Review code kindly provided by Supergiant Games
I get it! I actually get it!
It’s tempting for reviewers to judge games irrespective of whether they get to grips with them or not. Up until just a few days ago, I struggled with Transistor, but I’m happy to say that I finally get it. I initially struggled to understand it and felt unsure as to whether I liked it or not, but all that has now changed.
A Little Bit about Storyline
The game’s storyline takes place in a city called Cloudbank. The player’s first introduction to Red and Transistor results in big questions! The story is somewhat cryptic but more is revealed as you progress through the game. The game’s antagonists are the Camerata, who are in pursuit of Red. The robotic menace opposing Red was created and controlled by the Camerata. I haven’t reached the end of the game yet, but the story and narration keep drawing me back, and I hope to conclude Red’s story in the next couple of days.
More about the Battle System.
I’m so glad that this element of the game has finally clicked. By default, the player has 4 active function slots which are used to activate various Transistor functions. At the start, two slots are taken up with Crash and Breach, but more becomes available either by absorbing the souls of the dead or by levelling Red up to the next level. Each function slot also has two unlockable upgrade slots which can be used to mix and modify functions, to improve weapon stats. There are also unlockable passive slots that help to boost Red’s abilities even further.
What I enjoy about this system is that it enables gamers to experiment by combining and swapping functions. The nerd in me enjoys reading the extensive detail about each function and trying to find effective combinations through experimentation. If players want to play around, even more, they can use limiters that boost Red’s Levelling up percentage and also strengthens opposing forces.
Red herself has an energy bar which if depleted results in function overload. If this happens, functions are rendered useless unless they can be repaired by using one of Cloudbanks access points. Successful repairs depend on the number of access points visited.
More about the Turn Function
I alluded to the Turn Function in my previous post, but I thought it would be good to share more about it here. It’s essential to get to grips with this particular element to enjoy the game to its fullest.
Once activated, the turn function freezes time, which enables Red to plot a plan of attack. Once in Turn mode, everything on screen apart from Red and prospective targets is blacked out. Each planned move and attack depletes the bar placed at the top of the screen. Some functions will drain the bar quicker than others. Gamers can either exhaust the Turn bar by being all-out offensive, but I find being tactical is far more productive. I tend to take my time, consider the type and damage rating of each target, and try to use any available cover by using Jaunt and walls.
I also recommend that players wait before activating Turn to make sure that enemies are in optimal positions. O yes, walking in Turn mode severely depletes the energy bar; This makes Jaunt more practical if larger movements are needed.
That’s all for Now!
I hope my 2nd Transistor Play blog has been helpful. I also hope that our coverage is making you think more about the game.
As an extra treat, the video below features an interview with composer Darren Korb from Supergiant Games. The featured discussion comes from PAX 2014, and it gives game footage as well as a taste of the game’s soundtrack.