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War for Cybertron DLC characters selling for $100 on eBay


Jun 30
// Jim Sterling
Wait, what?  As unbelievable as it sounds, the DLC preorder characters from Transformers: War for Cybertron are currently for sale on eBay, and are actually raking in some mad bank. Shockwave, Jazz and Demolisher, previo...
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Activision 'in talks' about more Transformers games


Jun 29
// Jim Sterling
Transformers: War for Cybertron has surprised a lot of people. Despite a healthy dose of cynicism surrounding the game's chances of being good, the positive reviews and sheer volume of gamers impressed with the multiplayer ha...

Review: Transformers: Cybertron Adventures

Jun 29 // Jim Sterling
Transformers: Cybertron Adventures (Wii)Developer: Next Level GamesPublisher: ActivisionReleased: June 22, 2010 MSRP: $49.99 While War for Cybertron is third-person-shooter with free movement and the ability to transform at any time, Cybertron Adventures takes the form of an on-rails arcade shooter with compulsory vehicular sections strewn throughout each level. Players have no control over the movement of the Transformer in robot mode, except for the fact that they can choose when to take cover from enemy fire. As a robot, players are simply concerned with aiming and shooting. It certainly came as a shock to me, but it's actually not that bad at all. Each character gets four weapons -- a sniper rifle, a gatling gun, a missile launcher and a useless weapon that will either be a cannon or a blaster. The game is all about popping in and out of cover to take on hordes of enemy Transformers and score points. It's quite simple, and the challenge is relatively easy going on normal difficulty, although the occasional boss fight or timed objective can through up some stiffer opposition.  At certain points in each level, the player will be forced to take a vehicle form in order to race to another section. Sometimes there's a time limit, but the general idea is very much the same as the robot sections -- shoot everything and score as many points as possible. Vehicles can lock onto opponents with missiles or shoot ahead with a machine gun. Again, players have no choice when to become a vehicle, although there's a lot more direct control in these sections.  The robot sections are arguably the stronger of the two elements, with decent controls and even a unique attempt to put stealth into an on-rails shooter. The vehicle sections are alright, but the controls are a little unwieldy and the vehicles can be rather slow, especially the disappointingly sluggish jets. Even worse is the fact that if a car flips upside down, it's game over. Yes, these are cars that can turn into robots at any time, yet apparently they get stuck like beetles if their wheels are in the air. Makes no sense, and it's a little weird that the cars have no real weight to them in the first place.  The most impressive element of Cybertron Adventures, however, is the story. High Moon Studios promised a lot of interesting narrative in War for Cybertron but didn't really deliver. Apparently it was all hiding in Cybertron Adventures. Megatron and Starscream have a much more interesting set of altercations in the Wii version, and many characters like Thundercracker and Ironhide get a lot more of a spotlight, with their own levels and dialog that more greatly reflects their personalities. The fact that Cybertron Adventures features a "Starscream goes for Megatron, gets smacked down and begs for his life" moment is enough to give it a narrative edge over its bigger brother. Overall, it's a very solid game, although it can get quite repetitive. None of the characters really have any variety to their weapons and the vehicles aren't all that different either. The action itself is rather fun and there's co-op and special challenge modes to keep things interesting, but it's not a game you could play for hours and hours on end. It also looks really grim compared to War for Cybertron. It may be unfair to compare a Wii game to a PS3/Xbox 360 game, but if you're playing this as a supplement to the main game, the difference is scorching to the eyes. Not to mention the fact that Wii games can and do look better than this rather murky title. Ultimately though, Cybertron Adventures is surprisingly good. It's definitely not as great in the gameplay department as War for Cybertron, with a lot less to do and a far more restricted format, but its superior narrative and decent arcade action is at least enough to make it worth picking up on its own. If you loved War for Cybertron and want some more Transformers fun, then this you won't go far wrong in picking it up. Likewise, if all you own is a Wii but you want to get your Optimus on, then this will at least give you a nice little fix of your favorite robots in disguise.  Score: 7.0 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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After reviewing Transformers: War for Cybertron, I wasn't going to bother writing about Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, as I figured it would be more or less the same game with downgraded graphics and remote-supported aim...

