In case you missed the memo, Transformers: War for Cybertron was incredible. It took what made Transformers so appealing – the characters, struggles and grand scale of the warring factions – and gave us an action-packed yet entirely character-driven experience. Developer High Moon Studios is wrapping up its production on a sequel, subtitled Fall of Cybertron, to pick up the story of the Autobots’ struggle for survival against the Decepticons. And so far, things are looking better than ever.
In the recently released demo, players can choose two missions to try. One puts players in the control of Bumblebee, the lovable runt of the Autobots, trying to get support to Optimus Prime who’s engaged in a grudge match with Megatron; the other takes the perspective of Decepticons’ Vortex, an air specialist part of the Combaticons team, who’s working with Starscream to ambush some Autobots and steal their Energon supply.
Right from the beginning of both missions the most noticeable enhancement of the original formula is the step up in graphical prowess. To put it simply, it looks great. The attention to detail in every character and environmental asset really pops, and yet the demo runs without a hitch. Even the character animations have taken an upgrade – everyone moves so fluidly and stylistically that it almost looks like its Michael Bay films’ counterparts. Each step the player takes feels like you’re really controlling a hefty robot, yet combat requires you to move with such agility that oftentimes it’s easy to forget.
Gameplay-wise, a nifty feature’s been added that few third-person shooters consider. Pressing B on the 360 controller now allows the player to switch shoulders over which the camera is placed, making shooting from cover much easier. Since the game doesn’t offer the ability to snap to cover, switching viewing angles is an option that helps fix that.
Vortex’s mission shows off the flying controls of the game, which feel much tighter and free compared to the first game. An interesting addition to gameplay is the ability to change weapons while in vehicle mode, and the requirement to reload. Both still feel natural however, and were likely added to balance the combat. Again, the experience still feels as fluid and fast paced as ever.
One major removal from the gameplay though is the ability to double-jump. Depending on your play style, this is either a good thing or a bad thing. The player can still jump quite high, however that extra bit of air or maneuverability is lacking.
That said, this removal is likely only important to those who are big on multiplayer, which is where the game gets more of its kicks. New to Transformers is the character creation feature, which allows gamers to select a class – Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan or Scientist – and lets them alter their appearance, weapon loadouts and armour. These customizations can then be taken to the online arena, where experience is earned and more upgrades can be attained. Matches can be quick or lengthy depending on players’ style and ability, but are always engaging. Having a mix-match of classes – whether it’s tanks or jets – makes matches entirely dynamic, especially when switching in and out of vehicle modes throughout rooms and open environments.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of online multiplayer or not, Fall of Cybertron is looking to pack quite the punch after its previous efforts. Though its predecessor didn’t do fantastically on the sales charts, it’s lucky that a sequel is still coming. High Moon Studios really took a lot of care into making War for Cybertron, and Fall of Cybertron doesn’t look to be any different. Keep your optics on Stick Skills for more on this roboromp when it starts releasing on August 21.
Are you ready to transform later this month? If so, you can pre-order Transformers: Fall of Cybertron today! Let us know what you think about the game in the comments below, or head on over to the forums.