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Transformers: War for Cybertron first-look

Compared to the mediocre Transformersgames currently available onXbox 360 and PS3, War for Cybertronshares more in common with Gears of War than it does with its predecessors. It looks meatier, moves faster and has a much greater emphasis on in-your-face spectacle than the monotone, often-static gameplay of Revenge of the Fallen.

It's all thanks to High Moon Studios'reimagining of the series. The developer pitched its modernised vision of first-generation Transformers to Hasbro who liked the idea so much, it's spawned a new line of toys with a novel to follow. But with the game at the heart of this new wave, everything's geared towards making this a compelling videogame rather than a mere money-makingexercise.

Above: Concept art that was shown at the event, next to in-game graphics

For the most-part, it's a third-person, over-the-shoulder shooter with Call of Duty-style controls. You can hold the left trigger to look down the sights of your gun (or through the scope of a sniper rifle), melee attack by pushing in the right stick and double-jump by using a quick burst from your jets. OK, so CoD doesn't have jet-powered double jumps, but it would be awesome if it did.

Game of two halves

The story is split into two halves. It begins with the Decepticon's seigecampaign and then concludes with the Autobots' defense of Cybertron. You can choose to play either campaign right from the start, so you can choose your favoured side right from the get-go.

Above: Which side will you fight for first?

Despite the reboot, the game still fits into Transformers canon, set before Optimus Prime had become leader of the Autobots, before he had met Bumblebee and while Starscream was still just a rebellious outlaw. The game features Optimus, Bumblebee and Ratchet as playable characters, while the Decepticon trio of Skywarp, Thundercracker and Starscream make up the opposing side.

Above:Some of the enemies are big and they're all well-animated

Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.