Charged with energon, High Moon Studios roll out with other robotic struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons.

Since 2010, it is amazing how “right” High Moon Studios has been with the Transformers property. Always hitting their mark, their latest, 'Transformers: Fall of Cybertron' is no different - actually, it might be the best Transformers game to ever be created. Strong in its presence, it is easy to see why the 'High Moon' prefers the terminology “spiritual successor” rather than “sequel”. Things have changed just enough that "Fall" feels much like their original effort, only better. As far as an interactive shooter with our favourite 80s robots goes, it's like 1986 all over again - rejoice Transformers fans, we have a winner.

One of the most appeasing hallmarks is how easily 'Fall of Cybertron' captivates its audience. With its strong narrative and short interval sections that bleed into longer and larger combat battles; this robotic battler holds its own with any modern action-shooter. Unlike some prior Transformer games, 'Fall of Cybertron' is anything but dull, even with a somewhat familiar formula. The campagin crafting here is top notch, by the numbers perfect, a feat that isn't as easily accomplished.

Aiding in the transition from 'War for Cybertron' the story continues with the bleak tale of the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Either as a follow-up or its own, fans will easily get into the narrative thanks to the welcoming "fan-serviced" atmosphere. High Moon did an outstanding job capturing the essence of the Transformers series with some "dark" tinges for that "Dark Knight" edge. Without giving too much away, Optimus and Megatron have it out in their classic form of squabbling with the Autobots scrambling to hold their own against an overly aggressive enemy. This continues throughout the game into an interesting chess match of will, deception, and ruthless ambition.

For the gameplay, the foundation stays close to 'War for Cybertron', although co-op and character selection has been removed. The reason; to make a more story-driven campaign. Although some fans might sigh at this choice, it's understandable once you get into the action. Now each mission is completely character-driven, level focused, with individually focused goals and character specific abilities. This helps "Fall" feel more unique while bringing out some much needed emotion to their “hard-to-read” metal faces. Not to forget, this “individuality” helps change up the pacing/feel of the overall game. Yes, 'Fall of Cybertron' is a still a basic shooter, but it always feels like it has a purpose.

Mechanically a few adjustments have been made. You can now switch up which arm holds your gun, a neat, but opinioned unnecessary option. You can also upgrade your Transformer via 'Teletraan1 Defence Network' hubs that are scattered throughout each level. These kiosks provide a quick "one-stop-shop" where you can spend earned "shards” to upgrade your weapons, tech, or even better, perks. Each addition is worth it, although pricey in the price of shards, it gives the player something extra to achieve; and considering the moderate difficulty curve, you might want to invest in a few “helpers”. Yes, unexpectedly 'Fall of Cybertron' is not a puppy dog push over, so expect a some resistance as you make your way through the campaign.

Production wise, 'Fall of Cybertron' is a noticeable leap with the Unreal Engine still powering its core. Only a few oddities are out of place during cut-scenes, and for the most part, "Fall" is a sharp-looker. The differentiation among each level really stands out making this "lifeless" city fill with life. The sophisticated craftsmanship in level and sound design also helping conglomerate the movements of these giant metallic robots and their bombastic explosions. Expect to pleasantly pleased with the job done to keep the ascetics true to the source material.

Loading up the multiplayer, four classes are available, although the vehicle abilities have been displaced with the bonuses of being able to switch your gun arm and customize your robot. In addition to the "look", customization keeps the player engaged while striving to unlock more "parts". This transition is a logical step for the multiplayer to take, making the experience much more personable and interesting.

Hording things up the Escalation mode is the way to go. Here you'll continue to play as the your upgraded characters from the campaign, battling it out in a “Horde/Firefight” fashion. Although only have four characters per map also means you might not get the character you wanted the first time around. Still, since each Transformer has specific abilities, it makes things interesting enough, even if you're not big bad Optimus. Similar to the conceptual games this mode is borrowed from – team work, upgrading, and purchasing new defences/ offensive tools are necessary to stay ahead of the curve. It's a fun little tactical joint that will likely eat up a good portion of your time after you finish the campaign.

On the other side of the multiplayer, the “normal” battles have you fighting through several areas that include more wide-open slots and the opposite; compact spots. Sadly only two maps per faction are include, which is disappointing, although i am sure a DLC ruse might be on its way. Still, even with a lack of maps the “normal” multiplayer portion is fun. From the strategic side Conquest and Capture-the-Flag modes to the more “shoot-em-as-they-move” selections, Team Deathmatch and Head Hunter (kill/collect game). Its the basics with a little bit of customization, which is plenty good.

Shooting to save Cybertron, High Moon saves the day with another astonishing Transformers product. Fans, you will be delighted at the measure of “fandom” that 'Fall of Cybertron' absorbs while still being a very capable action-shooter adventure. This is one of, if not the best Transformers game made, which should be enough to gain your vote. Do not miss this metal-on-metal battle of the behemoths.

  • Great atmosphere and fan service
  • Narrative is interesting and feels impending
  • Exceptional production
  • Game feels great to play, again we actually feel like a gigantic robot
  • All basics are covered; this is a full “Transformers” experience
  • Multiplayer ownership via customization
  • Campaign playtime is short
  • Co-Op and character selection has been removed
  • Could have used more MP maps
Quote: "As far as an interactive shooter with our favourite 80s robots goes, it's like 1986 all over again - rejoice Transformers fans, we have a winner."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 09.05.12 | Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Similar Games: Transformers: ROTF (6.2) | Transformers: DOTM (7.0) | Transfomers: WFC (7.6)


Fall of Cybertron


High Moon Studios


US Release
August '12


X360, PS3

Players 1
Online MP 2-12
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content