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Transformers: War for Cybertron getting patched soon


Jun 28
// Jim Sterling
Transformers: War for Cybertron is getting ludicrous amounts of playtime for me, and with such a promising multiplayer mode, I'm glad that High Moon Studios is going to support the game with patches. The only downside is that...
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Activision finds UK's biggest Transformers fan


Jun 24
// Jim Sterling
To celebrate the launch of Transformers: War for Cybertron in Britain, evil publisher Activision launched a contest to find the country's biggest Transformers fan. You could argue that this is only tenuously linked to videoga...
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Transformers: War for Cybertron end credits are amazing


Jun 22
// Jim Sterling
I beat Transformers: War for Cybertron over two weeks ago but was bound by an embargo preventing me from talking about it. That was very difficult, because the end credits to this game are absolutely amazing. Now that the ga...

Review: Transformers: War for Cybertron

Jun 22 // Jim Sterling
Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PS3, PC, Wii, DS)Developer: High Moon StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: June 22, 2010 MSRP: $59.99 War for Cybertron is a prequel to the established G1 canon in which the Transformers drained their home planet of Cybertron and ended up on Earth. Pushing the story right back to the heyday of the Cybertronian civil war, War for Cybertron sets out to explain and define many key plot points of the entire franchise, such as Optimus Prime's rise to power and Starscream's joining of the Decepticons. Although some elements of the story are disappointingly glossed over, possibly to sell the accompanying novel, it has to be said that War for Cybertron's narrative is surprisingly tight, exciting and surprisingly witty. The story mode is split into ten chapters, five for the Decepticons and five for the Autobots. The Decepticon campaign details Megatron's quest for Dark Energon, a new power source that he believes will help him win the war. The Autobot campaign sees Optimus and his friends struggle to survive a Cybertron that has almost been totally dominated by Megatron's forces. Both campaigns are solid, although the Autobot campaign is far better, with a wide variety of killer setpieces, brilliant references to the 1986 movie, and a fantastic selection of boss fights. I won't spoil the bosses, but fans of Soundwave will be thoroughly impressed by his particular appearances in the Autobot campaign. Both campaigns are quite short, but can be replayed with different characters and taken on in three player co-op mode. The co-op is highly recommended as the game's difficulty is clearly designed with it in mind and does not scale for single players. The Transformers don't take much damage at all before they go down, and while co-op players can revive each other, single players will be helpless. One other thing worth noting about the story mode is its restriction on playable characters. Each game's chapter limits you to a pool of three predetermined characters. The Decepticon Seekers, for example, can only be used in Chapter Two and the Autobot jets can only be used in Chapter Nine. Not having the ability to decide which character you want to play in any chapter isn't the biggest deal in the world, but it's a little bit of a letdown. Unlike previous Transformers games, the controls in War for Cybertron are rock-solid. Predominantly a third-person shooter in the vein of Gears of War, each Transformer handles perfectly, carrying with them a feeling of weight without a sense of sluggishness. There's a wide range of weapons, most of which are useful and suit a particular style of play. There are options for sniping, exploding, or outright bullet spraying. The lack of a cover system hurts somewhat, especially in single player when enemies can become overwhelming, but so long as players remain aware of their surroundings, it shouldn't be too big a deal. It's the vehicular alt-modes, however, that really steal the show. The vehicle forms are often where games fall apart, as they're usually either worthless or impossible to control. On the contrary in War for Cybertron. Each of the game's four vehicle types -- cars, trucks, tanks and jets -- work perfectly and are outfitted with their own weaponry for devastating firepower. With full maneuverability and an optional speedboost, alt-modes are no longer just something relied upon to get from A to B quicker. Each Transformer also gets two special abilities that range from pointless (Dash) to brilliant (Whirlwind). The various abilities are easy to forget about but can have a real effect on the battle, although a few of them, like Hover, can make players more vulnerable to attack. Depending on the ability, they are either subject to a Cooldown limitation, or need to be recharged with Energon Chips taken from downed enemies. It would have been nice for the campaign mode characters to get their own unique special ability as opposed to drawing from a restricted pool of multiplayer abilities, as the characters aren't quite as varied as they could be. Nevertheless, the abilities are a welcome addition, provided you have the right ones. Multiplayer is a key factor of War for Cybertron, and the short version of the story is that it can be pretty damn fun. Absolute chaos and anarchy, but fun nonetheless. There's a