Transistor is an early contender for one of the most engaging games of the year. It isn't Bastion 2, since it's more of a straight RPG than an action game, and the tone, characters and setting are quite different. It manages to craft an engaging and exciting RPG experience mixed with a simple but curiously enticing story, and its biggest sin is being over too soon. It won't necessarily appeal to all of Bastion's fans, but Transistor shows that Supergiant Games isn't just a one-hit wonder and is capable of crafting an entirely different kind of game experience that is still exciting and delightful.
Despite following in Bastion's footsteps, Transistor doesn't quite manage to deliver as compelling and memorable an experience, even though it has clearly been crafted with such heartfelt intent. Whilst the premise is full of mystery and intrigue, during the course of the short story it never really draws players in as it would have many people believe after its promising start. A case of style over substance, but still a game that deserves the attention of those after something original and rather beautiful - only wait till it goes on sale first.
People were looking for a really good follow up to Bastion, and that's what they've got here. Transistor is really smart, looks and sounds great, and will leave you wanting more when it's all over.
Of Supergiant's two games, 'Transistor' is second-best. I'll always commend a studio for opting to be different, and in some ways it pays off for Supergiant, while in others it doesn't. The combat system is compelling at first, but generally not balanced enough to compel me to keep going in a second playthrough. The story is at first mysterious but eventually underwhelming, despite a strong emotional core in its two lead characters, and the city of Cloudbank shines brightly in just one way, and so feels dull after about an hour.
If you'd told me five years ago that a game of this scope, and this level of polish, would come out of a twelve-person indie studio, I'd have thought you were nuts…but here we are. Transistor is easily one of the best things I've played so far this year, and in a field of games made by hundred-person teams and with hundred-million-dollar budgets, that's an extraordinary feat.
As pretty as the game looks and sounds, it just doesn't make up for shallow gameplay and a story that really fell flat for me in the end. At least I was able to complete it in six hours, so the tedium didn't last for that long.
There's not a single area in which Transistor doesn't shine beautifully. It is objectively short and very linear which many will see as a negative, but it really works to make a tight package in Transistor's case.
Is Transistor worth your time? Well, I'm here to say that yes, it absolutely is. Stunning visuals, heart-breaking but well-written narrative (with a few rushed bits here and there), brilliant sound design, and a fun and rewarding battle system are some of the things you'll be signing up for if you purchase this game. And for a paltry twenty dollar pricetag (or your regional equivalent), you could do a hell of a lot worse. Transistor is a moody, atmospheric, tragic love story, and it's absolutely wonderful. A few pitfalls keep it from being perfect, but I'd still recommend it to anyone who loves games.
Transistor is a beautiful, absorbing and well thought out game that encourages you to get creative with its system and carve out your own approach to defeating your opponents. Want superb aesthetics, compelling backstory and tactically engaging gameplay? Look no further.
Transistor is a rare breed of game where there is not much else to compare it too. It is a shortish adventure but is so well designed that you will most likely want to jump straight back in and unlock that last trophy (yes it has a platinum!). I enjoyed it more than Bastion and can only hope it will lead to a sequel from Supergiant Games.