Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Demo: First Impressions
By Kenn (resident gamer)
Ok, if you read my earlier post about War for Cybertron you know my interest level in this franchise, so it should come as no surprise when I tell you that I’ve pre-ordered Fall of Cybertron and by extension have been granted early access to the demo. The following is my reactions/impressions to the demo.
The demo is pretty beefy as demos go. It includes 2 (partial) campaign missions and access to 2 multi-player modes with all 4 classes but limited cosmetic, weapon and ability access within those classes.
The first thing I noticed about this game is that it is much prettier than the first one. It’s brighter, the environments while still metal and very sci-fi have texture and are very well crafted. So it looks like we’re off to a good start, how about gameplay?
The first campaign mission is the Bumblebee mission which we know is the first mission of the game. As tutorial missions go, it’s fine. It does a good job of taking you through the fundamentals of the game play without holding your hand too much. Being that it’s the tutorial level it’s pretty limited in what you do and when you can do it. You don’t get access to your transformation ability till you’ve played for a few minutes and once you can transform there’s really no place to drive to. I really doubt that what’s available on the demo is the entire Bumblebee portion of the game.
I’m going to hop on one of my soap boxes here briefly. Why do movies have to impact my beloved characters? After the success of the X-Men movies Rogue in the comic’s white hair moved to her bangs (thanks Anna Paquin) while otherwise she’s unchanged this isn’t a big deal. But in the opening of FoC Ratchet comments about Bumblebee’s voice chip being smashed and how that’s nothing new. In WfC Bumblebee spoke a good bit. In the Transformers: Prime cartoon show Bumblebee is very much the movie version. But in the the video games he looks very much like the G1 cartoon BUmblebee, but now he doesn’t talk. Why make a character who is young and brash and very much the heart of the G1 team mute? I just don’t get it. It maybe made sense for the movies (I’m not sure it did) but for the games that are trying to bring together the Transformers mythology I just don’t like it.
The second story mission is the 6th in the campaign and features the Decepticon Combaticon called Vortex. He’s a helicopter/jet. His mission starts with briefing on what you’ll eventually be doing in the mission and you take off with Fellow Combaticon Blast Off. He’s a rocket so he’s much faster than you are even when you boost into jet form, but you follow him and fly around and it’s a lot of fun, especially when you get to start shooting stuff. Then you land and get to play around with the Teletraan store, which is a cool little interface and I can’t wait to see it fully stocked. The Demo shows a good bit of stuff to buy from weapon upgrades, to temporary upgrades to permanent perks. From here you can either take to the skies again and fly around and continue the mission which consists of blowing up a massive cannon to get access to the door switch it’s sitting on top of, or you can stay on your feet and try and blow things up the old fashioned way. It’s lots of fun to fly around a blow stuff up, and it’s lots of fun to stay on your feet and blow stuff up so how you take on the level is totally up to you which is a very welcome change from WfC which probably would have forced you to take care of the cannon in one way or the other. Once you take out the cannon and open the exit door there’s a brief section of flying and blowing up bulkheads and then the demo ends. I can’t wait to get to that portion of the full game, I can’t wait to blow that bridge.
As for the multi-player I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get any access to the Escalation mode which ended up being my favorite part of the WfC multi-player. I’ve spent my time with 3 of the 4 classes in the conquest mode. Conquest mode has you running around capturing and defending nodes and the more you hold for more time the more points your team gets and the first team to 400 points wins the match. It’s a really solid mode and provides more structure than just run around and kill anyone and everyone (which has never held much appeal for me). The classes are pretty much what they were in WfC (so I still can’t have my soldier sports car). They changed the names of the classes, but they’re essentially the same. The scout is now the infiltrator, the scientist is still the scientist, the leader is now called destroyer, and the soldier class has been renamed Titan. For me I like a mix of mobility and ass kickery so I gravitate toward the destroyer and infiltrator classes as the titan tends to be too slow, and the scientist too weak. But the loadout that is available initially for the destroyer isn’t suited to the map that’s available very well. The capture nodes are all fairly well enclosed and the weapons available to the destroyer are both slow rate of fire medium-range explosive weapons so it’s hard to mix it up in the tighter places. So the end result at least how it seemed to me is that the titans are a little over-powered because their whirlwind melee special ability can shred pretty much anything and since the destroyers aren’t well enough armed to blast them the titans tend to dominate. I’m sure this will not be a problem in the full game and as I’m not all that good at competitive multi-player games maybe this is all just me.
All-in-all I’m liking how this game looks and there may even be more dinobots in the game than just Grimlock, which should be a cause for much rejoicing. With access to more abilities and with the addition of weapon upgrades and perks I see multi-player being a very satisfying, very long-lasting experience for people willing to invest the time and energon. And if the Vortex level is any indication the campaign mode should be quite varied and satisfying as well. I’m sure I’ll have more to say when this game officially launches on the 21st.