Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Transformers Fall of Cybertron Demo impressions


Yesterday I downloaded the Fall of cybertron single/multiplayer demo from the US playstation store and played through it a few times to see what the game has to offer.

For those not aware of what is available in the demo here is a list.

  • 2 Singleplayer levels from different points in the campaign.  The first is the opening level of the game where you play as Bumblebee.  The second is later on in the story and see's you controlling Vortex of the combaticons.
  • Limited multiplayer content allowing you to make your own transformer and play deathmatch or capture and hold on a single map.

The levels look impressive and detailed
This is the same demo that was shown at E3 this year so its nothing we haven't seen before, but its great to actually get to sit down and play it.  The bumblebee level on the Ark is pretty epic for a tutorial, showing off several characters from both sides along with a teaser to the end of the game.  The Vortex level is a much better demo in terms of what kind of level design High moon have brought this time around.  The enviromentsare deceptively large, but when I tried to leave and explore the area I hit several invisible walls.  Basically you have to stick to the rail High Moon have put you on and enjoy the ride.  Its a great ride judging from the demo, but it does sort of contradict Matt tieger's statements about the level sizes, when really you can only access a small area of these massive maps.  The maps are physically huge, its just you cannot explore them in its entirety.

I liked being able to use the Teletraan stations to see what you can upgrade, but I was glad to see other options available.  You can purchase support weapons in the form of hovering gun drones, shield recharges, weapon upgrades and more.  You spend energon you acquire from killing enemies or gathering it from containers in the level.  Any upgrades purchased are permament even on the demo, so repeated playthroughs allow you to fully upgrade your weapons, if you want to spend hours on the same level.

The biggest part of the demo though is the multiplayer I found my fears here to be confirmed.  When the game was detailed and High moon mentioned being able to build your own transformer I was wary of it.  As High moon continued to be tight lipped concerning multiplayer I was more and more convinced they were just going to recycle body parts and eventually thats what we found.

This is the new character creation screen, better than WFC's
Creating a character isn't quite as fun as they made it out to be.  Firstly your transformed mode is entirely determined by the characters torso.  So if you pick say Bumblebee's torso and Jazz's arms, legs and head, the vehicle will still be Bumblebee's alternate mode, the other limbs are just ignored.  The other problem is that mixing and matching parts creates monsters more than cool looking transformers.  I would have preferred they create a set of unique parts to use and you unlock character parts from the campaign as you level.  Even if it meant you could create bots that looked like the generic enemies, it would at least mean they could be more unique when you mixed parts together.

Another gripe I have is colour choice.  Instead of just giving us colours that are specific to autobots and decepticons to choose and then pick what body part to apply the chosen colour to, you are forced to pick from a colour palette like the last game.  There are more colours, but still it seems lazy and once again High Moon have neglected to add black and white as colours for our characters.  Why can't autobots have white and decepticons black?  You cannot create say Skywarp because there is no black.
There are plenty of options, yet still feels limited for some reason

You can unlock weapon upgrades by levelling up and even upgrade your classes skills such as being able to attack while cloaked as an infiltrator before decloaking or ignore damage while using whirlwind as the newly renamed soldier class, which is now called titan.

I did find some nice surprises though in the create a character list.  If you don't want to create a character from scratch you can simply pick a character from a list called armour sets.  So if you want Jazz then he is there.  In the infiltrator character list I found a new character and transformation mode in the form of Dragstrip of the Stunticons, along with Quake in the titan class selection.  He probably isn't in the campaign, but its cool to see him added for multiplayer.  I also liked the ability to add decals from several factions such as Grimlocks Lightning strike coalition and the Protectobots.  There are other nice touches such as when Jazz transforms you can hear his speakers playing a musical beat.

The demo doesn't have every characters parts, evidenced by the lack of any parts for Blastoff in the scientist class.  Also Hound and Ultra Magnus has been spotted leaving many to believe they will debut in game as multiplayer characters in escalation either at launch or as DLC.  Its also nice to see the previous games DLC only characters being available as multiplayer characters this time also.  I found it weird that Barricade that was absent for the demo, but will probably appear in the full game

the chaos is back and I am looking forward to it once again
The gameplay of multiplayer itself is just as good as the previous title.  The team sizes have been increased to 6 a side from the last games 5 a side.  One man may not seem much, but can make all the difference online.  The map available is very vertical and large allowing for some quick gameplay for those who prefer a straight up fight in the centre, while the higher platforms allow sneaky snipers to take potshots down into the melee below.

So overall I really enjoyed the demo and I will probably play it more to find easter eggs or hidden characters in the levels like Jazz and Arcee in War for cybertron.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow for another Transformers CCG update

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