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War for Cybertron

PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii

Reviewed on: PC

High Moon Studios
Publisher: Activision
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

As a kid in the 80s, I lived Transformers. My bedroom was filled with toys – mostly half transformed, and the walls adorned with posters featuring everyone from Optimus Prime to Bumble Bee and Megatron. That being said – I walked out of a free screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. To say my love for the series has diminished over the last few years would definitely be an understatement.

Perhaps it’s the blocky, old school look of the characters, or maybe it’s just morbid curiosity, but I’ve been cautiously curious about Activision’s newest Transformers game: The War for Cybertron. While the throwback to childhood memories is much appreciated, the game’s flaws are far too apparent to be covered up by a fresh coat of nostalgia.

The plot for War for Cybertron takes players back long before the events of the upcoming Transformers: Prime series set to debut this fall. Essentially, Megatron is up to some serious bad guy stuff, and thanks to the multi-level campaign, it’s either up to you to aid or stop him. Though the game starts off with you controlling the Decepticons as you attempt to control Cybertron, you’ll soon be given the choice to control the Autobots if you so choose. Being able to play both sides does add a bit of variance to the game, as it’s entertaining to see the dynamics of each squad, such as Megatron’s iron fisted ruling style as opposed to pretty much anything the Autobots do. The dialogue is as cheesy as you’d expect, but I didn’t mind that as much, as it brought me back to the original 80s cartoon.

"...going through identical looking corridors taking on wave after wave of similar looking enemies."


The problem though is that the game never really establishes a clear identity of what it wants to be, and as a result, it ends up being a messy by the books, run and gun shooter. A good portion of the game is spent going through identical looking corridors taking on wave after wave of similar looking enemies.  As a result, the roughly 15 hours it would take to beat the entire game (both campaigns) tends to feel like it’s dragging on a lot longer, and you’ll often lose sight of just what it is you’re supposed to be doing.  There are a few instances where you’ll be required to perform other tasks besides corridor shooting, but these too have their own issues. Chief among them is the fact that when you’re playing with a group of AI controlled allies, your opponents seem intent on taking out you and only you, while said allies do little to help.

Sadly, much of the experience is plagued by bugs and technical issues that will stop you from enjoying the game.  Take for instance the fact that much of the game supposed to be built on a cover based system, yet there’s absolutely no way to easily attach to surfaces, leaving you to guess whether you’re fully covered as you take on damage and are forced to retry the mission.  Add to that the fact that none of the guns seem to hold quite enough ammo to be effective and there’s not enough spread throughout the worlds to be helpful and you can imagine how frustrating it can be.

You’ll be able to transform from your robot form to your vehicle form whenever you want throughout the game, but it’s clear that certain stages of the game are meant for either form. Somehow, the developers at High Moon studios have managed to make the series signature feature – transforming, feel tacked on. It takes a significant amount of time, meaning you’ll take on damage and since your vehicular form is simply a quicker version of your robot form, there’s never a real need to transform to advance. And speaking of which – why aren’t there more chances to turn into the real bad ass vehicles like jets? The few times I was able to were some of the best moments in the game; why not let me experience them more?

"The boss battles take far too long to complete..."


You’re going to enjoy War for Cybertron much more when you take advantage of the fact that you’re able to take on the campaign with up to two other friends. While you’ll still run into many of the problems listed in this review, you won’t have to worry about your allies (at least two of them) being as brain dead as when they’re controlled by the AI. While the boss fights are also made better while playing through with human players, they’re still one of the most frustrating aspects of the game. The boss battles take far too long to complete thanks to often inflated health bars and cheap tactics, but they’re made that much more bearable when playing with friends.

The truth is that the game’s multiplayer suite is much better than the campaign. I had the most fun with the game’s escalation mode, which is most easily compared to Horde mode from Gears of War 2.  You’ll fight an increasingly growing swarm of enemies (yes, it’s fun here as opposed to the campaign), but unique to escalation is the ability to earn cash to upgrade your weapons and armor in between rounds. You’ll also have to buy health and basic upgrades, which requires players to have a strategy, rather than go in and shoot anything they see. The other online modes are pretty much what you’d expect, and thanks to borrowing the perks system from Call of Duty, there’s plenty of reason to come back again and again.

If you’re a Transformers fan, or just want a 80s flashback, Transformers: War for Cybertron could be a valid way to beat the summer heat for a day, but just don’t expect it to hold your attention for much longer. The campaign is haunted by technical issues, and you’ll need a ton of patience to deal with some of the inconsistencies, but the multiplayer suite, escalation mode in particular should be enough to hold your attention. It could be the best Transformers game yet, but that’s not saying much is it? 



CHEATS USED: Unlimited Ammo, No Reload, Super Health, Easy Kills

All I can say is thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

The trainer for Transformers: War for Cybertron features two cheats that make the game much more enjoyable than it would be without it.  There’s the unlimited ammo cheat, which finds you not searching for hard to find ammo and then no reload cheat which gives you the freedom to not have to go through the horridly slow loading animation.

There’s also the super health and easy kills cheats which are helpful, but the no reload and unlimited ammo cheats are dead on awesome.



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