Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron Breathes New Life Into Classic Characters

Transformers is not just about giant robots shooting other giant robots. It's about giant robots shooting other giant robots with character. During a presentation of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron last week, High Moon Studios showed me a fast-paced action game filled with rich characters that never came across as robotic.

I mean, who cares if the planet of pocket calculators with guns is falling apart? The draw of the Transformers, whether the viewer realises it or not, is the exploration of human behaviour through these shining robotic puppets. It's one of the reasons fans of the original series don't always take kindly to the more alien interpretation of the Autobots and Decepticons in the films. The reason those movies have so many human actors is so we'll have someone to relate to; in the original cartoons we just related to the robots.

So a successful Transformers game has to capture that same spirit. High Moon Studios did a fair job of this in War for Cybertron, sprinkling the action with entertaining dialog between friends and enemies alike. With its recently-announced top notch voice talent and a stronger sense of urgency, Fall of Cybertron is shaping up to deliver a deeper, more personal story about giant robots shooting other giant robots than ever before.

It certainly helps that the original voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, is reprising his role once more in this game. Beast Wars' Gary Chalk (Optimus Primal) might have had more range, but nothing resonates with Transformers fans quite like Cullen's John Wayne-tinged tones. He is Optimus Prime.

And for fans, Grimlock will always be Mr Gregg Berger. Gregg has been voicing cartoons for ages, and his video game voice repertoire spans everything from Halo to Final Fantasy, but for countless robotic dinosaur aficionados he will also be the man that said "Me, Grimlock" several hundred thousand times.

These two legends lend credibility to a cast made up of mostly big name fill-ins for beloved favourites. Nolan North, the man I believe is contractually obligated to be in every video game developed, lends his pipes to Bruticus, Cliffjumper (he's perfect) and Brawl. Fred Tatasciore, my favourite Hulk, is on Megatron duty, while also voicing Ratchet and the massive Metroplex. Steve Blum handles Shockwave, Swindle and Sharpshot, while Isaac Singleton goes monotone for Soundwave.

My favourite performance, however, came from the amazing Troy Baker. After watching the Autobot Jazz bantering with his partner in anti-crime, Cliffjumper, I had to check with the High Moon rep to make sure the original Jazz, Scatman Crothers, hadn't be magically resurrected. Baker is amazing, and I'm sure his stint as Jetfire and the Insecticon Kickback are just as good.

So character is not a problem for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Now all we need to do is convince Hasbro to give Bumblebee back his damn voice and we'll be ready to roll out later this year.


    I rate the inclusion of Metroplex and the Dinobots within the series, all I need now is Blaster to join the frey and I'm set!

      Blaster was awesome! I still remember very fondly that Christmas where I saved him from his paper wrapping enclosure. Ah, those were the days.

      Now where is Omega Supreme? Surely he can battle alongside Metroplex.

    Sadly I can barely remember anything of all the Transformers I watched as a kid, somehow I watched and loved the hell out of it and apparently didn't actually have any idea what was going on. Or just didn't absorb enough to remember it later in life.

    But so much want. War For Cybertron was cool, and this looks even better.

    Frank Welker isn't coming back as Megatron?! Fred Tatasciore is a BRILLIANT voice actor in his own right, but to me Fark Welker voicing Megatron is as iconic as Peter Cullen voicing Optimus!
    Although, I'm beyond excited to see Gregg Berger return as Grimlock!

    Frank Welker in Transformers:Prime has been great. Has that WFC (and even Bayformers) vibe to it...but at times when he really gets the shits the old school 80s Megatron husky voice creeps in.

      Welker said back in 2010 that he changed the voice to give TF Prime's Megatron more acting range. In the same video he did the G1 voice to contrast, and it was much higher and well, more cartoony. Basically, Welker's voice right now is probably what Michael Bay claimed he would have wanted Welkwer to do (when Welker sent in an audition tape for Megatron).

    I feel like an excited 10 year old on Christmas eve for this game.

    Still sooooo frustrated there is no super-awesome collectors edition that comes with a Grimlock... or ANYONE!!!
    *cries into hands*
    In fact there is no CE AT ALL! :(

    At least i'll still be able to buy the toys i guess...

    War for Cybertron is sitting in my pile of shame - really need to whip it out and give it a burl in the near future because this is looking like a day one purchase for me.

      Highly recommended, it's not a long game (probably 5 hours) and both campaigns are very satisfying. You don't need to play the multiplayer as it doesn't add too much.

    His voice just gives me chills, so much nostalgia tied up in those gravely tones.

    Optimus is such a strong character too, he's like the moral compass in the Transformers world, other autobots are good, but none can match him, especially since he carries so much weight on his metal shoulders being the leader of the autobots. It can mean that he comes across a little bit boring as a character, but Cullen breathes so much life and uniqueness into the role, I love how he seems battle worn and weary, but will always rise up to the challenge.

    It will be interesting to see just how much more developed the story and characters are compared to other transformers media. Looking forward to this and hope they can pull it off.

      Judging by WFC's example, I seriously doubt High Moon can give much depth to the characters or do that much with the story, UNLESS they did work with Hasbro to bulk up the universe. The WFC and Fall of Cybertron games officially take place in the Transformers Prime universe, and Hasbro's backstory for that is considerably more interesting than what we got in the last game.

      If you want well-developed characters and story for current Transformers, check out Transformers Prime. It's probably the best Transformers show since Beast Wars.

    Anyone else notice the rating at the start? Animated blood? From... who?

      Grimlock can make metal bleed, oh yes.

      The last game shouldn't have even been rated M - it was robots shooting one another, nothing different to your run of the mill morning cartoons on channel 11.

    A man is speaking with the voice of Optimus Prime, Does not compute

    Would have like to see leonard nimoy or frank welker voice megatron but I'll save my judgement till the game comes out

    "These two legends lend credibility to a cast"

    Why does this lend credibility at all? I love the fact that they hired Peter Cullen for the voice, but that means diddly squat for the quality of the game. I loved WFC, but everyone should go into these things with a grain of salt, it just means they gave the voice actors a big cheque. It's like people forgot that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had Peter Cullen as well.

      Well, even if it's more of WFC i'd love it, so I don't see why I need a grain of salt, revenge of the fallen is completely unrelated, has nothing to do with the game or studio.

    And at LAST I want to get Transformers again!! So happy- I've been waiting almost twenty years for this :D. I haven't stopped loving them all along; I just didn't like how they were changed. HOORAH!!

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