A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while Transformers: War for Cybertron is violent, it is a sci-fi brawler between robots. In this war between machines, you can shoot at or whack enemies and watch as they explode, but there is no blood or gore. However, there is plenty of weapons -- including huge machine guns -- and frenetic battle scenes. The game allows players to be a "bad guy" (Decepticons) for half of the single-player game and in many multiplayer modes. Plus, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers can talk with other players online, if desired, via a headset microphone.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
While the next Transformers film won't hit the big screen until 2011, fans of the blockbuster series can now get their hands on a new small screen adventure. TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON is a third-person shooter that lets you engage in epic battles as both the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, as these robotic soldiers fight for control of their home planet, Cybertron. As you'd expect from a videogame based on Hasbro's popular toy line, there's plenty of frenetic action, high-tech weaponry, and the ability to convert from robot to vehicle, on demand. For the first time in Activision's Transformers game series, there's a good number of online multiplayer modes, including head-to-head matches, team-based games, and a drop-in/drop-out co-op option.
Is it any good?
Transformers: War For Cybertron has its good points, but it isn't perfect. While the multiplayer modes are a blast, and the ability to create your own fighter is a good idea, the game has its share of problems. The install time is long (we had to sit through the 20-odd minute installation process on the PS3 version tested for this review), and the gameplay in the solo campaign proved to be overly repetitive. That is, you merely take down groups of enemies, move onto the next area and repeat the process again. Sure, there are a couple of big moments, like facing big bosses with limited ammo, but it seems most of the attention when making this game was put on the myriad of multiplayer options instead of infusing innovation into the story mode. What's more, Cybertron's metallic environments lack visual variety and the enemy A.I. (artificial intelligence) is less-than-intelligent. Unless you're wild about multiplayer, fans of Transformers movies or toys might opt for renting this game over a weekend instead of dropping up to $60 on this disc.
Note: the Nintendo Wii version is a different game altogether, called Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, and was not tested for this review.
Online interaction: The game focuses heavily on multiplayer modes -- in the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions -- and this includes head-to-head and co-op options. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players can talk via a headset microphone in online games, if desired, and this option opens up kids to hearing profanity and other unpredictable language.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not video games should allow players to assume the role of the enemy, such as the evil Decepticons bent on destruction. If games do allow players to be a malevolent fighter, should there be consequences and repercussions? What can kids learn by playing as the bad guy?
This game is based on Hasbro's toys and movies. Did you buy the game because you like these toys or movies?