Friday, 25 June 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron

High Moon Studios certainly start off on the right foot; playable cast is a pick 'n' mix of Bay movie bruisers and curios from the recent angular animation series, topped off with a glut of Generation 1 mainstays. Cybertron is rendered as a clashing, weaving mass of technology upon technology, guiding players from fascistic scramble cities to derelict snake-pipe underworlds. The transformers themselves are spikey recalibrations of typical drafts that compliment the brutally utilitarian landscapes. If not original, Transformers: War for Cybertron's overall look does have an agreeable sense of identity, meshing nostalgia nudges and brand concerns, while honouring the aesthetic demands of this created world.

Unfortunately, as a game, War for Cybertron is sorely lacking. Enemies are interchangeable drones; face toys are withheld for light story sequences and infrequent boss encounters. Combat consists of basic health sapping, any sense of fun further hampered by pick-up drudgery and simplistic set-pieces. There's rarely a need to transform, and alternative modes are sluggish dodgem cars balanced for corridor sightseeing. The weed thick twists of Cybertronian geography, that no doubt shine as concept doodles, also become almost unreadable in practice. Gunmetal grey is total, and inconsistent door properties inspire apathy. War for Cybertron isn't quite awful, just savagely unremarkable.

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