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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Preview (PS3)

June 13, 2012 Written by Alex Osborn

High Moon Studios put Transformers video games on the map with its 2010 hit War for Cybertron. The game’s fluid and fast-paced third-person action won gamers over, and the developer aims to do it again with a proper sequel, dubbed Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. In fact, High Moon’s Senior Creative Director Dave Cravens went so far as to say that their new title is set to be the “best” Transformers game yet, and after seeing the game for myself first-hand, I can confidently say that I’m convinced they are on the right track.

As the title implies, Fall of Cybertron chronicles the final days of the Transformers’ home planet. With a wide array of characters including Cliffjumper, Jazz, Starscream, Optimus and many more, there’s loads of diversity to keep players glued to their controllers. As an added measure to ensure accessibility and ease of use, the special powers of all the characters are mapped to the same buttons. Not only that, but High Moon has ramped up the scale big time, with massive environments that really convey the sheer size of the planet.

The first mission they demoed, aptly named “Betrayal” puts the player in control of the sneaky and deceptive Decepticon known as Starscream. This particular level really showcased the game’s massive scale, with Starscream able to jump off any ledge at will, transform and fly to another part of the gargantuan map. Action junkies will also be pleased to know that there are plenty of firearms, with a plethora of upgradable guns that each look and feel different from the next.

The second section gave us a look at a character that happens to be a personal favorite of mine, Grimlock. In this mission not only do players get to control the fire-breathing T-rex, but also gain some insight into the beast’s origin story. As a unique gameplay twist, Grimlock is the only character that can’t transform at any time or wield a gun. Instead, the player must build up their rage meter to transform, and instead of a firearm, Grimlock is equipped with a sword and shield. Playing as this character brings a noticeable change to the flow of combat, as the hulking T-rex isn’t quite as agile as someone like Starscream. As such, these added changes will no doubt help to keep the overall experience from growing stale.

Finally, we were treated to one last section of the game where Optimus – voiced by the original actor, Peter Cullen – took control of the largest transformer I have ever seen, Metroplex. For those that aren’t familiar with the character, all you need to know is that this guy is huge — try imagining a walking city and you’ve got the idea. Issuing orders as Optimus and then watching Metroplex go to town was pure awesome.

There’s no doubt that the guys over at High Moon are hardcore Transformer fans, as this looks to be the most ambitious and compelling game bearing the beloved brand name yet. If you consider yourself a fan of the series, or just like a solid third-person action game, keep this one on your radar, as Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is shaping up to be one heck of a game.