Bioware is known for excellent storytelling, and Mass Effect 3 does NOT disappoint. At it’s core the Mass Effect trilogy is all about heroism, family, and adventure. While other RPGs have made the promise of a “branching story line” based on player decision, none have come close to the level of complexity that the the Mass Effect franchise actually achieves. By now you’ve heard how it works, as the player progresses through the narrative he/she is forced to make a number of difficult game-changing decisions. I would venture to say that almost everyone that has played Mass Effect has had a slightly different experience, and that’s just incredible.
I prefer to remember the Transformers with ’80s hair metal and light cussing, not the garbage we have today, where our robotic buddies are relegated to side roles while the beouf runs around chasing tail through the duration of a 2 hour Linkin Park music video.
Enter High Moon studios, who gave us a third person campaign with 3 player co-cp and a fun-enough multiplayer component. They even had the wherewithal to get a Stan Bush song into the game. It was a tribute to our youth, and despite some ridiculous DLC auctions, it was a solid entry.
In just a few short weeks, Fall of Cybertron will be upon us, and you can play the Demo right now. My first go at it was in the Autobot campaign, where I played as Bumblebee aboard a ship along with Optimus Prime as we made our way to some sort of portal. Naturally, Meagatron brings his might to bear on the ship and the battle was on. This level largely serves as the tutorial, but right away you can see this game is going in the right direction. Perhaps the most apparent improvement from WFC is the ability to switch your shooting arm, as I seem to remember players were relegated to right handed shooting. Without a snap-cover system, this limited your Halo-style cover tactics severely, and you need them.
The second single-player demo puts you in the chassis of Decepticon Vortex, a helicopter / jet hybrid. This level starts out with a chase sequence and then puts you into some arena combat where you need to transform strategically to fight and reach the objective. Something I don’t remember from the first game is a single-player upgrade system. That is to say, currency acquired from killing enemies is used at Teletron terminals throughout the levels to change loadouts, purchase consumables, and upgrade weapons. There wasn’t enough of the single-player campaign to get a feel for it beyond that. Strangely, however, every item in the loadout screen has a “rating” which you (as a player) can set. The game otherwise shows you the community’s ranking. [maybe I can like my loadouts on facebook too]
And that brings us to multiplayer. In this era of cooperative horde modes the likes of Gears and ME3MP, Fall of Cybertron gives us the competitive team deathmatch and area capture. The modes themselves don’t really do it for me, but that might be your thing and that’s cool. So you have 4 classes, 2 factions, and a metric butt ton of level based upgrades to unlock via XP earned in game. The game is currently being balanced with demo player data. Demo competition isn’t super-fierce (yet), but it always seems like you pick up these games within a week of release and someone already has their level maxed out. There’s always the risk of high level players stifling the progression of new players. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of customization options here, and will be fun to play with friends. It’s just competitive multiplayer, it is what it is.
I hear there may be an Escalation (horde) mode, but I didn’t see it in the demo.
Absent from the demo are the Dinobots, which seem to be just about everywhere else marketing-wise. Also, no word on whether or not the campaign will have co-op as WFC did. Absolutely check out this demo, tho, and let us know what you think!
Learn More: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron