August 30, 2012

Review – Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Review Transformers Fall of Cybertron
Picking up directly where 2010’s War for Cybertron concluded, Fall of Cybertron follows the desperate attempt of Optimus Prime to lead the remaining Autobots off their homeworld of Cybertron – which has been ravaged by civil war with the Decepticons and seen the planet’s core shutdown as a result.

Much like Rocksteady Studios’ recent Batman titles, High Moon seeks to fill the void of Transformers titles worthy of the franchise, which like Batman, has been largely non-existent save for 2004’s Transformers: Armada. If I could throw out one more comparison to the Arkham series, it would be the way in which High Moon embraces the depth of the source material while still delivering a story unique to the videogame in the flavouring.

The primary narrative of the Transformers is a familiar battle between two foes, Optimus Prime and Megatron, which has been explored and remixed repeatedly over the years – boiling down to the battle for power versus the fight to unite. And High Moon captures the essence of that story, pulling countless familiar pieces into play, but still finds space to play with the origins of characters and set pieces such as the Dinobots, the space bridge, the Nemesis, and many more shout-outs that likely mean more to me as a long time fan of the series.

Fall of Cyberton certainly is a fan-splendid title, wherein I can get giddy over the attention to detail along with small moments such as petting Laserbeak while playing as Soundwave. The characters of my childhood are waiting around every corner of this game, but these fan moments shouldn’t scare off anyone not as familiar with the subject matter – at the end of the day, Fall of Cybertron is about giant heavily armed robots engaged in battle, and who can say no to that on the few occasions the essence of such a conflict seems to be captured as well as it is here?


June 30, 2011

Review – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers Dark of the Moon
After last year’s solid War for Cybertron (my review for which you can read here), I dared to hope that High Moon Studios might once again bring their talent to bear with Dark of the Moon, and perhaps defy the movie tie-in curse.

Of course, it was almost inevitable that the shorter development cycle would hurt the product, and so it has. In many ways, Dark of the Moon is the same game that War for Cybertron was; all the same core pieces are there, but unfortunately the execution is not to that game’s standard, and a handful of missing or altered features make Dark of the Moon a wholly diminished product.

Dark of the Moon serves as a prequel to Michael Bay’s film of the same name (though a largely unnecessary one); throughout the campaign the player will take on the roles of seven distinct transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike, across seven missions in a roughly five hour campaign.


July 12, 2010

Review – Transformers: War for Cybertron

My familiarity with High Moon Studios is only through my unpleasant collision with the demo for their previous effort, The Bourne Conspiracy. With that product failing to resonate with me in any way despite my almost physical yearning for a Bourne game (later satisfied by Splinter Cell: Conviction), the discovery that these were the minds behind War for Cybertron was somewhat ominous.

It was encouraging to hear them speak on that game; it filled me with confidence and finally made the reality of the product that much more bitter. If you’ve followed the material released for War for Cybertron, then you may have experienced a similar swell of confidence: they speak as fans, and as you fire up the disc (or immaterial Steam delivery, as the case may be) there is no doubt as to their honesty. To my infinite relief, this release has been calibrated with great care for the Transformers follower, much in the way Arkham Asylum was a love letter to Batman adherents. While War for Cybertron does not quite reach the heights of the latter effort, it represents the game Transfans have long deserved.


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