We began on Thursday with New Super Mario Bros 2, and now we’re at the second stop on this video game train journey. Kicking off the feature proper, (and the second week overall) it’s the one with the robots, the war, the punchingand the slightly overbearing amount of explosions. Part two, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron!
Release date: August 21 (US), August 24 (UK)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
I confess I haven’t played War for Cybertron (Fall of Cybertron’s predecessor), so when it came to compiling this list, Fall of Cybertron looked like the black sheep of the list. But after watching a few trailers and reading up on the subject, one thing’s clear: it ain’t Bayformers. Micheal Bay’s eye-bruising, ear-damaging trilogy-as-it-stands was certainly not dark; not with the frequent attempts at witty humour which fell embarrassingly flat. Fall of Cybertron, however, is another kettle of fish. Depicting the last days of the civil war on Cybertron, it’s a dark, gritty take on Transformers that looks to be the Dark Knight to Micheal Bay’s Batman and Robin. There’s still explosions, though. Can’t forget the explosions.
High Moon Studios (developers of both War and Fall) have dipped into the immense back catalogue of Transformers robots, with a hell of a lot of ‘bots showing up for the sequel, including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Cliffjumper and Ironhide. There’s a lot more, by the way.
The idea of a campaign for the Autobots and a campaign for the Decepticons is a pretty neat idea, allowing players to see the final days of Cybertron from both perspectives. It’s not the most original idea, but it certainly fits Fall of Cybertron perfectly, with a rare chance to beat the crap out of robots, knowing that you’re doing completely the wrong thing, as well as the usual good vs evil story of the Autobots campaign.
For online multiplayer, you can create your own Autobot or Decepticon from scratch for use in multiplayer, which is pretty damn cool. There’s also a load of custimization, with hundreds of pieces and options for your paint job. Those green and white go-faster racing stripes will have never looked better.
It’s Transformers. A video game based on and bearing the name of a franchise which has been irreversibly tainted by Micheal Bay’s godawful trio of movies (and the prospect of a fourth one) doesn’t sound particularly great on paper. And while you might argue that Fall of Cybertron looks nothing like Micheal Bay’s movies (which it does) – for a lot of people, the Transformers name will put buyers off buying Fall of Cybertron, which means lower sales for a game that should deserve a spot at the top of the charts for a few weeks.
It’s a third-person shooter (or TPS, to give it’s not-so-catchy acronym), which seems to be the ginger-haired stepson (to use a slightly odd cliche) of the far more popular and easier first-person shooter genre, which has included mega-hits like Call of Duty and Battlefield. Name a third-person shooter as popular or well-reviewed as those franchises. You can’t? Neither can I. Third person-gaming is OK (it worked in Arkham City!), but third-person shooters have always been a step or two behind the refined, easy-to-play first person shooter genre. And many a great game has fallen flat due to a dodgy gameplay mechanic. Will Fall of Cybertron?
Will it be good? I’m not as certain as I was with New Super Mario Bros 2 that this’ll be good – after all, a few great trailers doesn’t mean a game’s going to be good (cough, Dead Island, cough). But I’m going to say yes, anyway.
Will it succeed? It says something that part three of this feature comes out in late September – home console wise, Fall of Cybertron has a full month to itself. Sales will most likely be dented by the Transformers name, but it’ll still sell well.
Next time: Is FIFA 13 the best football game yet? Tomorrow, I take a look at this year’s edition of the football simulator.