The Transformers franchise is one that is perfectly suited for video games. It is a franchise about robots that turn into vehicles (among other things) that are engaged in a long lasting civil war. There are the Autobots led by Optimus Prime and they are ostensibly the protagonists. The anatagonists are the Decepticons led by Megatron. There had been games based on the many incarnations of Transformers but they had been mediocre at best. That all changed in 2010 with the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron.
Detailing what led the Transformers from leaving their home world and eventually bringing their war to Earth. It does not sugar coat things as this game is a game about a war that has spread hundred if not thousands of years. The game has two campaigns that make up one whole story. The first half details covers the Decepticons and how Megatron discovers a new energy dubbed Dark Energon and ends up corrupting the planet. The second half covers the Autobots and how Optimus is simply a well renowned General in the war before obtaining the title of Prime and how he is now the beacon of hope that everyone looks towards for answers.
The game is not simply a shoot em up. It covers things such as prisoners of war, executions, megalomania, betrayal, loss of hope, reluctant leaders and the old saying, “war is hell”. Optimus and Megatron are the two leads but the player has the chance to play as other characters who are on their side. Many fan favorite Transformers characters such as Bumblebee, Starscream among others all make appearances and play pivotal roles in the plot.
The game was developed by High Moon Studios and they took a wise approach on how to approach a Transformers game. With the simple tap and hold of a button, players could shift their character into their vehicle form. Both robot and vehicle have combat applications applied to them. You might need to switch to vehicle form to escape tricky battle situations and vice versa.
The graphics in the game are also top notch. You really get the sense that you are in a war torn world. It is also easy to forget that the Transformers themselves are giants themselves and there are always subtle cues to remind players of that. You will be amazed when a space station begins to transform into something else. The voice work is also top notch as Peter Cullen who voiced Optimus Prime in the original animated series returns to voice the character and the rest of the cast is rounded out by solid voice actors.
Transformers: War for Cybertron is arguably one of the greatest games about the Tranformers. It could be argued that it’s sequel is in contention for that. But that game is for another Flashback Friday. There are rumors that this game will be re-released for current video game systems. If that is true, it is highly recommended that you check out the game as it is a full price game.