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Will the Fall of Cybertron Transform for the Better?

In the past, summer has always been a season to forget for gaming, partly due to the Transformers series. Transformers: Dark of the Moon was released in July of last year and was seen as one of the worst games of the franchise. War for Cybertron (the prequel to Fall of Cybertron) made a few critics happy—it certainly wasn’t a bad game, but it wasn’t amazing either. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is hoping to build upon War for Cybertron, as well as fixing what went wrong in Dark of the Moon. Fortunately, from what I’ve played, the folks over at High Moon Studios seem to have finally got the ball rolling.

A demo is available for all to play right now on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Store, and let me tell you, it’s certainly one for the catwalk. The visuals have had a huge makeover compared to previous outings making the game look simply sensational at times. At times I did feel as if this has created occasionally poor frame-rate, but when you get environments as huge as these, it’s hard to complain. Of course, Transformers Fall of Cybertron is not an open-world game, but it is by no means linear either. You always have an idea where to go, but the point is, you could go somewhere else too, you could fight a battle from various different angles. That’s the great thing – Transformers games need big environments so that the character can Transform into something which it has space to move around in. That was a huge gripe with Dark of the Moon; the fact that it just wasn’t big enough and in most occasions, you felt like the character was too big for the world he was fighting in. Fall of Cybertron has fixed this problem; one level sees you transforming into a helicopter flying wherever you please, gobsmacked at the graphics. You could just go down to the battlefield and kill the enemies on foot, but the best thing is, you don’t have to, instead, why not get up in your helicopter again and mow down your foes from above? It’s the element of variety that really is the key here.

On the multi-player side of things, we’re also very excited. In past Transformers games, multi-player felt like something that was thrown on, and the maps really felt like tiny toy villages with huge figures jumping around in it. In Fall of Cybertron, multi-player feels almost like a movie, you’ll see other Transformers flying around above you, some you’ll see driving along the ground or flying helicopters. In a way, it’s a bit like Battlefield 3 but since the maps aren’t that huge the action feels tight and compact, you’re never far away from something awesome going on. In fact, judging from the demo, this was one of the most exhilirating experiences I’ve had in recent multi-player gaming.

There’s still time to polish a few things up and if High Moon Studios can fix the frame-rate without decreasing the quality of the visuals, this could be the sleeper hit of 2012, and a game you should be looking forward to. The series looks set to Transform, for the better.

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