War for Cybertron will let you ‘understand’ Starscream

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’s also one of the most gloriously underhanded, ambitious and bastardly. As a Starscream nut, I had to ask War for Cybertron‘s Matt Tieger how they’re tackling the character and asked the all-important question — High Moon Studios isn’t going to make him too sympathetic, are they?

“If I had to list my top three Transformers, he’s definitely in there,” revealed the game’s director. “I treated him with quite a bit of reverence when we worked on him. I find him very interesting. When we start the game he is not a Decepticon, he’s a guy in charge of a certain component of Cybertron and we find out what his backstory is. He and Megatron have a discourse over the very first level of the Decepticon campaign about having Starscream sign up to be a Decepticon. At the end of that level, Starscream makes the choice to do that.

“As the player I don’t find that you’ll sympathize with him, but I think you’ll understand him,” Tieger explains. “Who he is and why does what he does. The nut I wanted to crack was ‘what are his motivations?’ Rather than feel for him, I just want to understand him and as a Transformers fan, I’ve always been fascinated with the why. That’s what I wanted to tackle with this game. So hopefully, as a Starscream fan, you’re gonna get to see a bit behind his thinking patterns and why he’s doing what it is he does. And also, part and parcel with that, is why does Megatron keep him around? What does Megatron think of Starscream and what value does he think he brings? That would be the core of the Starscream experience that I think you’re going to get out of this game.”

It would definitely be nice to understand a little more about Starscream, but I’m certainly hoping he will remain the treacherous little snake we’ve come to know and love. Sympathetic villains are great, but every now and then you want a character who’s simply a prick for prickage’s sake, and Starscream was always good for some of that.

Jim Sterling