The demo for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is now available on Xbox Live and PSN, and it’s actually a pretty thorough one. Not only do you get to try out a couple levels from the single player campaign, one as Bumblebee and one as the Decepticon Vortex, but you can also try out the multiplayer and the new “build your own Transformer” feature. We’ll talk more about the multiplayer in another update soon, but for right now, we just wanted to share some quick thoughts on the two single-player levels you can test out in the demo.
The Autobot level with Bumblebee serves more as a tutorial than anything else, and obviously comes early in the game. You’ll learn the basics for controls and some of the nifty things you can do as a transforming robot. While not exactly a cover-based game in the sense that you’ll be “sticking” to cover like in Ghost Recon or Gears of War, making use of cover is important, and one of the nice additions is the ability to switch which arms your weapons are on.
The Decepticon level with Vortex gives us a sense of the vertical and airborne gameplay. The levels are bigger and more open, with an early section being an on-rails flying segment that transitions into more traditional run and gun and then opens up into a large area where you can have the choice to attack on the ground or take to the air. Flight controls are easy to transition to, and a nice thing about the game is it gives you plenty of options to customize controls to your liking. Taking to the air is a nice change of pace from running around or even just driving, and the moments where you can transition back and forth from air and ground during combat are a lot of fun.
As for some of our general impressions; the combat is a lot fun, and it’s fast and fluid. There seems to be a better mix of melee and ranged combat this time around, or at least I found more moments to combine the two more naturally. There appear to be plenty of opportunities to upgrade and customize characters, which is always a lot of fun. The levels were nicely paced, giving you moments to play both in robot and vehicle form. The environments still feel a bit too similar, but then, on a giant robotic planet, it’s hard to get away from everything looking metallic and, well, robotic.
All in all, the demo really gave me a positive feeling about the single player campaign. The last game was fun, but quickly felt very samey. The fact that there will be more options for customizing weapons, loadouts and perks gives me hope that the “blast away at everything in sight in slightly different looking robotic corridors” gameplay of the last game will be a bit more diverse this time around, especially if there are more of those bigger levels that allow you fight both on land and in the air, whichever you prefer.
The game looks great, definitely has that Transformers feel, is fun to play, and it’s always cool to be a huge, transforming robot. So if the levels can keep things interesting, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron looks as though it can be one of those sequels that takes the solid foundation of the first game and then builds something better. Again, we’ll have our impressions from the multiplayer portion of the demo soon, and look for Fall of Cybertron later this month (August 21st to be precise).