Based on the mythology surrounding the 1980's cartoon and toy sensation Transformers, Fall of Cybertron is the sequel to the critical hit War of Cybertron released in 2010 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
A third person action shooter, Fall of Cybertron focuses on two battling factions of robots with the ability to change form into cars, trucks, planes and so forth. The Autobots, which are the peace craving, freedom fighters led by the brave and noble Optimus Prime, face the Decepticons, led by Megatron, who believes in dominance and tyranny. Their home world, Cybertron, is a crumbling, decay of war and death leaving both factions concentrating on a way to save it whilst fighting over the best way to see the metallic planet prosper once more.
Developer High Moon Studios, are huge fans of the franchise and it shows in abundance the moment you pick up to play. Long term Transformers fans will instantly notice fan service they will no doubt find pleasing without confusing new fans learning about the characters and story.
Eyebrows were raised when Fall of Cybertron was due to be released only two years previous to it's excellent predecessor, War of Cybertron, with concerns from fans that the game may be rushed to market and perhaps a longer development cycle was needed. Make no mistake, this is no rushed product with improved visuals, excellent voice acting, competent mission design and a deep multiplayer component.
High Moon Studios have provided a stunning looking game, using the latest Unreal Engine 3 update, textures and lighting are a clear step up to the previous entry, providing a strong sense of battle and carnage with a large playground to transform into a characters alternative mode to rake havoc on enemies with a variety of weapons and upgrades, which creates a feeling of fun and freshness each time you pick up the controller rather than slipping into a mundane and repetitive experience.
The story, as basic as it is, flows along nicely and never feels as if anything has been missed or main characters have been poorly developed. Some excellent voice acting compliments the story, especially Peter Cullen, who voices the Autobot leader Optimus Prime and is a excellent nod to veteran fans of the series.
Once the campaign is completed, which should around 8 hours on normal difficulty, you have two types of multiplayer modes to delve into. Escalation, which is a four player co-operative mode, sees players take on a wave of AI enemies with difficulty extending with each wave to its conclusion of 15 waves. For those looking to battle it out with each other there is an array of versus modes which include the basic Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch alongside more team work templates such as Conquest which sets the player out to capture the enemy base and Capture the Flag which involves stealing the enemy flag and bringing it back to your base.
Versus multiplayer can be enormous fun but can also be equally frustrating. The netcode provided by publisher Activision and developer High Moon Studios is of a poor standard which means a sense of lag can be experienced for the player, especially when a situation arises of a large battle in a small environment. Inexperienced players could find a unforgiving learning experience whilst the more experienced player could still find Versus frustrating thanks to the weak net code.
Overall, despite negativity surrounding certain elements of multiplayer, Transformers Fall of Cybertron is a terrific game, once rich in fan service and high octane action which will give hours of fun to fan veterans and new comers alike.