Game of the Year Transformers War forFall of Cybertron

first_imgStay on target For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!We just got a trailer for the new Transformers movie and guess what? It looks terrible! Transformers: The Last Knight looks like a bored A.I. cobbled together footage of previous movies, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Hopkins for some reason along with a sad cover of “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips. It’ll make one billion dollars.Let’s forget about that, though, and turn our attention towards Transformers things that aren’t abominations. Not only are the early 2010s video games Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron by High Moon Studios not terrible, they might be the best Transformers adaptations period. And collectively they’re this week’s Game of the Year.I like Transformers. It’s far and away the best toy commercial/cartoon of the 1980s, with only G.I. Joe coming somewhat close. Plus, Optimus Prime is a great character, when he’s a smart truck and when he’s a smart ape. Just not when he’s murdering helpless Leonard Nimoy begging for his life on the streets of Chicago. But I’m more a fan of Transformers lore and ideas more than any specific incarnation of the propertyA planet of robots that turn into cars is a fantastic premise still in search of an equally fantastic execution. I’ve enjoyed some of the cartoons as a kid, but they’re cheap and hit-or-miss. I don’t read the comics. Transformers Devastation has its beautiful Platinum moments. The 1987 film is pretty good overall, but most of that comes from hearing the final performance of master actor Orson Welles playing a toy who eat other toys. And the less said about the Michael Bay movies, the better.War for/Fall of Cybertron doesn’t deviate much from the original canon. They just make a lot of small, smart choices that fix some of the biggest problems with previous Transformers media. The robots look high-tech but recognizable and visually appealing. The entire game is set on Cybertron and deals with the social issues of its native inhabitants, so we don’t get bogged down is pointless human drama. The plot isn’t much deeper than the endless justification for Autobot vs. Decepticon action we’ve seen time and again, but seeing the struggle of these beings forced to leave their homeworld is just serious enough to be worth getting invested it. Plus, well-acted versions of characters like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Jazz, and Shockwave really sell you on the stakes. Even the games’ ridiculous, sad trailers are more compelling The Last Knight’s ridiculous, sad trailer.Even better, War for/Fall of Cybertron make good on the tantalizing gameplay possibilities of the Transformers concept. Balancing on-foot robot third-person shooting with fast-paced vehicular combat feels like being a Transformer. Players take advantage of the specific abilities unique to each character and faction. Controlling combiners like Bruticus or giants like Metroplex feels like being a god-child in charge of the universe’s most expensive Transformers playset. And taking on the role of Grimlock while rampaging through foes as robot T-Rex is as awesome as it sounds.These games have been compared to the Batman: Arkham series for how well they capture the imagined experience of a beloved mythos in gameplay form, and that’s not inaccurate. Multiplayer is serviceable, but the interconnected campaigns of these games, Fall of Cybertron especially, are the best Transformers simulators.However, for as good as these games are, there’s still room for a future Transformers adaptation to top them. The focus on Cybertron is admirable, but the plot is still only “video game good.” A Transformers movie that balances sci-fi action and Cybertronian drama through a little thing called “good writing” is still my dream project.Meanwhile, even the strength of the War for/Fall of Cybertron continuity couldn’t overpower the awful live-action movie continuity when they crossed over in the terrible Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, the last game in the series.Still, considering the alternatives, we have to hold onto all the quality Transformers material we can get our hands on. That’s why Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron earn this week’s Game of the Year award. It was either that or Angry Birds Transformers.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year! Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 last_img