healthy selection of game modes, such as the territory-gaining Power Struggle or bomb-planting Countdown to Exctinction, although your main focus will always be kicking the tailgates of your opponents in a variety of destructive ways. Players must create their own characters for competitive multiplayer, choosing from four character classes to build the bot that's right for them. Leaders transform into trucks and can buff/debuff other characters, Soldiers are hard-hitting combat troops that turn into tanks, Scientists turn into jets and specialize in both healing and sabotage, while the Scout transforms into a car and deals in hit-and-run tactics, as well as cloaking abilities. Experience points are earned with each game, and as character classes level up, they gain access to new weapons and a range of unique active or passive abilities. Each custom character can select two weapons, two active abilities and three passive abilities, and there's plenty of room for multiple character builds of the same class. The most versatile is the scientist, who can be built to act as a medic, or to go behind enemy lines in disguise, or to unleash sentry bots that can spew rockets at the enemy. It's not the deepest system in the world, but it's versatile enough for players to feel that they've created their own unique set of robots in disguise. One disappointing factor is the appearance of the characters themselves aren't open for too much customization. Essentially, you pick a skin and give it a paintjob from a rather restricted selection of colors. Fans who may have it in mind to create their own versions of classic G1 characters will be disappointed, You won't be able to fit Wheeljack, Sunstorm or Grimlock into this game, because the skins and colors just aren't up to it. The multiplayer can be incredibly enjoyable, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. With so much chaos, it can often be a case of pure luck as to whether or not you live or die. Using the melee attack is like rolling a dice, and some of the weapons currently feel very imbalanced. It's no fun unloading two clips of ammo into an enemy, only to have them take you out in two shots. The game also exasperates with a huge amount of Assist Kills, which donate nothing toward a player's game score. This means you could get up to eight assists yet end up looking like the worst on your team. Assists should count toward the game as they do in Call of Duty, especially since losing kills to other players seems to be a very common issue in War for Cybertron. It's a shame that the multiplayer can be so annoying with lost kills and overpowered weapons, because it's nicely put together and really kicks ass when you get into a great game. With a little tweaking, it could be thoroughly superb, but it's still most assuredly worth sinking some hours into. As it stands, I've certainly had my fill and I think I'll be waiting to see if any patches come in before hopping back into it. Backing up the competitive multiplayer is a co-op "horde" mode known as Escalation. This incredibly challenging mode pits up to four players against waves of enemy Transformers. Things get very difficult in this game very quickly, and players will have to work together in order to survive. Each player earns Energon from their kills, and can spend them on ammo, weapons or health. They can also buy items for other players, meaning that, with good teamwork, a group of players can pool resources and ensure the entire party remains healthy. Unfortunately, the lack of host migration in the game can make Escalation a bit of a time risk. I played through a lengthy dose of Escalation, only to have the host quit and cause me to lose all my progress. It's very annoying, so it's best to make sure you play Escalation with good friends who have solid connections. It's worth noting just how good War for Cybertron looks as well, both in terms of its graphics and its artistic style. The quasi-G1 design of the Transformers themselves is fantastic, being familiar yet original, and avoiding the overcomplicated mess of the Michael Bay monstrosities. High Moon has done an amazing job of making these robots feel alive rather than just dull metal constructs. Mechanical parts move and flex, portions of the chassis subtley glow, and the transformation animations are superb. The voice cast is also rather excellent too, headed up by Optimus Prime regular Peter Cullen and joined by a host of solid actors who do their best to bring the Transformers to life. Transformers: War for Cybertron is a rousing step forward for the franchise as it pertains to videogames. A thoughtfully crafted story mode, an intense multiplayer mode, online co-op and a full on horde addition makes this the most robust, lovingly developed and authentic Transformers experience you could hope to get on a home console. Some of the character and customization restrictions are disappointing and the frustrations of multiplayer can sometimes provide cause for tooth grinding, but the overall experience is a most worthy one indeed. Transforming your cash into a purchase of this game is something you may want to seriously consider. Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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Transformers: War for Cybertron aims to do what few Transformers games have ever done -- be good. Better than good, in fact. It aims to be great. Unlike previous abortions like 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, this...

