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'Transformers: Fall of Cybertron': Adrenaline-fueled nostalgia

Like the slogan in the theme song of the ’80s cartoon series, there is definitely “more than meets the eye” in “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.”

High Moon Studios has given fans plenty to cheer about, finding a way to capture and expand the Transformers mythos in this T-rated game.

When I began playing the game, the 10-year-old in me was screaming “This is amazing!” The grown-up version of me was not far behind, praising the overall gameplay, story and look of the sequel to “Transformers: War for Cybertron.”

Characters from the last game, such as Optimus Prime, Megatron and Starscream, are back and great as ever to play as, but it’s the additions of Grimlock and even the combiner Bruticus that add a different dimension and raise the overall gameplay and destruction this time around.

While you can’t exactly play as the character, it is also great to see other familiar Autobots, such as massive transforming city Metroplex, whom Optimus Prime can call upon for artillery support.

I also liked the special abilities offered with some of these new featured characters and I particularly liked how they were perfectly woven into the gameplay. I had fun using Cliffjumper’s cloak for stealth attacks and using Jazz’s grappling hook to pull him across long distances or clear blocked passageways.

I also enjoyed the improved linear storytelling — each level is custom-made for certain characters, instead of having a couple of characters available to choose from for each level, making the narrative more focused. The story itself shines, and having it told from specific characters’ viewpoints holds your attention as these Transformers battle for survival in their final days on Cybertron.

All the characters look great on the screen, but the distinct background setting is what stood out. Instead of keeping to the stark, industrial passageways and tunnels of Cybertron, the game mixes it up with a variety of environments, including some wide-open spaces. Players can roam through the ancient battle-torn ruins of Cybertron or find themselves in a nasty subterranean sewer system.

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The musical score does a good job of complementing the action and setting the mood throughout the game. And the voice acting is top notch. Peter Cullen reprises his role from both the cartoon and the motion pictures as the gritty voice behind the Autobots’ leader, Optimus Prime.

The dialogue can be a little campy and predictable at times, falling back on and sometimes overusing familiar sayings from past series and films. But for longtime fans, it’s nostalgic.

While “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” offers a great campaign mode, the game maintains a fun, competitive multiplayer mode that lets you customize the look, weapon and armor of your character.

Bottom line: If you’re a fan of these robots-in-disguise, you’ll be happy. “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” is hands down the best Transformers game I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (tested) and PC

Online: www.transformersgame.com

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