In fact, the combat itself suffers from the same thing. Since you can play the two campaigns in either order, both of them have similar difficulty curves, and the number of set pieces is ultimately limited. Battles will feel repetitious by the end, but it's a testament the title's solid core gameplay (and the awesome transformation mechanic) that they still remain pretty fun when all is said and done.
Though the game is perfectly enjoyable solo, it also becomes much more fun when you're playing it with a friend. The entire campaign from beginning to end features various three-man teams, meaning it's heavily built around co-op play, and given that your friendly AI has a tendency to glitch out and get stuck every now and then, having other people at the controls is definitely a plus.
While the multiplayer also features many of the same features and gametypes you've come to expect in games these days (deathmatch, CTF, territory control), it again speaks to the strength of the core gameplay that it can be as fun as it is. Thanks to the maneuverability of the vehicles and the wide, labyrinthine environments, multiplayer combat in War for Cybertron is a mobile, chaotic affair that takes place on as many vertical planes as it does horizontal ones. It feels like a genuine part of the game instead of just a hasty add-on, and the Escalation gameplay mode may be the best version of the "Nazi Zombies" survival challenge that we've seen yet.
All in all, Transformers: War for Cybertron is not just a good Transformers game, but a good game period. It's not without flaws, and it isn't quite as stellar as last year's Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it is a well-made, entertaining game that has clearly been put together by people who love the Transformers. Many of the original voice actors show up, and those that couldn't are replaced by people who fill their shoes fairly well. It's a love letter to the robots in disguise, and certainly deserves a place in the videogame library of anyone who likes the series.
Transform, roll out, and get this game.
Bottom Line: What could have been a generic third-person shooter is bolstered by solid gameplay and an awesome transformation mechanic that makes battles fast-paced and very mobile. The visuals and combat set pieces begin to get repetitious by the end, and the AI feels buggy, but the multiplayer is terrific fun - for the most part, it simply works well together.
Recommendation: Transformers fans should not go without. Otherwise, it's a very solid buy as we enter the mid-summer doldrums.
This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.
John Funk is more than meets the eye.