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Transformers: War for Cybertron demo on XBL right now


Jun 10
// Jim Sterling
If you want to shoot Bumblebee in his stupid yellow head, you better hop onto Xbox Live double quick. A demo for High Moon Studios' Transformers: War for Cybertron was launched this morning, giving everybody a taste of the ro...
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War for Cybertron preorder bonuses jump the Sharkticon


Jun 08
// Jim Sterling
Activision has today announced yet another store exclusive preorder bonus for Transformers: War for Cybertron, officially bumping the number of exclusive offers up to four. GameStop has Shockwave, Amazon has Demolisher and Be...

Five reasons why War for Cybertron has got the touch

Jun 04 // Jim Sterling
1. Controls are great: One problem Transformers games have always had is that they control like crap. Usually the robot modes feel halfway decent, but as soon as they switch to alt-mode, everything sucks horribly. This is especially true of jets, which tend to fly out of control as soon as the unfortunate bot transforms. Not so in War for Cybertron. The vehicles are almost as easy to use as the robot forms, and even manage to be useful in combat as well as in covering distance. The problem of jets has been eliminated thanks to the extra level of control players get. Aircraft can now hover so players get to hold a position rather than being forced to move at all times. The land-based vehicles can have some pretty brutal attacks, and zipping around the map as a scout car just feels good. Transforming is done with a click of the left stick, which is pretty convenient, although it can lead to accidental transformations at times when getting in the thick of action. However, vehicles are just as able to hold their own in combat as robots so even an accidental transformation won't break your gaming flow. It really feels as if both modes are crucial to the gameplay, and they both control perfectly fine. 2. It feels heavy without feeling clunky: It's difficult to capture the feel of "being" a Transformer in a game. You have to make the robots feel big and heavy and clanking, but in doing so the robots often feel weird and disconnected with their environments. Nobody wants a clunky characters to control that feels like it's sliding around on the map rather than thundering around. War for Cybertron has a very "heavy" feel to the gameplay, but the movement is tight, allowing you to feel like a robot without feeling out of control.  When in vehicle mode, each alt-form feels how it should. It's great to thrust through the air as a jet, zip out of danger as a car or thunder into combat as a tank. Everything feels big, loud, weighty and powerful, yet they also feel totally natural, which previous games have always wrestled with. 3. The four classes kick ass: The game has four classes -- Leader, Soldier, Scientist and Scout. They generally play how you imagine them to play, with the Leader specializing in buffs, the Soldier specializing in brute force, the Scientist specializing in tech, and the Scout specializing in stealth. However, the amount of flexibility you get within the classes means that you have some really cool ways to make each class deadly. For instance, the Scientist can heal other players, but he can also spawn a sentry bot, giving him the roles of both a medic and an engineer in more conventional games. Most classes have special skills that can help the team and harm the enemy, allowing plenty of scope for making a useful robot with any class you pick.  The classes level up as you earn experience in the multiplayer and have access to all manner of new weapons, special attacks, and passive abilities. Each Transformer is limited by equipment slots, and the special abilities all look so tempting that choices are bound to be hard. Each class gets its own unique kill streak bonuses that help out the entire team. The classes are really distinct, not just for their unique transformations (leaders are trucks, scouts are cars, soldiers are tanks and scientists are jets) but for the unique things you can do within each class. A lot of work clearly went into it.  As well as picking a class, players get a limited amount of customization too. I played around with making my own character, which basically means picking a predetermined chassis and changing the colors. The colors are restricted depending on if it's an Autobot or Decepticon, which was a bit frustrating. I understand why this was done, to make the factions distinct, but it's a shame that the Autobots got the bright yellow and orange, meaning I couldn't make Sunstorm for the Decepticons. I was able to compromise and make Acid Storm though, so I suppose it'll have to do.  4. Horde Mode: Or, as War for Cybertron calls it, Escalation Mode. Yep, WfC is getting its own Horde Mode and it's really promising stuff. On the surface, it's your usual brand of wave-based co-op gameplay as friends team up to tackle increasingly difficult baddies. However, communication is key, because each kill awards points to the players which must be spent between rounds on ammunition and firepower. Players running low on ammo need to ask point-heavy players to buy them more rounds, and the whole team needs to pool their individual resources in order to succeed.  It's a really cool concept and should make Escalation stand out from other "Horde" style game modes.  5. Cyclonus, Dirge and Grimlock are in the DS version: The DS version isn't going to get as much spotlight as its console-based big brother, but it's still a pretty ambitious little title. As well as a robust multiplayer game in which players can "wager" their leveled up characters against each other, WfC DS also gets ten all-exclusive characters thrown in simply because they were favorites of the developers. Cool characters like Cyclonus, Dirge and Grimlock have been tossed in, and although their transformations have to conform to the game's four vehicle modes, it's still awesome to see that they were included.  I briefly played the DS version and it seems to work similarly to the Revenge of the Fallen game, albeit with more platforming and a cool tag team system (and when you tag in Megatron, he says "Nobody summons Megatron" for a lovely movie callback). Not too shabby, and it's clear they put some love into it. It's also where I finally got to hear Starscream. He's not quite as squealy as he used to be, but I am pleased to report that the voice actor made him sound like the serpentine prick he should be.  And that's your five reasons why War for Cybertron has got the touch! I must say I was not disappointed by what I had played and this looking like it'll be the game Transformers fans have wanted for years. At the very least, it's chaotic, action-packed and very fun, and really, that's all you could ask for in a game. It fills me with no displeasure to say that I have not been let down by this game.
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On Wednesday I was in San Francisco to play Transformers: War for Cybertron. After weeks of excited posts, many of our readers were waiting for me to report bitter disappointment, rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect...

