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15 things you need to know about Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

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We didn't hide our love for Transformers: War for Cybertron when it released in 2010. High Moon Studios delivered a better Transformers game than we thought possible, and even though it had a number of flaws, we were still impressed with the outcome. For the sequel, Fall of Cybertron, the developer is planning on rolling out a slew of additions and changes that look to make for an even stronger game, adding in updates to the AI, massive modifications to the campaign, and a giant space T-Rex that shoots fire, among other things.

Here's everything you need to know to get caught up and hyped for the game, which is due out later this year.

1. The plot begins immediately after War for Cybertron

The Autobots lost. The war for Cybertron is over. Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons kicked their metal butts all over the planet, and at the end of the last game, Optimus Prime and a number of other Autobots promised to stay on the falling planet until all of their remaining allies had been rescued, and that's just what they're going to do.

But the Decepticons aren't content with letting the Autobots escape. Now that they've stomped their former foes into the ground, they want to finish them once and for all, meaning the battles should continue to be absolutely epic even though the actual war is, for all intents and purposes, over.

2. It has one campaign with different characters

In War for Cybertron, the story was split into two parts. The Autobot and Decepticon sections were separated, and could be played in any order to offer players more flexibility. This seemed like a good idea at the time, apparently, but High Moon Studios admits that it caused some issues. Two campaigns meant two tutorials, two slowly-rising stories, and two conclusions that needed to make sense independently of the other. It meant two short, good games, instead of one long, great one.

This time around, you'll still be swapping between characters and factions, but it'll all be in one flowing, coherent story. The way the transitions between characters happens seems interesting, too - at one point, we saw the player-controlled Starscream taunt a trapped Grimlock (more on him later). Midway through the conversation, button prompts began transitioning the player's control from Starscream to Grimlock as he broke free. High Moon even baked some tutorial elements into the act of escaping, which seamlessly taught the player how to use the character. If every transition is as cool as that one, we're in for a treat.

3. At least one Transformer has more than two forms

For the most part, the Transformers in the game will only have one transformed form. Optimus turns into a truck, Megatron a jet, Soundwave turns into an iPod or whatever, and everything is simple. At least one Transformer, however, will have three forms to switch between. During our demo we saw the Decepticon Vortex run around on the ground killing enemies, only to jump into the sky and transform not just into a helicopter, but into a jet as well.

It might seem a little redundant to transform into two different aerial vehicles, but after seeing it in action it makes complete sense. Vortex is able to hover in place to shoot at enemies as a helicopter, switch to a jet to fly between areas extremely quickly, and then jump back to his robotic form when he wants to take down foes on the ground. It's cool, and we're hoping more characters have this capability.

4. Every Transformer has a unique ability

High Moon Studios didn't really like how the abilities worked last time, and wanted to create more variety in Fall of Cybertron. In order to do this, it weaved together the campaigns into one, and gave each playable Transformer a unique ability. One shoulder button will let the Transformer sprint, while the other does, well, something completely different.

This means that no two segments of the campaign should really play alike, as they'll each include a special ability that the last one didn't have.

5. Like Jazz's a grappling hook...

One ability that was shown off was Jazz's grappling hook. Apparently, at one point in the many years of Transformers comics, movies, cartoons, and toys, Jazz had a grappling hook, so High Moon took it and ran with it. Sure, why not? Sounds good to us.

The segment that was shown off had Jazz fighting against more than a dozen sniper enemies. He needed to continuously leap between different platforms with his grapple, avoiding fire and returning it whenever possible. It was dizzying at first, but eventually turned into an awesome, tense battle that was unlike anything in War for Cybertron.

6. Or Optimus Prime's control of the massive Metroplex...

Since Optimus is the last of the Primes, his special ability gives him control of a massive, "city-sized" Transformer named Metroplex (not pictured, sadly). Metroplex is absolutely colossal, and by targeting an enemy, building, or location with his special ability, Optimus can call in the support of the goliath. 

His support comes in a few different context-sensitive flavors. Sometimes he'll unleash a barrage of missiles from off-screen, acting like air support in a war game. Other times, he'll directly interact with objects, punching buildings or stomping on enemies. Metroplex is absolutely massive, and we can't wait to order him around like a pet, destroying our foes while we ramble about freedom being the right of all sentient beings. 

