In 2012, developer High Moon Studios delivered a sequel to their hit game, War for Cybertron. Both War for Cybertron and its sequel, Fall of Cybertron were both widely considered the best games from the toy license to date. Known for its exceptional gameplay, visuals, and for telling a great story which unfolds prior to the G1 series. The two games explore how the warring robotic factions going through a civil war in their home world of Cybertron end up on planet earth millions of years ago. Four years later, Fall of Cybertron finds itself ported onto the current gen consoles for Transformers fan to relive the glory days of Cybertron before its untimely demise. Is it a game worth revisiting on current generation platforms, or one that should be left behind like the dying Cybertron?
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron: PlayStation 4, Xbox One [Reviewed]
Developer: High Moon Studios
Release Date: 9 August 2016
Price: £39.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
The story of Fall of Cybertron takes place shortly after the events of War for Cybertron. Corrupted with Dark Energon due to the hands of Megatron and the Decepticons, Optimus Prime is left with no choice but to leave Cybertron in order to find another planet while Cybertron repairs itself. For the Autobots, their goal is to find enough Energon to fuel their escape ship (The Ark), while also defending it from the onslaught of the Decepticons who are ordered to destroy it. Megatron and his Decepticons on the other hand, want nothing more than to completely annihilate the Autobots so that nothing stands in their way of total domination. Much like War for Cybertron, the narrative in Fall of Cybertron is told from the perspective of soldiers from both sides of the warring factions, and woven together into a cohesive plot across thirteen chapters that culminate in an epic climatic battle aboard the Ark.
Those who have gone through the game once before on previous generation consoles will not find anything new here, but some of the epic moments in the campaign are still a blast to relive again. Forming up as Bruticus to cause havoc and mayhem, listening to the banter between Jazz and Cliffhanger as they fend off an army of giant insect robots, awakening the gigantic Metroplex for it to heed the call of the last Prime, and turning into a giant mechanical fire-breathing T-Rex as Grimlock are all as satisfying now as they were four years ago. The levels are unique in their setting and style, while each Autobot, Decepticon, and Dinobot play slightly different to keep the campaign from feeling dull and repetitive. However the return to form it’s also a reminder of the lack of any sort of co-op for the campaign, a feature that made the original War for Cybertron a great campaign experience.
On top of the campaign, Fall of Cybertron includes the same multiplayer as it did before. Modes such as TDM, headhunter, conquest and CTF all return on the current gen versions. TDM is your standard team deathmatch mode, headhunter has players collecting orbs from fallen enemies with the goal to bring them to a drop-off zone to score points before you enemies can kill you and take your orbs. Conquest involves capturing three different nodes in a map while players try to prevent or recapture nodes from the opposing team, and capture the flag has you attempting to capture the enemy flag. None of these modes are especially original in the shooter genre, but the various classes each with their strengths and weaknesses along with ability to transform between robot and vehicle forms adds some unique gameplay elements that aren’t seen in other shooters with similar modes. Also returning is Escalation mode, which is a horde type game mode where up to four players work cooperatively through increasingly difficult waves of enemies. It’s a fun co-op game type that offers players the chance to earn currency which allows them to buy better weapons or open doors to new areas. However, there are only four maps in this mode, so there isn’t a whole lot of variety for players who enjoy this type of experience.
For a game that came out four years ago, Fall of Cybertron holds up fairly well as an HD remake. The game looks great on current gen consoles and apart from the occasional stutter during times where it needed to load, ran smoothly for the most part. Everything from the original release (including all DLC) finds itself on this remake, but not much else has been added to the Xbox One and PS4 versions. Multiplayer and Escalation game modes work well, but the matchmaking element means that you’ll only be able to enjoy it as long as you have friends to join you, or as long as there is still a community still around to play these multiplayer modes. Even then, it may take quite a while before you can finally find a match due to the matchmaking settings.
As it stands, Fall of Cybertron falls short of feeling like a complete package that only tells half the story. The inclusion of War for Cybertron and Rise of the Dark Spark would have been a much welcome addition, as it would have made this feel like the ultimate collection; one that players who may not have experienced the games when they were first launched could go to in order to experience the full story. As such, asking full price for the same game that came out four years ago, and doesn’t add much in the form of new modes or levels is a hard pill to swallow for even the most diehard Transformers fan.