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War for Cybertron: Hot screenshots, hotter trailer


Jun 04
// Jim Sterling
Transformers: War for Cybertron is launching surprisingly soon, and to mark the imminent arrival, evil publisher Activision has sent along a huge batch of assets, including screenshots and the online debut of the game's E3 t...
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War for Cybertron toys: Nature's cruelest mistake?


Jun 04
// Jim Sterling
This week I was in San Francisco to check out Transformers: War for Cybertron. I'll have a feature based on my experiences coming later today, but for now I want to share with you a quick look at the first batch of War for Cy...
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Amazing War for Cybertron GameStop commercial is amazing


Jun 01
// Jim Sterling
Usually, GameStop commercials are embarrassingly unfunny, but this Transformers: War for Cybertron advert is nothing short of fantastic. As you'll see, the game not only has the touch, but it has the motherf*cking power! It ...
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Xbox Deal of the Week is cuh-ray-zee for movies


May 31
// Nick Chester
Xbox LIVE Gold members can thank Walt Disney Pictures for this week's Xbox LIVE deals. Prompted apparently by the theater release of the studios' Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, we've getting 50%  off deals on movie...
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War for Cybertron and Hasbro = BFFs


May 31
// Jim Sterling
Transformers: War for Cybertron is a game based on a TV show based on toys. Hasbro, the franchise creator, loved War for Cybertron so much that it has adopted the game as official canon, and has also commissioned a set of toy...
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I'm a huge fanboy when it comes to Starscream, something I've never kept secret. For a cartoon commercial character, Starscream has always been one of the most surprisingly fascinating and curious characters ever created. He'...

How War for Cybertron is like the first Spider-Man movie

May 28 // Jim Sterling
"I'm a big fan of the first Spider-Man movie," explains the director. "It hit fans on several different levels -- the first level of that is the person who doesn't know anything about Spider-Man. They just wanna see a great action move, and if they see it and have a good time maybe they become Spider-Man fans afterwards. "The next layer down are fans who haven't thought about Spider-Man since they were a kid and they remember all this great nostalgic stuff they saw back in the day. And the third layer of fan is the one who knows everything about Spider-Man and they've read every comic and know everything about it and there are all these one liners they know and recognize. "We approach our game in the same way. If you just like shooters, there's a great shooter that you can love and maybe you'll come out a Transformers fan. If you haven't thought about Transformers in a long time, you're gonna go in and just be smacked down by this huge wave of nostalgia. And if you know everything about TF, there is stuff in there that has never been explained before, we're resetting a bunch of things, in a way that is spuriously true but slightly different. There are things that you might know and there are things that you've never seen before, ever. Big questions get answered." Sounds alright to me. Of course, there's a risk that some of the "reset" story stuff jumps the shark, but let's face it, you can't get much worse than the cartoons when it comes to pure and utter nonsense.
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Transformers has a hardcore fanbase. A really hardcore fanbase. I consider myself a fan of the franchise, but I'm only a casual appreciator who has his favorite robots and sticks to them. Some of these guys are crazy, and wit...

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War for Cybertron is being published by Activision, and Activision games love downloadable content. Stands to reason that War for Cybertron will have DLC, right? It's more or less inevitable, but High Moon Studios can't confi...

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Transformers: War for Cybertron has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism by the perpetually cynical hardcore gamer. After being stung in the past by poor Transformers games, people have been wary of getting too excited ...

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Another War for Cybertron trailer? Oh, go on then


May 24
// Jim Sterling
I defy anybody who reads gaming blogs to not know that Transformers: War for Cybertron in the near future. Activision hasn't been shy of promoting it and I certainly haven't been shy of posting that promotion because I am a ...
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Here's another War for Cybertron trailer/commercial


May 18
// Jim Sterling
Are you looking forward to Transformers: War for Cybertron? In that case, this is a trailer. Are you not looking forward to Transformers: War for Cybertron? In that case, here's an obnoxious ad. This is how videos are viewed...
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War for Cybertron gets hot new video, hot new robots


May 14
// Jim Sterling
Activision has sent over the latest assets for Transformers: War for Cybertron. Firstly, there's a brand new video outlining the game's story. Key notes involve the introduction of Bumblebee and Starscream's backstory. As a ...
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Transformers multiplayer customization has options in it


