With all of the hype / conflict around the Transformer movies and Michael Bay it make sense that when you hear about a Transformers video game you might think it would be related to the movies. At the same time you would be wrong. Transformers War for Cybertron tells the story of the beginning of the war between the Decepticons and Autobots on Cybertron. The interesting part of the game is that you play through the story of both Decepticons and Autobots. At first glance it can seem like a simple shooter game, but you are playing as a transformer, which means you get to transform and that is a lot of the fun of the game.
This game is about 4 years old at this point and I still need to play through the sequel Fall of Cybertron, but it is a game that I do not think got enough love for what it was.
Not Connected to the Movies
The most important thing is probably that these games seem to have no connection to the movies. What it does seem to be is the story of before the Transformers came to Earth when Cybertron was still there home. It is kind of amazing because we get to see the Transformer home world and find out why the war was started. Having it not connected to the movies means that we get to have a different experience with the characters and not have to deal with the world and story created by Michael Bay, which in my opinion is a bonus.
I think my favorite part of the video game is the ability to transform. It is brilliant because you can be running along and then switch between running and then driving or flying. Each Transformer had a different set of abilities that they could utilize. On each level you chose the Transformer you wanted to play and then had two support characters to assist you. The transition between standing and vehicle worked seamlessly. You could be standing and firing one second running forward and then the next driving or flying, and still shooting.
Decepticons and Autobots
The start of the story you actually get to play the Decepticons as the try to take over Cybertron. It is fun playing the bad guys as they are sneaking around and facing off against the good guys. The Decepticons have very different powers from the Autobots, which makes it almost like playing two games in one. The interesting bit being that after you finish the Decepticon story you get to pick up where the situation left off, but now as the Autobots. So basically at the beginning of the game you start the destruction and at the end you are trying to save it. It was an interesting flip and the story was a great play through. All the parts were just challenging enough to be a challenge without being so difficult as to feel impossible.
The bad part about Transformers War of Cybertron is that we originally bought it thinking it would be two player, which it still seems like it could have been. Sadly, it was another game that turned out to be only online co-op. At first it did not seem like we would actually end up playing it, but eventually I did decide to start and end up really enjoying the game play. I am not usually a huge fan of first person shooters, but this actually functioned differently enough and had a good story to pull it off. The other part that I appreciated is that in the driving mode you had the option to change your perspective, because first person driving is a little bit more difficult. Overall I enjoyed the game and am sad there was not more talk about it, but I think the movies taint it a little bit.