7. Or the Combaticons' ability to turn into Bruticus... 

Even cooler than controlling a massive Transformer from afar is actually being one, and that's just what the Combaticons can do. We watched as five Transformers became one, Voltron-ing together into the brutal Bruticus.

This, alone, was awesome, but the way that High Moon used each of their abilities was really what got us excited. The helicopter Combaticon, for instance, latched onto the arm, and let Bruticus use his blades as a shield. It's efficient, and makes complete sense... you know, for a game about giant robots.

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21 comments

  • stelios-zanbaten - March 12, 2012 4:02 a.m.

    @Foz, You are incorrect. The Autobots LOST with the sacking of Iacon, the last Autobot held city on Cybertron. They are facing extinction. Megatron and his Decepticons wiped out the vast majority of the Autobots over thier several million year war. There are two reason why Optimus ordered the evac. One was because Cybertron can no longer support life and second is because Megatron believes if you're not with him, you're dead. @MrUnReAL136 The transformers race is born with the abilitly to take alternate forms. It is what gives them thier designation or purpose. It is more than just thier form of trasportation.
  • psycho ninja 4 - February 21, 2012 12:17 a.m.

    hey a transformer game that sounds fairly decent.I always liked the transformer franchise but the games never held my interest. This sounds like its going to be great.
  • farsided - February 20, 2012 9:53 p.m.

    So Hollander, it's the 20th. The end of the NDA placed by Arenanet on all the sites that got to beta Guild Wars 2. And I notice once again Gamesradar has no coverage, which is why I'm assuming that I was right: you guys didn't get in. Pretty fair considering how bad you snubbed it.
  • GR HollanderCooper - February 28, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    It was our number 8 most anticipated game of the year. How is that snubbing it?
  • Travia220 - February 20, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    To bad it's not coming to PC.. doesn't matter I guess... the first one was a really bad console port.
  • IceBlueKirby - February 20, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    I had a lot of fun with War for Cybertron, and I'm not even a big Transformers fan, so that speaks to the fact that the devs managed to make an engaging game that was as much fun for someone like me who wasn't familiar with the brand as it was for die-hard fans. With that in mind, I have high expectations for Fall of Cybertron, and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival. But it had better damn well have a kick ass credits theme.
  • MrUnReAL136 - February 20, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    being unfamiliar with the transformer cannon can somebody explain to me why the transformers need to transformer into ear like vehicles seen as there is no real necessity to be in disguise ?
  • codystovall - February 20, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    u meant earth? ill assume u did. because awesome thats why.
  • angelusdlion - February 20, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    I don't mean to sound like a smartass, this is an honest answer... but . Because flying as a jet or rolling out as a vehicle is faster than walking when you have a long ways to go?
  • Pwnz0r3d - February 20, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    They don't do it to disguise, which is why they turn into obvious alien tech. Like angelus said, they only do it because its faster than walking.
  • JJBSterling - February 20, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    I just hope the customization is better, in WfC it was disappointing and lacking in many ways.
  • adamhowes - February 20, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    This sounds to good to be true i loved the first so this is going to be awesome!
  • codystovall - February 20, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Foam is coming out of my lungs due to excitement.
  • inkyspot - February 20, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    I would love to see a demo for this.
  • ObliqueZombie - February 20, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    Looks beyond promising, I can't wait to delve into it. I loved the first one, even if others didn't so much, and this one just looks to shape things up.
  • rballa2 - February 20, 2012 7:31 a.m.

    Where is the goddamn Talkradar?
  • Moondoggie1157 - February 20, 2012 7:42 a.m.

    Yea I have been trying to get an answer to that all weekend... I've got mad withdrawal...
  • FOZ - February 20, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    When did the Autobots lose? Megatron made Cybertron uninhabitable for a million years, that's hardly a victory. It sounds pretty good though.
  • ObliqueZombie - February 20, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    Sounds like a lose to me, since they were trying to preserve their home and not let Megatron poison Cybertron. I wouldn't exactly call the Decepticon's decision a win, either, but hey, he wanted to do that I guess.
  • FOZ - February 20, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    I didn't watch the tv show, so all I have to go on is the game's plot. Megatron thought infecting the core with Dark Energon would give him control of the planet. Instead it forced it to shut down and recover for a million years. Obviously Megatron isn't trying to destroy Cybertron, as he spends half the game rambling about returning it to its "former glory." The reason the Autobots will be at a disadvantage is because Optimus had most of them evacuate, not because they lost the war like the article makes it out to be.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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