May 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
Here's a video outlining what some of the crucial, life-altering decisions you'll be forced to make should you choose to play the multiplayer component of Transformers: War for Cybertron. With four character classes and an a...
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Silverbolt & Brawl join the War for Cybertron


May 07
// Jim Sterling
It's Friday, and that means it's time to meet yet another pair of characters set to appear in Transformers: War for Cybertron. This week, the Autobots get Silverbolt and the Decepticons are represented by Brawl.  Silverb...
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Transformers: War for Cybertron gets a NEW trailer


May 07
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday we posted a multiplayer trailer for Transformers: War for Cybertron and while everybody thought it was awesome, a few readers stated they'd seen it ages ago. This is because I am a terrible journalist and somehow g...
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Transformers: War for Cybertron trailer is like hot sex


May 06
// Jim Sterling
Activision has today released a new multiplayer trailer for Transformers: War for Cybertron and it has made me wet my knickers a little bit. It shows off the character creation system, and the different classes that can be c...
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10 Things You Didn't Know:Transformers: War for Cybertron


May 05
// Dale North
If you've read our single and multiplayer previews of Transformers: War for Cybertron, you should be well-versed in High Moon Studios' work on the game by now. Regardless, you're going to want to check out these factoids on t...

Preview: Transformers: War for Cybertron (multiplayer)

May 05 // Dale North
I played various multiplayer matches against other games press in both Team Deathmatch (10 players) and Conquest (5-on-5) modes. The controls are exactly the same as the scheme we went over in our coverage of War for Cybertron's single player mode. In short, the controls are mapped just like you'd expect in any third-person shooter save for the Transform ability, which is executed by pressing in the left analog stick. The twist in this game is that you're free to transform at any time, and as many times as you'd like. Transforming gives you access to another set of abilities and weapons, adding another layer of strategy to an already option-packed multiplayer game. One of the many benefits to transforming is immediately obvious in multiplayer: transform into vehicle mode and you'll be able to get away faster. Or get in faster. Zooming away as a fast car beats the hell out of running. Transforming into a jet and flying around the corner to rain fire down on the guy that was tailing you was glorious. Outside of the transformation button, the rest of the control will require no effort on your part to pick up. It'll come as second nature. If you've ever played Epic Games' Gears of War, you've already got this game down pat, before even touching it. Thankfully, the actual balance, aim and move response also compare nicely to Gears of War. Also, when you change modes from bot to vehicle, the button mappings stay pretty much the same. You're required to learn nothing, which really adds to the game's jump in anytime feel. The key point to get here is that the control feels good. "Tight" and nicely "responsive" are probably the last words you'd expect to see in a Transformers game write up, but that's really the case with T:WfC.   As you'd guess, you'll play as either Autobots or Decepticons in multiplayer. One isn't necessarily better than the other, as both have Transformer choices that fall under each of the classes. Early on in my session, most of that fun came from exploring how the game's four classes work.  All class types have their own abilities, weapons and kill streaks. You'll suit up by fully customizing your character before matches, tweaking everything from your skills to your bot's colors. You'll only get to pick two of the four available abilities before starting a multiplayer match, though. Most of my first several matches was spent picking the classes and seeing how their respective weapons and abilities worked. I could have spent much longer toying with them as playing and winning actually levels up your character, adding new powers and upgrades to the mix for you to slot in and try. Here's a quick rundown of the game's four classes:Scouts: Cars. They're fast, but they can't take a lot of damage, just as you'd expect with any scout class in a shooter. They have four weapons that are unique to this type, and you'll choose two going into multiplayer. With this class comes expected weapons like sniper rifles. This class also has its own grenade, an EMP-type stun grenade. Like-minded abilities such as Cloak and Mark Target (show everyone your enemy location) make sense, but I like Decoy, which throws out something that looks like a helpful shield, but actually deals damage. Scientists: These are Jets and probably my favorite class. As a scientist you'll be the go-to guy for healing as you're equipped with several healing powers, including your secondary gun which shoots a continual healing beam. As you'd expect, these guys rank low on the damage dealing chart. The grenade for this class is especially useful, as it drops a bubble of healing that your teammates can take refuge in. Keeping with the theme, Drain is one of the abilities. With it you can steal life from enemies and refill your own health. Disguise lets you change your colors to let you look like your with the other team. Finally, you can also spawn an AI turret to cover your back as you work on healing your teammates. Leaders: Trucks. Bigger and badder than scouts. This is your well-rounded class. This is the class that lets you play with grenade launchers. Heat-seeking mines find your enemies for you. One of the abilities is a perk-based one called Warcry. It boosts the attack and defense values of any teammate nearby. A Forcefield Barrier can block incoming fire once your inside it. One of the meanest, Transform Disruptor, will throw an enemy out of their vehicle form and lock them out for a limited time. Soldiers: Soldiers are Tanks. Tanks in the literal sense, too. These are the ones you want to use if you like the big, heavy guns. Soldiers have a lot of health and defensive power. You can Hover to increase all the damage you're dealing, though you'll be a bit more susceptible to damage yourself. Everyone liked Whirlwind, a 360 degree spinning melee attack. Like the Leader's Transform Disruptor, Soldier's Energon Sling locks enemies out of their abilities for awhile. All of these classes got a workout in a variety of maps, all of which looked fantastic, just as the single player segment did. All of the maps I saw were small and tight, which kept the action very fast and hot. The Conquest mode was particularly fun with its multiple bases to defend and take over. Being a scientist sounds like a simple support role, but I found myself spread thin between manual healing, setting up AI turrets, taking a few bases of my own and watching my ass, all at the same time. Control in-fight was never an issue with the tight aiming and movement. Flying around in a Transformer that turns into a jet did take a few flights to get used to, but it quickly became second nature, and I quickly saw the fun of zooming around quickly and attacking from the air. Likewise, the on-the-ground vehicles don't have the tightest turning radius, but this isn't a racer, and having the control too tight would give you issues when aiming your weapons to fight back. This is a nice balance between control and usability in combat. If you're not comfortable with all the switching right off the bat, know that on-foot players aren't necessarily disadvantaged. The beauty of War for Cybertron is that the multiple modes for each class really leaves the game open for you to pick what best suits your play style. For as much as I played, I felt like I only got a small taste of what multiplayer offers. Some fun stuff did make its way into the arena, though. One of Optimus' weapons is this crazy ball that can be kicked into the action. Roll it into the enemy's cam and they'll be hit with both slow motion and stat debuffs. The action was so heavy that I also didn't get a full taste of the game's kill streaks, which come to you as a perk after three or more successive kills. I did witness Optimus' 9-kill move. His chest opens up to release a guided bomb that can be controlled and detonated from a first-person view. Brilliant. If you like gaming, if you dig third-person competitive multiplayer, you're likely going to enjoy the multiplayer action in Transformers: War for Cybertron. Shooter fans these days are typically only looking for quality multiplayer gaming, and all of that is clearly on display here with good competitive action, lots of tactical aspects and plenty of skill-based options.  And vehicles? Hello! Team work, tight control, kill streaks -- everything you'd want, and all of this is independent of the Transformers "skin" that is laid over the top. Under this fancy new Transformers skin is a the core aspects of a polished third-person shooter.  As you'll see, I'm not even attempting to appeal to the Transformers fans. They can see that the franchise was fully respected, and they're already sold. It's the rest of you that should sit up and take notice.
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In an interview session last week, Matt Tieger, Game Director at High Moon Studios, told me something before I played Transformers: War for Cybertron in multiplayer mode. What he said struck me as pretty confident at first. B...

