A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is an action game rated for "Teens." Combat is the core mechanic. While fighting against giant, transformable machines, the action can be intense and frenetic. Enemies cry out when damaged and emit a bluish-black fluid that looks like blood.
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What's it about?
If you thought Disneyland was sensory overload, wait until you boot up Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, a new video game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC. You don’t need to be a fan of Hasbro’s Transformers franchise (toys, comics, TV shows, and movies), to dive into this action-heavy video game, but you’ll appreciate the story sequences better, which focus on the drawn-out war between the Autobots and Decepticons. In fact, you’ll play as both sides as they vie for control of their dying home world, Cybertron. Changing from giant ‘mech fighter to a vehicle (or other object), you’ll play as a number of familiar Autobots including Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, as well as lesser-known characters that make their video game debut, including Grimlock that changes into a fire-breathing T-Rex Dinobot. Each character has its own abilities, like Jazz’s grappling hook or Cliffjumper’s invisibility cloak to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies. You can even fly in some levels. Playable Decepticons include Brawl, Megatron, Kickback, and Shockwave, to name a few.
Is it any good?
This third-person sci-fi action game is in a word, intense. While fighting with weapons and massive fists through huge indoor and outdoor locations, laser fire whizzes past your head and explosions rock the environment. It’s as if Activision said "let’s add a little more Call of Duty to our next Transformers game." You’ll also perform moves like dashing forward, jumping over abysses, reloading ammo, and racing through wreckage –- in many cases, all at the same time. This chaotic excitement works -- but the game is not without its problems. For one, because both allies and enemies are transforming alien robots, it could be difficult to see the difference between friend and foe (hint: look for the red reticle when aiming at baddies). Secondly, the game feels like everything has been scripted for you and as long as you press the correct buttons at the right time, you’ll advance to the next section; contrast this with other games that make you feel like you’re the one in charge, such as the recent Sleeping Dogs. Finally, the enemy difficulty is not consistent – in one memorable scene you’re using cover to take down tough enemies, but while it builds up to a climactic "boss battle" you just need to tap a button on the controller when instructed and the epic showdown is over before you know it.
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