Over the past week I’ve been busy with an excellent game: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. I played the previous entry in High Moon’s Transformer series, War for Cybertron– you can definitely tell that High Moon has extreme love for the source material. I can say with the utmost confidence that this game blows away the Shia LaBeouf crap fest that is the movies. The gameplay is defined, the multiplayer is incredibly engaging and the story is extremely well written.

The game starts with the Autobots being attacked by the devious Decepticons while Optimus and crew try to escape via a huge space portal. Unlike War for Cybertron, here you’re never given the option to pick either the Autobots or the Decepticons.  This change is for the better as it makes the storyline more focused and streamlined, and the tighter narrative immediately feels more riveting.

In the single-player storyline you’ll switch between very familiar faces from the world of the Transformers . One mission you’ll be racing as Optimus Prime to disable AA guns while getting covered by a 20 story tall Autobot, then on the next you’ll be sneaking around as Starscream while he hatches his devious plans. One of my favorite aspects of the single player was playing as Grimlock, the immense Dinobot who rains destruction on all Decepticons in his path.

Those are just some of the highlights in the actual single player. Another aspect that changed for the better was the varied environments. In the first game, everything felt the same. Nothing but pipes and metal for the 12-hour campaign. With this installment you’ll be playing in a range of different indoor and outdoor environments, from space to inside the Insecticon base.

 With the extremely tight and well written story, you’d have to have some really great gameplay to match up with it to make a fine gaming experience. This is definitely the case with Fall of Cybertron. The guns, although alien, feel extremely satisfying while blasting away fellow robots. The sense of speed when you burst into your vehicle mode offers great variety. There were countless situations when transforming into my vehicle mode saved my precious Transformer life.

Let’s touch upon the multiplayer for a bit. Before you get yourself started you might want to customize the look of your personal Transformer. There’s a multitude of customization options at your disposal. What’s great is that some of them are a little bit hard to get, meaning you’ll have to spend a little bit of time trying to unlock them. Which is fine and dandy considering how addicting the multiplayer actually is.

There are four unique classes within the multiplayer section.  The first is the Scientist (my personal favorite), whose main job within the game is to heal and who can turn into a jet when things get hairy. Your other options are the Infiltrator, a small but speedy assassin; the Destroyer, who is purely there to ruin your opponent’s day by blasting away with heavy guns; and finally the Titan class who you’ll mainly hide behind because his defenses are second to none. All of the classes are fun to play and each offers their own unique gameplay experiences. And it’s never rock-paper-scissors- all of them can defeat each other if you play your class right.

In terms of game modes there’s nothing here that’s particularly unique. You have your typical Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquest, and finally Headhunter (which is basically Transformer’s version of Halo: Reach’s game mode). They’re all fun but it would’ve been great to have a specific game mode that would encompass all the unique features of the playable characters

There are plenty of things that aren’t perfect. My biggest gripe by far is the bump-mapping visual technique they use in the game. To shorten load times the different environments pop up but they don’t have all of their textures when they load, so for the first couple of seconds everything looks like melted ice cream. This is incredibly distracting and could have been avoided.

Another issue I had with the game is that the extra features in terms of multiplayer or the now staple mode of survival, weren’t anything new. I feel like they could have added something unique and different to the experience but they missed their opportunity. Everything works fine but it  missed out on being something really original.

 With all the time I’ve spent with this game I’m happy to say that I was incredibly impressed and I truly had a blast literally playing this game. The multiplayer, though not very original, works well and was engaging. The highlight was the well-written storyline and the surprising amount of depth it had, despite being about giant transforming robots. All in all, this is a game that will definitely keep you busy until the other triple-A titles come out later this fall.