Preview: Transformers: War for Cybertron (single player)

May 05 // Dale North
Transformers fans need not worry about High Moon Studios as they're also followers of all things Transformers. In fact, it seems that they're fans of the highest order. Their work on the franchise's pre-history is so good that Hasbro, owner of the IP, got behind High Moon's work and has made their story the official back story of Transformers. Hasbro also loved their robot designs so much that they're also making them official, in the form of toys. If you're still not impressed, get this: the guys at High Moon took some strange glyphs from a single screenshot of an episode of the cartoon and reworked them into a real working font and in-game alphabet. War for Cybertron tells the story of the Transformers' world, and marks the first time fans will get to fully explore Cybertron in any form, whether it be in games, comics or even television and film. The stage is set in the last parts of the Transformers long-running civil war, right before they decide that they need to leave their home planet.  Fans will tell you that this syncs up nicely with the beginning of the first generation of Transformers cartoons.There are two separate campaigns, one Decepticon and one Autobot, and they're totally distinct from one another. This means different stories, different levels, and different characters. The Deception story is actually a prequel to the Autobot campaign, though you can choose to play them in either order. The Decepticon side focuses on leaderMegatron, who believes he is trying to reset Cybertron to its former glory. Of course, the Autobots do not see it the same way, opting for freedom and choice instead. The line is clear: the Decepticon's story is about the quest for power; the Autobots' story is about hope and freedom. I was able to play a level from each side in single player. I got to control Bumblebee, Optimus and Ratchet in a couple of experiences that felt really short. Maybe I was having that good of a time. Or maybe it was that on one stage, which featured a high-action, bullet-heavy stand-off on a grand staircase, I was prevented from going any further after clearing a checkpoint. No worries. In that short time I was able to see and appreciate several game aspects. There's very tight movement and overall control in T:WfC, with aiming that compares nicely with the best third-person shooters out there. Some fellow game press in attendance said that the aiming felt a bit loose, but I had no problem with it. Almost all of the button mapping as just as you'd expect from any other third-person shooter: reload, jump, and a dedicated grenade button are on the face, triggers aim and fire, and sticks move. There is one key move mapped to a control that you might feel is unnatural, though. You're free to transform at any time you'd like by clicking in the left analog stick. While it was fine for me, those that have put in a lot of time towards games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be expecting that button to do make your character run. Even I caught myself expecting a run at first, but once I got into freely switching forms based on my combat needs, I really appreciated the instant access that this control provided. Every and every level is a three-player co-op experience, and each support the constant ability for jump-in/jump-out three-player cooperative play. You'll always have a choice of three characters in every level, and they all vary in skill and strength. Some of the levels differ in design, and urge you to play as a different vehicle type. For example, some of the levels have you playing as jets, with the game play centering around totally different ideas than ground-based game play. Even though you're in huge robots, the world is also huge, which plays with your sense of scale a bit, but also makes War for Cybertron feel pretty grand. Cinematic, even. You got a real in-your-face sense of power when taking down enemies, even in the distance. Bam. You feel it. Enemies go down big, too. Whether I was in big, open spaces like the previously mentioned grand staircase, or in tight corridors, it felt like my surroundings had much more impact in setting a real sense of location. The transform-y locales didn't feel like set pieces or back drops, and that's really a tip of the hat to the art and design team. You have to remember that no one has ever seen Cybertron before; these guys came up with all of this themselves.Even with the short amount of time I had with single player, I did pick up a bit of strategy for War for Cybertron. For example, I learned that large enemies drop large guns that you can equip. (The equipping looks fantastic -- you actually transform into the weapon in a sort of fusing process.) In the stand-off section, I found that taking them out first to nab their guns for the added firepower helped a lot. What also helped were the large guns' snappy aim assist ability, which you won't find on your standard weapons.  In another session I was up against a mini-boss of sorts. This Decepticon War Machine was placed in the center of a round room, leaving me to strafe around and take him out while dodging his projectiles and attacks. Its worst attack is a light beam that chases you around the room. I quickly realized that transforming into my car form (as Bumblebee) let me use the car's boost to quickly get out of the way of the beam. Once clear, I switched back to bot form, took out the legs of the boss, and then took the core down. Fun stuff. For as great as the short single player session was, High Moon teased us plenty with what's to come with some hands-off demonstrations. I'm still looking forward to trying the campaigns with the assistance of two friends in co-op. That's sure to be a blast. One of the things I'm really hung up on is the massive boss battles they keep showing off. I saw a quick peek at one during the 2010 Game Developer's Conference, and last week I saw another. This latest one features Trypticon as the final boss in the Autobot campaign. I only saw a few minutes of a section that was said to be three quarters of the way through the boss fight, but it fully impressed. There was certainly a huge wow factor even though they were quick to shut off the action at only two minutes in. Optimus, Ironhide and Bumblebee were all teamed up against this huge boss, but scale-wise, they looked if they didn't have a chance at all. Trypticon was massive, with his gleaming metal looking body almost photo-realistic at times. I can't wait to dig into one of these boss battles. Transformers: War for Cybertron has a lot going for it. For the Transformers fan, the appeal is obvious. But I think that even those with a casual interest will be pulled in after watching a bit of it in action. I think that the game is good enough to draw in those that just like shooters, and have little to no interest in Transformers. Of course, I'd like to play a bit more of the game to make a definitive call, but what I've seen so far of T:WfC was surprising and impressive. I think we'll finally have that good Transformers game with this one.Thankfully I got to spend much more time with the multiplayer aspect of T:WfC. Check it out now!
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What have you heard about Transformers: War for Cybertron? That it's kind of like Gears of War, except that it has Autobots and Decepticons instead of muscle-bound meatheads for main characters? Well, that's not far from the ...

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Warpath & Barricade join the War for Cybertron


Apr 30
// Jim Sterling
Another pair of battle-loving robots have been introduced for Activision's upcoming action title, Transformers: The War for Cybertron. Today, the Autobots get Warpath, while Barricade represents his Decepticon brethren. ...

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