May 31, 2014

Video Game Review: Transistor

When an indie team does something great with their first release it is impossible for any of their future titles to not be compared to the first. Luckily for Supergiant, Transistor takes some of the ideas from Bastion and improves upon them greatly. When you select "New Story" after booting up Bastion the game starts you off as the silent protagonist "The Kid." You then begin to move the character around and the second thing you notice is the scraggly voice of a man narrating The Kid's every move. You hear the man mention something about how the world is falling apart due to the Calamity and the world literally starts to fall beneath the feet of The Kid. To a lot of people the narrations never really felt necessary besides the occasional sentence or two about the lore of the particular level you might be in. It made for a cool effect, but didn't really add much to the story of the world. And that was the thing Bastion really lacked, a way to get people into its story. Transistor on the other hand takes its story and puts it right in the face of the player before they even have the chance to do anything else.

"Red are you there?"
The moment you start the game there are no options presented to you, the game just starts. Music begins to play in the background and you are greeted with an image. There you see a woman standing above a man with a large sword thrust through his chest. The sword begins to light up and you hear the words "Red, are you there?" In the first sentence the game already has set its story up far better than Bastion had.

When you hear the name Red you automatically know its the woman standing above the body. The player also gets the sense that something tragic has happened from the look on Red's face and the fact that there is a giant sword sticking out of a man. Wait a second, is the guy with the sword sticking out of his chest the one that was talking? If he is dead and the sword was glowing does that mean he is the sword? And before the game has even begun the player knows who the two main characters are and wants to know more about the story. Quickly after some of the player's questions are answered. You find out that the man is in fact part of the blade that Red wields, the blade somehow can absorb things from people, and the blade has absorbed Red's voice so the man will be doing all of the talking. Any of this sound familiar? We have our silent protagonist and our narrator, but this time the reason the protagonist is silent and the reason the narrator is narrating is a main plot point.

Final Say: Transistor is turning out to be fairly long experience definitely worth the $20. The only gripe people had with Supergiant's first game has been greatly improved and there is little to complain about thus far. Transistor is turning out to be an adventure every gamer should experience.

1 comment: