The lights are on
The big new Transformers game is out today. What should you know before you play, and to help decide if the game is for you?
Storytelling is Paramount
Players will be surprised just how much Fall of Cybertron is rooted in story and characters. High Moon Studios uses a wide variety of classic Transformers characters to explore the final days of the conflict on Cybertron before most of the Transformers departed into deep space. The game includes extensive voicework throughout the campaign that helps to build the story and establish personality. In addition, you can expect several short sequences that take a break from the action for dedicated storytelling moments.
While a few of the weapons in Fall of Cybertron are classic machine gun or shotgun analogues, many of the armaments branch in strange and exciting directions. One weapon corrupts enemy soldiers to fight on your side. Another sends a bouncing metal disc skittering about the environment. A third fires an arcing bolt of electricity that slowly overwhelms your robotic enemies. In addition, these varied weapons have a compelling upgrade mechanic attached. Money (energon shards) found throughout the world can be spent to increase the power of every weapon available in the game, including a final unlockable upgrade for each device that dramatically increases its destructive potential.
What Came Before
If you haven’t played War for Cybertron, you shouldn’t disregard Fall of Cybertron. While the new game builds on the events of the previous installment, High Moon has done a great job of keeping things understandable even to new fans. That said, if you’re curious, here’s the basic rundown. In War for Cybertron, we witness the Decepticon Megatron as he leads his army against the Autobots, and in so doing he unleashes a powerful and destructive force called dark energon. The Autobot’s previous leader is killed, and Optimus Prime is forced to rise to the call for leadership. As dark energon continues to corrupt the planet, Optimus Prime makes the devastating decision to shut down the core of the planet so that it has time to repair itself. As this new game begins, energon reserves on the planet are running dangerously low, and Optimus Prime and his Autobots are making one desperate final gamble to escape the planet aboard their starship, the Ark.
Plenty of gameplay features set Fall of Cybertron apart from its predecessor. One significant absence is cooperative campaign play. Instead, Fall of Cybertron offers a more crafted single-player experience, but you’ll be playing it by yourself. The game also abandons the two separate, shorter campaigns seen in War for Cybertron, and instead tells a single, longer, unified tale that includes both Autobot and Decepticon protagonists. In addition, keep an eye out for some major improvements in less visible but important gameplay systems, including more enemy variety, increased availability of ammunition, and a focus on changing up environments so things remain fresh throughout the game.
[NEXT UP: Cooperative and competitive multiplayer]
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