Hands-on demo impressions.
Today, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 owners were treated to a taste of the action in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, as a demo which contained both single player and multiplayer was released. As a huge fan of War For Cybertron, I was excited to see what High Moon Studios have done with the sequel.
Starting with the Single Player portion of the demo, there are two levels available to play: The Exodus and Death From Above. The Exodus takes place near the beginning of the game as the Autobots are leaving Cybertron, only to be attacked by Megatron and the Decepticons. It’s mostly a tutorial level to teach you the basics and give us a look at the action to come. The level isn’t very long, but it does a good job of setting things up and giving us get a sneak peek at the gameplay. My favorite new feature so far is that we can now change what hand we hold the weapon with, going back and forth with just the press of a button. Since you can’t lock behind cover, this is a great way to allow us to hide behind objects or sections of the environment and be able to attack without being completely exposed.
The next level, Death From Above, skips ahead in the game to Chapter Six and puts us in control of Vortex, one of the Combaticons, who along with Starscream are planning an attack on an Autobot Transport to reclaim Energon that was stolen from them. I’m going to assume that they choose to skip to this level to allow players to get a first hand look at flying in the game. It consists of following Blastoff as you avoid lasers on your way through the massive Autobot Facility to ambush the Transport vehicle. I’m a big fan of the flying controls and love the environment designs that High Moon come up on those levels.
Moving over to the Multiplayer, Fall of Cybertron introduces a new Create a Character feature which lets you customize the four classes in the game to your liking. You can pick from the Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan and Scientist and mix and match parts to create your own Transformer. You can customize your weapon loadouts, every piece of Armor, the colors and even the voice. You can also unlock armor sets that will allow you to have your character look just like your favorite characters from the main game, with the click of a button.
As far as gameplay goes, the multiplayer component hasn’t changed drastically from that of War For Cybertron and is still a blast to play. The most notable change, for some of you, will be the removal of the double jump. You’re either going to be really happy or really angry about that one. You’ll notice a lot of new weapons are available to each class as well and even the classics have an updated look and feel. After playing quite a few rounds it’s clear that High Moon put a lot of work into smoothing out the experience. The controls just feel tighter, the weapons are easier to get used to and the transitions from robot to vehicle form are much smoother. In fact, in my last round, I got the drop on a Scientist and was able to get a few shots off but just before I was about to finish he jumped toward a small window, turned to a jet and took off. That’s some straight out of the cartoon stuff right there.
In the end I did walk away from the demo a little disappointed because it didn’t feature any Dinobots, which is a huge new part of the game and something that High Moon have been promoting very heavily, so I was really hoping to see them in the demo. If you want to get technical about it, you can see the Dinobot Armor when customizing your character, but it’s locked in the demo, so that doesn’t really count. It’s also disappointing because both Single Player levels get you right to the climax, only to cut you off and switch over to a trailer for the game before they end. I know it’s only a demo, but they could have at least let us play one full level.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited to play the full game, but I just think that if you are going to put out a demo you should make it as great as possible to get players excited and give them a look at some of the big new features in your game. It should be a way to show off what makes this one so much better than the last and I didn’t see anything major in the Fall of Cybertron demo to make me think that. At least there’s only a few weeks left until we get our hands on the full game on August 21st.
You can watch the entire second mission below, and then go download the demo and play it yourself.