Supergiant games has just released its second title, Transistor, which takes place in and around the fictious city of Cloudbank. Cloudbank is currently enduring an unexpected population shift and things are in the process of becoming chaotic. Meanwhile a popular singer, Red, comes to possess a powerful sword called the Transistor. Apparently someone would have preferred that it go through her than be in her hands. Nevertheless, she is armed and is seeking answers about the state of her beloved city.
The gameplay is from an isometric viewpoint and the narrative is conveyed through dialogue delivered by the sword itself. Early on it is quite evident that the Transistor and Red are familiar with each other. However Red, having just had her voice taken from her, is unable to communicate with the sword; she mitigates this by using terminals found throughout Cloudbank. The Transistor is quite loquacious and can even be heard through the dualshock 4, should you choose to turn it on(I did).
The game is linear, however the openness can be found in its combat. It can be conducted in real-time but the planning mode is truly enjoyable. Battles can be paused and you can queue up a series of moves and attacks. This may not sound exciting but when you’ve created a powerful, and hopefully successful, sequence, pulling it off never got old. Transistor offers a multitude of offensive and defensive powers. What truly impresses is that every ability can be active, passive and be used in tandem. The learning curve is admittedly a moving target but that’s part of the appeal. Just when you get comfortable using some old favorites the game forces you to mix things up.
The writing and voice overs are truly engaging. You really get a sense of who everyone is whether they are in a living body or not. Transistor allows players to learn and discover the mysteries of Cloudbank along with Red at a perfect pace. There are portions of the story that are only told through the many terminals but they are not hard to find. Beautiful visuals and sounds accompany a narrative-rich and action-packed experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome and is not to be missed.
Recommendation*: Worth a buy
Full Disclosure: This game was provided to GameEnthus by the developer.
Genre: action RPGesque with turn-based combat elements
Developer: Supergiant Games Publisher: Supergiant Games
Platforms: PS4, PC
Worth a buy – paying full price for fans of the series or genre makes sense – often includes a caveat
Worth a buy on sale – not quite full price worthy but close, – often includes a caveat
Rent – rent before buying
No – borrow it if you must play it
Please no – Don’t waste any time and/or money on it