Thursday, 30 August 2012

Review: Transformers Fall Of Cybertron Escalation & DLC

The third and final part of my Fall of Cybertron review focuses on the final part of the games modes, escalation. 

For those of you who have never played a third person/first person shooter in the last five years, escalation mode is a team based cooperative gametype usually called horde mode.  Four players battle together against ever increasing waves of AI opponents until the finale at wave 15.  Escalation plays pretty much the same way with a few transformers themed mechanics.

Unlike the games multiplayer which allows you to fight with your own created character, escalation mode has four preset characters from either the decepticons or autobots.  Each of the four characters fit a specific role the same way they do in multiplayer.  The difference here is that all four players have to work together to utilise the different abilities, so the scientist will be on healing duty, the titan draws fire while using his flak shield, the infiltrator deploys turrets and the destroyer can drop ammo beacons to keep the team supplied.

There are four maps in total at launch, but more could be added with DLC like the last game.  Two of the maps have you playing as the autobots whle the other two obviously feature the decepticons.  Completing each map on any difficulty will award a trophy or achievement, although that is easier said than done.  Again like the competitive multiplayer the game is at the mercy of the hosts internet connection and the escalation mode takes a bigger toll on the hosts machine than multiplayer.  As the waves advance and more enemies join the fray the game becomes steadily slower, lags more and for the host less responsive.

Admittedly escalation has been toned down in difficulty compared to war for cybertron but the issues with host lag and crashes persist.  When it works its really good fun and if you can get online with some friends or with a group who want to work together the mode really shines. 

Overall Escalation is the mode you play when multiplayer has become a little stale and you want to kick some ass as your favourite characters.  It does suffer here and there but its still worth a look and if you are intent on getting all of the achievements you will need to complete all four maps.

SCORE: 7.0/10

On the point of DLC for the game its again one of those on disc issues.  The initial DLC havok pack which added five characters for multiplayer was revealed to already be on the disc.  The back of the games manual has advertisements and dates of release for the next two packs, both being released in september.

The next pack will add the dinobot characters to the game although whether or not Grimlock's chassis will turn into a T-rex is unconfirmed as such.

The pack after that will add the insecticons along with the singleplayer preorder DLC and Hound as a multiplayer character.  I was surprised to see Hound being randomly added, but all the more reason to get them.  Yes the price is pretty high for each individual pack and I feel sorry for PC players who have been scalped by steam and its high prices, but look at it this way, buying each pack will let activision know that the game is popular and successful so they will fund a third title.


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