PC, PS3, Xbox 360
True Transformers fans – those who grew up with the shape-shifting robots – have long complained how the movies have watered down much of the concept, above all keeping the franchise away from any decent games. It’s really a no-brainer: giant robots + massive guns + morphing into vehicles = big gaming potential. Yet finally the series has caught a break, ironically because the world will have to wait another year before Michael Bay dumps another chapter of these giant machines on us.
To take advantage of not being shackled to a movie, the new game is an independent take on the series, putting fans in the middle of a war on Cybertron for the control of the Transformers’ home world. It still boils down to a third-person shooter, but a good one, with original storylines, unique environments and plenty of things to blow up. The controls are slick, the playing is easy and the nice use of set-pieces and scripted events makes this an exciting ride, regardless of whether you choose to play the Autobot or Decepticon campaigns. It also supports three-player co-op, while the online multiplayer is lots of fun. In many ways this is the game both fans and gamers have been waiting for.
Yet it’s not without chinks in its armour. The biggest flaw is Cybertron. It definitely feels like a robot planet, but machines are clearly not big on aesthetics and the world looks rather bland and repetitive.
Maybe it can be blamed on the theme, but War For Cybertron has a definite ‘designed by committee’ feel that keeps it away from true greatness. Still, if you like third-person shooters mixed with tons of action and a few giant machines, you won’t regret becoming a veteran of this war.