Transformers: War for Cybertron Review

By on July 20, 2010

Transform into a better game?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

I had a weekend to play around with Transformers: War for Cybertron on the PS3, and I was sure that I was not going to enjoy it at all. After all, the previous few games based on the Transformers haven’t exactly been the best. But although War for Cybertron certainly plays better than the other games in the franchise, it has its own shortcomings that somehow make the game less enjoyable for players.

War for Cybertron narrates the fierce war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, set on their homeworld of Cybertron. Players can play five single-player levels of each faction, starting off with the Decepticons. The first positive thing of course is that the game isn’t based on any movie or series, so the story here is original and faithful to the Transformers lore. The game also helps to answer a few questions if you’re not familiar with the background of bots such as Optimus and Starscream for example. Though the single-player campaign can easily be played through in a couple of hours, with a satisfying amount of robot action and plenty of transforming bliss.

Each Transformer while already equipped with a basic primary weapon, can pick up additional weapons and grenades during play – swapping weapons is easy, and dealing with only two guns means that there is no tedious weapons inventory to handle. Sadly though, ammo is often a rare commodity, so running around like an idiot firing at everything in sight will certainly lead to your doom. Even if you do happen to run out of ammo, a quick tap will swing your melee weapon for a quick attack.

The action can get quite heated, which is a great thing for a Transformers game. What’s even better is that the levels are designed to take advantage of both vehicular and bot form, so you could be scaling a wall in one section, and then transforming into a tank in another. Your vehicular form also has some powerful weapons on board, so essentially no matter what form you take, you get to blow things up.

To compliment your weapons, each bot also has two special moves, which can range from an advanced melee attack, to a health drain, to a power shield. Recharging these abilities takes energy shards, which you can collect from fallen enemies, and there are certainly a lot of enemies to take down. While they do tend to arrive in swarms the actual variety of enemies is disappointing here. You get the basic soldier and sniper enemies, a few flying ones, and another which can cloak. These then appear in countless waves across each level, and soon become ridiculously easy to fight off. It would have been great to see a bit more variety in terms of enemy design, but apart from the boss encounters, there’s little change in the enemies you battle.

If you’re getting bored playing the single player campaign alone, the game does allow you to play the campaign with an online companion. This does prove to make things a little better, since the AI normally can’t properly fire at enemies and seems to have an infinite amount of health. You can also break out of the single player campaign and tackle the multiplayer modes, where you’ll be pleased to find a wealth of players and game modes available for you to enjoy.

Sadly, the game does have its pitfalls – the first thing that really peeved me about this game was the initial installation onto the PS3 HDD, which took a good 27 minutes to finish. Even after the game is installed, each time you launch it you have to wait a good couple of minutes for the game to ‘check’ the install data on your HDD. The game’s framerate also stutters a few times and certain level textures just appear too dark and bland. Even with the brightness at max, I often found myself circling certain areas simply because the lighting was so bad. There’s also no map or navigation available, except for a small blue dot that appears on-screen to indicate how to get to your current objective. The boss battles are also a chore to play through, as they always involve dodging some ridiculously huge laser and then firing away at an ‘energy core’ until the thing erupts.

Transformers War for Cybertron isn’t a bad game, nor is it something exceptional. It’s another third person shooter that fans might enjoy, given the satisfactory storyline and some excellent voice talent. If you’re a Transformers fanboy and would love to fight alongside your fellow Autobots, then this is the game for you.

The Scorecard
Frantic destruction and mayhem on screen hides the somewhat repetitive gameplay elements.
Nice details on the bots, but some of the level layouts are just awful.
Some great voice talent helps breathe life into each character.
Multiplayer modes certainly make up for the short-lived single player campaign.
Cybertron is definitely more fun with a buddy.
Looking past the flaws, it’s not a bad play, but the true fun is in the multiplayer modes.


Nick is a Senior Games Journalist for MEGamers and will play any game besides a sports one or FPS, because he'll either run in the wrong direction or blow off his foot.

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  • axogames

    I couldn't disagree more… Transformers War for Cybertron…. BIG WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME… The developers have forgot to add upgrades, attachments, combo melee, jet packs, massive ammunition and smart enemy AI….

    Gameplay: 1 since it is for 3 year olds
    Sound: 0 No awesome music from Hans Hammer
    Funfactor: 0 Use the game disc to play freebie with your dog…
    Graphics: 0 Average PS2 grahics
    Value: -8 Ripoff
    Overall: 0 THIS GAME SUCKS….

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