I’ve always been a huge fan of Transformers. That’s not to say that I blindly and unquestioningly enjoy everything that carries the name, of course – bar the first one, I’m most definitely not a fan of Michael Bay’s take on the franchise, to put it mildly – but ever since the toys and cartoon first appeared on the scene in the mid-80s, I was obsessed.
Transformers: Cybertron Adventures for the Wii was first released in 2010, as a sort of companion game to the excellent Transformers: War for Cybertron, which was released on PS3, XBox 360 and PC at the same time. With all three of those platforms being far more advanced – from a technical point of view – than Nintendo’s little white console, it isn’t surprising that the game the Wii received was significantly cut back in comparison.
War for Cybertron was an excellent game – and still is, despite being outclassed in every way by its successor, Fall of Cybertron. Both of those games are third person action adventures, with a focus on the near-eternal war on the home planet of the Transformers – none of those pesky, annoying human characters that populate the Bay films get any time here. Though the designs sit somewhere between the G1 characters and the weighty, elaborate realism of the Bayformers, they’re closer to the former – which makes them much more appealing, in my opinion. We didn’t see this style in live action until last year’s excellent Bumblebee movie, which very much felt like a long overdue overhaul for the franchise.
I’m digressing, however. The Transformer designs in Cybertron Adventures are identical to those in War for Cybertron – albeit at a vastly inferior level of detail. Likewise for the environments of Cybertron itself; it looka and feels very similar, just at a disappointingly low level of detail and resolution.
Unfortunately, the gameplay also takes a hit. Shorn of the third person run and gun action – taking place in vast, open levels – Cybertron Adventures is instead an awkward combination of on-rails shooter and very basic, frustratingly buggy driving/vehicle combat game.
The good news is that the shooting sections, which see your character moving between points of cover and flicking between different weapons to deal with a variety of situations on the fly, are really well done and pretty addictive. The voiceovers are excellent and the character design, as mentioned above, is fantastic. The dull, sparsely detailed environments and characters didn’t bother me as they may have done at the time of release, coming out as the game did within a few days of its much more impressive sibling.
As mentioned, the vehicle sections are pretty weak. Though you get to take control of a number of different, high-profile Transformers characters, they feel weak and pretty unresponsive in vehicle form. I encountered a number of sections where my character would simply fall through the scenery too, forcing a restart at an earlier checkpoint.
The game isn’t particularly long, but there’s an upside here too: as with its more technologically enhanced brother, War for Cybertron, you have two campaigns – Autobot or Deception) to play through, essentially telling both sides of the same story.
Though it does have issues, I’ve had a blast with Cybertron Adventures. It feels like a companion piece to War for Cybertron and, despite not being the most attractive game in the world, does have some excellent, albeit in-engine, cut scenes; the story is definitely worth seeing through to the end on both sides.
Another selling point right now is that it can be purchased pre-owned for just a few quid; perhaps that’s another reason I didn’t feel like it deserved to be slated; it’s most definitely worth playing for such a low price.
It’s a shame that the vehicle sections aren’t up to scratch, but the fun of the on-rails shooter portion of the game does make up for this.
At current prices, I’d most definitely recommend Cybertron Adventures as a fun, simple diversion; just be aware of the issues mentioned above.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this – or any of my other content – it’d be much appreciated if you’re able to share this article via social media. I’d also be forever grateful if you’re able to support me via: Ko-Fi.com/geekmid – which would assist me in writing even more content just like this. Above all else though, thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!