After I’d had my fill of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris I decided I would try out a little game called Transistor.
This title was put together by the people who brought you Bastion, so it has some pedigree. I never played Bastion, but after a cursory internet search, it seemed that transistor sounded like just my cup of tea.
Turn based, SF, strategy action RPG by a team known for their story driven games? I’m in.
Here’s the blurb from Supergiant’s website…
Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites players to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as they fight through a stunning futuristic city. The game seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling. During the course of the adventure, players will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as they pursue its former owners.
…and you can check out their launch trailer over on Youtube – here
Well at first, I was slightly disappointed. Having heard people talk about this game (mostly on the various game podcasts I listen to) I did not expect what I got.
While it is sort of turn based, it’s more of an action game, and it’s not *really* turn based…Okay, I’ll try to explain.
So, you run around the world all in real time, and when a battle starts it turns into a sort of battle arena type thing…
Battle arena – bordered area showing limits of attack zone.
The world outside of a specific area becomes off limits and you then have two options. You can run around and do attacks in real time or you can use a specific amount of power to pause the game and plan your moves and attacks, executing them quickly when you activate.
I preferred to play like this. Then running around avoiding attacks while your power bar builds up again.
The basics are very simple to pick up, you quickly get the hang of the various attacks mapped to the face buttons. Although, as you’d expect in a game of this type the number of attacks you have increases as you level up through the game, unlocking new power ups for “Transistor”. These RPG style power ups have a primary attack and can be mapped to any of the face buttons, or a secondary function that can be added to other power ups or used as a passive power. This really affects how you can play the game, with either area of effect attacks or focused single attacks and can be changed around depending on the boss or number of enemies you are fighting.
Dotted around the world are pods that allow you to re-spec your powers and change the way it plays.
Okay, so I kind of glossed over something there. “Transistor”. Transistor is a sword that you find at the start of the game that has a personality and talks to you throughout the game. The story is a very interesting one tied in to computer viruses, and disappearing buildings and such. I don’t want to say much more in case I accidentally spoil it for anyone wanting to play it if they haven’t already.
Graphically it has a brilliant style. A fixed, isometric camera and neon showing the world off in full glory. Cut scenes are illustrated with water colour style images which I really liked (seriously, scroll back up and watch the trailer if you skipped it). At no point did I feel like there was a clash. Everything just felt polished and well drawn, well animated and it was…well… fun.
The audio was brilliant. I have to admit to being a little bit more geeky that usual and leaving the game on while I was cleaning or pottering in the house.
It didn’t take a huge chunk of time to play through and I have to admit that I felt a little surprised when I’d finished it.
Which was exactly what I wanted. Something fun and different. The dev team delivered, big time and I have to admit I am intrigued by Supergiant’s new game, Pyre…