for an elusive ammo box is just sad" stated Hamblin. He was further critical of the game's checkpoint system, which often leaves players in difficult situations upon respawning.

The first downloadable content pack received mixed reception from IGN's Arthur Gies. While he praised the design of the multiplayer maps, he noted that the lack of online players for War for Cybertron hurt the ability to play the new content online. Gies stated that he attempted to host the two Escalation maps, adding that he waited for several minutes for players to join, but had no success. "That's the problem", he stated. "War for Cybertron's multiplayer is all-but-abandoned." Gies went on to cite a peak population of approximately 4,600 players on Xbox Live, 800 on PlayStation Network, and only 158 players on the PC version at the time of his writing. Despite the lack of online players he felt the content may fit a player's needs, stating "If you've got nine other friends who bought War for Cybertron and can set up your own private matches, then Character and Map Pack 01 might be worth checking out."

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