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Transformers: War for Cybertron Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Long before they had the touch or the power, the Autobots and Decepticons were locked in a power struggle for control over Cybertron. This brand new Activision game attempts to tell this story. While this is hardly the best game of the year, Transformers: War for Cybertron shows that Activision is headed in the right direction when it comes to their games about giant robots! Rating: 64%
Transformers: War for Cybertron
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Lately it feels like everybody wants to stomp all over my rose-colored memories of Transformers. From Michael Bay's bloated monstrosities to the incomprehensible cartoon I see on TV, it feels like the world is out to make me hate these giant transforming robots. But don't give up, longtime fans, because Activision has a game that throws away all the stuff from the movies and takes the series back to its old school roots. Transformers: War for Cybertron is a great action game that wisely ditches Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and even the Earth.

With each new Transformers game it becomes clear that Activision isn't quite sure what to do with this franchise. Last year's model, Transformers: Rise of the Fallen, offered small open-world environments that were specifically built for one or two characters. They had you racing back and forth completing tasks and then battling a boss. Well, that's not what you get with War for Cybertron. Instead of being an open-world action game, we are stuck with a linear Gears of War-style third-person shooter.

Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360)

This drastic change in genre can be either good or bad, depending on whom you ask. I personally had a lot of fun with last year's model, but I was quickly won over by this lengthy action game. This gameplay change allows the user to feel like you're on a fast-paced roller coaster ride, with huge explosions and all kinds of other crazy happenings going on around you. In that way it's more like Activision's Call of Duty series, only with huge robots that can turn into cars and jets.

As the name suggests, this game is set during an especially violent time of the Transformers' history. Both the Autobots and the Decepticons are locked in a battle for control over this mechanical planet. The story is set years before the original Transformers cartoon. It goes a long way to fill in a few of the gaps left in the canon, such as Starscream's defection and the succession of Optimums Prime. After stomaching the last couple Transformers games with annoying humans and menial tasks, it was great to get back to an era that more closely fit the Generation 1 cartoon series.

Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360)

At its heart, War for Cybertron is nothing more than a three-person Gears of War clone. Not that this is a bad thing, there are far worse games you could be compared to. You and your two robot buddies fight your way through a dozen large levels on this weird alien planet. This is not one of those Transformers games where you're asked to go pick up a puny human and take her to the local library, in this game you battle wave after wave of badass robot enemies. And just when you think you've taken out the last one, an even bigger robot will show up. There aren't a lot of puzzles here, this is the kind of game where you keep moving forward and hope you have enough ammo.

For what it is, War for Cybertron is mostly successful. It's a lot of fun to play this game with two friends, even if somebody always gets stuck with a character they don't like. The action is also exciting, full of huge set pieces and explosive events. You command a good sized assortment of powerful guns, as well as some secondary items and a melee attack. As you choose your character you'll discover that each Transformer has its own special abilities and weapons, so you'll want to choose wisely.

Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360)

Unfortunately there are a number of things that keep this Transformers game from being more than meets the eye. There's something to be said for brevity. For some strange reason, the developers decided to make each and every level about three times longer than needed. It often felt like there was about 20 minutes worth of content stretched into an hour of level. You'll find yourself fighting the same bad guys through similar corridors a bit too much in each level. This may pad out the number of hours it will take you to beat, but I found myself tiring of just about every level long before I earned my achievement.
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