Since the Supergiant Games debuted with “Bastion” in 2011, greeted by jubilant storms from critics and audiences, the next game in an estimated series of genres has been a long-awaited event.
The colorful eye-catcher in trailers and promotional material, now drawn by the company’s brushguru Jen Zee, is so soulful and different from most produced.
At the same time, we have assumed that because the ” Bastion ” was just as delicious to rest your eyes in actual gameplay as on the poster, ” Transistor ” would be. And that’s it.
Mysterious beings and machines
In addition, we have expected or hoped for several of the good qualities that together made the “Bastion” a memorable and beloved award winner.
First and foremost, we remember the narrator of the game, a wise and authorious old-fashioned voice who followed us every step of the way and commented on everything we did, in the middle layer between warm humor and bloody seriousness.
Tradition believes follows the “Transistor” and once again brings us to exciting fighting against mysterious creatures and machines ruled by unknown forces, among the remains of a society that has fallen completely together at the height of its greatness.
Together in death
The immediate difference, and apparently the starting point for the idea of the game, is a new proximity and a symmetrical relationship between the protagonist and the voice that follows her.
We play a former pop singer named Red, which at the start of the game is deprived of his speech and his girlfriend. The latter dies, but is given eternal life and consciousness inside the mysterious, swearing Transistor.
Instead of a narrator’s comments on the half-trashy actions of a testing player, this time we are followed by the voice of a sorrowing boyfriend. He is more similar to Cortana from “Halo” than the narrator of “Bastion” when he comforts, heals and encourages adversity and struggle, and colorizes the story in his own perspective.
From time to time he tries to penetrate the heart of Red and on us, with sticky love declarations.
In the center of the game there is thus a sad story of lost love. She can not speak and he is dead and lives in a sword.
The main story of the game is, more often than not, its very weakest point. There are already enough movies, books and games about beautiful people who will avenge their dead girlfriends, and go to battle against evil robotic weapons ruled by crazy conspirators and authorities that really meant creating an ideal world order.
Replications and other texts are also exitingly written, and the symmetry between the two is slanted.
She is a pop star, but has thus been deprived of speaking ability. About the deceased, we will not know more than they were girlfriends, and at the same time he is the one person we hear talking through almost the whole game.
Good is that he is well-written and often has something cool to say, especially in the frustration of the stupidity of the girlfriend.
When the story is deaf, it’s good to have an exciting voice to say that you are in dialogue while you’re playing through it.
The combat system, on the other hand, is not recyclable, so formfast, deep and delicious to handle.
The transistor, which can capture the consciousness of dead people and the “memory” about them, transforms these resources into “functions” used in combat. Each memory can act as an active attack, or as an upgrade to another attack, or as passive gain.
Rather than new swords with +3 in damage, we regularly receive new, different functions, as it also requires a certain amount of time and effort to fully understand.
The range of features, and the possibilities for different combinations are large and varied to the extent that it carries the game alone. Players of the better MOBA games and traditional RPGs may appreciate the “Transistor”. To a much greater degree than the “Bastion” this is a tactical game.
Klin like robots
In combat, however, one faces an overall choice, where correct answers are not always the same.
The fighting can be fought in real time, where there is little or no cooling time on the attacks, and it shines colors, glitter and light all over the place as you throw away from inhibitory effects, harmful effects and other flaws.
Alternatively, Red, using the Transistor, can enter a so-called “turn” where she has a certain amount of action. A tactic is planned while the time is still. Then the attacks are performed in so-called “super time” before time starts again, and Red must rest for a few seconds before she can do anything.
As it is often in games where the main focus is the aesthetic experience, “Transistor” is easy to learn and master at the first time. As Reds functions become more, enemies also get new aids. Additionally, you also have the option of turning off or on so-called “limitations” which in each specific way should inhibit Red or strengthen the bad robots.
Nevertheless, when I play with everyone enabled, it’s a bit too rare that I’m wrong to feel dead when I sweep through a series of clinically similar robots.
When the game is good
What eventually shifts the glass over and determines the “Transistor” as a memorable experience, are the good depictions at the retail level. The game’s atmosphere and background history (except the main thread) are of a quality I associate with really good, historically-driven classics in the adventure game hunter.
In addition to saving the city, Red and Swords can explore carefully designed, delimited areas, which Supergiant Games has decorated with viewable objects, small activities that can be performed, and biographies and text pieces that can be read.
Basic pleasures like going to bed or eating a cold pizza that is left before the apocalypse are being honored, with nice pictures and comments from the dead girlfriend like the girlfriend’s death.
Additionally, enemies and anything else that can be interacted with given a “state”. An enemy can be “crashed” or “weakened” while a beach ball on the beach is bounced 84 times.
Between the bats you can clap the Robot Luna or lie in the hammock and watch the stars.
Throughout the game I’m followed by a warm and calm mood, robot war despite. A fun instrumental popbeat follows Red in all moments, as she also can stop and humiliate whenever I hold a button. The same humiliation sounds sound we are in the planning phase of battle, perhaps because we are “inside” the mind of the whole world.
“Transistor” is something as nice as an action game that takes food, cosiness and soul seriously. In addition to contributing to a world I want to explore, these things make me more interested in the characters and their feelings and prehistory.
A celebration of colors
In addition, I sometimes wonder if some of the game’s motifs may have a symbolic value I have not managed to decode. Magic swords, loving robotic dogs and bad robots with names like “young lady”, “cheerleader”, “jerk”, “creep” and the everlasting snapshots that incessantly take pictures of Red may be associated with her former life as a civilian and as a singer.
That the girlfriend would take the form of just a sword might also be added to some meaning.
And, in Red’s relationship with civilization, it may be that the overall history of the game stands out of the sticky corner described above. The project of the bad conspirators and robots seems to be sprawling the city white and clean, free from color and chaos. The city is going to be a “blank canvas,” while the sword is a almighty brush they want to take back from Red.
I’m sitting and irritating me over the robots, precisely because they destroy the parts of the game I like most, and such a thing constitutes a good design attack.
As we already know before we start, “Transistor” is first and foremost a game we expect to appreciate for the fine graphics and the gloomy, little sexy atmosphere; generally for the beautiful aesthetics we remember after playing “Bastion” in the first place.
Things like fighting systems and exciting enemies, RPG elements and mood feeling come second and need only be good enough for us to engage.
In “Transistor” these things are far better done than I expected, and nice experiences and mysterious discoveries await the one who is looking.
Nevertheless: Are you of those who have never had the new story in a game, but play for themselves at the center of challenge, learning and headwriting as the main motivation, you might be better entertained with soccer or ‘DOTA 2’.
“Transistor” is released to PC today, PlayStation 4 owners in Europe get tomorrow (21 May).
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