Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a good time with technical caveats

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a good time with technical caveats

A Transformer from "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" shows off his dinosaur form.

Steven Martin, Photographer

Let me get this out of the way, this game is in no way, shape or form related to the Michael Bay cinematic garbage that was the live action Transformers movies.

Relieved? Good let’s continue. Released by Activsion “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” “T:FOC” for the PS3 (it’s also available on the Xbox 360 and PC) takes place right after “Transformers: War for Cybertron” “T:WFC”, where the heroic Autobots are trying to escape their doomed home planet Cybertron. In their way are the evil Decepticons, whose main goals are to destroy the Autobots and take over the universe.

While I found “Transformers: War for Cybertron” to be a fun little diamond in the rough, it was not without its flaws. The game had some serious camera issues when the action started to get hot and heavy and the frame rate would often sink below 30fps making the game almost unplayable.

The game was also very repetitive, in that you faced the same mindless drones over and over for much of the game.  For the sequel, these problems were addressed, for the most part. You still fight wave after wave of drones, but at least this time their artificial intelligence seems to be a lot better.

Another big problem I have with this game is that in “T:WFC “at the beginning of each chapter of the game you were able to choose which Autobot or Decepticon you wanted to play as: in “T:FOC” that choice is made for you. While it far from ruins the game for me, it did seem like a setback in its core game design. Now I understand that this was done so that the designers could tailor certain levels to the play mechanics of certain characters, but why force me to play as little-known Autobot Cliffjumper? I could be spending more time playing as Grimlock, who transforms into a giant robotic T-Rex and can shoot fire out of his mouth (if that garnered no reaction from you, then your inner child is dead).

Also on more then one occasion, the game froze up on me and I had to quit the game completely. I’m just glad that it didn’t happen while the game was saving or it could have corrupted my save file. This would force me to start the game over from scratch. I hope they will release a patch to fix this issue soon.

Now that you know what is wrong with the game, let me fill you in on what the developers at High Moon Studios got right.

The graphics in “T:FOC” are really good. Whether you’re trying to find your way through a sandstorm, wandering around the sewers or simply plowing through the enemy in your vehicle mode, the game runs smoothly.  This is just the type of game that shows that the Playstation 3 is still a long way from being mothballed.

Gameplay is another area where “T:FOC” really shines. The controls are well designed and in a game like this where every second counts, you do not want to be searching for the right button to press when you’re in the middle of a gunfight. The button layout makes sense although the controls are very similar to other successful third-person-shooters.

The Sound design is also, for the most part, really well done. The sounds of battle are crisp and realistic (or as real as a game about giant talking robots that can transform into vehicles, guns and other household electronics can be).

You might think that a game based on a property from the toy manufacture Hasbro would be an easy, non-violent video game geared toward 5 year olds, but this is not the case. “T:FOC” is a violent game and while no humans are injured, robots are ripped and blown apart left and right. The game is rated T for teen. “T:FOC” can also give even a seasoned gamer a challenge.

While “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” is not a perfect game; it is a lot of fun and should give you hours of enjoyment. Whether you play the single player campaign or go online to play with friends you will have a blast.

“Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” gets a 3 out of 5.