Eerily beautiful, mysterious and enchanting are the first words which were left spinning in my mind after the first couple of hours spent playing Transistor. Created by the amazing Supergiant Games, Transistor is the second proof that this indie studio has bright future ahead thanks to an already amazing portfolio.
There are certain elements one could recognize from Bastion, but there are so many new things that it is nigh impossible to draw direct comparison between the two. Probably having a narrator as a real – although thoroughly imaginary in Transistor – companion and guide through the world of the game is the thing that strikes as the most obvious similarity.
At the same time, the nature of the narrator couldn’t be more different, which sets a completely different mood throughout the entire experience. Who he actually is would remain a mystery for a good portion of the game and I have no intention spoiling it for you, but his voice is wry and knowledgeable, but also convoluted and unclear on certain details.
In other words, he is like the entire world of the game, which hold its secrets. Still, the attentive eye and the sharp ear would learn a great deal about what this strange futuristic reality is and what the laws of the society are. A society in which Red, the heroine of this game, is a very important part. Or at least was one, until recent events changed the course of her life and potentially the course of the world as a whole.
I would spare you more details on the plot of the game to allow you to savor it fully for yourself.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, Transistor has to offer ingeniously well-working mix of real-time action and strategic turn-based moves across the battlefield.
Red has 4 skills to unleash against the various enemies in her path. She can very well do this in a quick frenzy of moves but the real trump up her sleeve is the fact that she can freeze time (or move lightning fast, whichever you prefer) for a while. In this brief window you can plan your moves and strike the enemies with ferocity or run away from them, setting up a different approach. There are quite a few ways to utilize the full potential of this ability and one has to uncover them all in order to deal with the adversaries.
Red’s 4 core abilities can be developed in an interesting fashion as she gains levels, enabling her to be even more devastating and efficient during her speed boosts. There are plenty of combinations one can try out. The good part is that each tactic could be tested because the upgrades can be rearranged at any save point.
Transistor is a beautiful experience all around thanks to its fantastic graphics and absolutely stunning soundtrack. For those of you who have played Bastion this might not be that surprising but Supergiant Games have done a fabulous job here too. The world of the game is drawn with style and artistic insight, which befits the gameplay like nothing else.
It is really hard to tell whether the graphics are better than the sound, which is masterfully composed on all levels. For the music lovers among you, this is a real gem of a soundtrack and should not be missed.
In fact, this is true for the entire game, which will stimulate all the senses, including both heart and mind, and will reward you exquisitely in its unique and unforgettable way.
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