With Transistor, Supergiant Games created a beautiful, unique and enjoyable world.

By Andy, Posted 17 Jun 2014

Once you enter the world of Transistor you are immediately playing the game. There's no hand holding, explanation, or long winded tutorial. There's the protagonist Red, her companion, which comes in the form of a strange sword that also serves as the player's narrator, and the road ahead of you.

Transistor,Review,Sci-Fi,Action,RPG,Role Playing,Supergiant Games,Screenshots

Transistor is set in the city of Cloudbank which is a futuristic city with a cyberpunk vibe. Cloudbank is presented through a set camera that gives an overhead, isometric viewpoint of the world. While progressing through this city you will come across various terminals which will convey small parts of what is happening in Cloudbank as a news update. The terminals sometimes will additionally allow a player to participate in a survey about social events of the city, or even select the type of weather. These interactions give the player a feeling that the entirety of Cloudbank is actually run by a computer program, but leaves enough ambiguity to not give a definitive answer about what Cloudbank really is.

Within moments of entering Cloudbank you encounter your first set of enemies, which the game largely leaves you to deal with on your own. Once the combat begins, a white boundary line appears which puts the battle into an arena type area. You are able to move about this area freely to attack or evade the enemy.

Transistor,Review,Sci-Fi,Action,RPG,Role Playing,Supergiant Games,Screenshots

You will have the choice of attacking your enemy in real time with quick button presses, or you have the option to freeze the action for a more deliberate approach (or to simply catch your breath). If you choose to freeze the action, you will be presented with a bar that represents how many actions you can take during your turn. While you are planning your attack, you can see precisely how much of your bar is being used with a particular action, as well as how effective an attack will be against your enemy. If you do not like what you see, it's a simple button press to rewind what you've done and try something different.

Throughout the campaign, Red will level up and gain new attacks and abilities. You will have the option to assign the abilities as an attack or use them as a modifier on another attack. Combing these abilities creates a new offensive ability, and up to two modifiers can be used per primary attack. This system allows for a great deal of exploration to discover new, more powerful attacks.

Transistor,Review,Sci-Fi,Action,RPG,Role Playing,Supergiant Games,Screenshots

Transistor also includes a negative modifier which can be utilized by the player. These do things such as make Red weak to a certain type of attack or when an enemy is defeated, shorten their potential respawn timer. This negative modification comes with the positive effect of adding experience earned after a victory. It's a balanced risk reward system, one in which the punishment isn't too harsh, yet the gains are also just enough to make you want to equip the modifier.

The enemies encountered throughout Cloudbank begin with the very simple, but ramp up steadily through the game. These enemies become tough enough that by the end I was convinced that I wouldn't make it through any more encounters. By using the modification system to make sure I was using the best attacks for my play style, and methodically attacking and retreating, I was able to emerge victorious from these fights.

Playing through Transistor is an enjoyable, if formulaic experience, with the player advancing down a linear path, engaging in combat, and then advancing further down that path. While there are some interactive points along this path which will give the player a glimpse into what happened to set the state for Transistor (as well as life in Cloudbank), there's not a lot of exploration or variation in the game.

Transistor,Review,Sci-Fi,Action,RPG,Role Playing,Supergiant Games,Screenshots

With Transistor, Supergiant Games created a beautiful, unique and enjoyable world. Unfortunately, the game is so focused that you're not offered the opportunity to really explore or experience this world. I can't help but feel Cloudbank has more mysteries to experience and villains to combat, and that Transistor was only the beginning of something larger than this single game.

Andy (@workgamesleep), NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS3
Publisher(s): Supergiant Games
Developer(s): Supergiant Games
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2014-05-20

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