Thread: Transistor
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Posted 2017-05-08, 12:31 AM in reply to !King_Amazon!'s post starting "I actually played a couple of hours..."
Alright, so I feel like giving a more in-depth analysis at this point now that I've reached my likely conclusion to playing the game. Let's start with the good.


Graphics/Audio

Hands-down, this is the biggest selling point of the game and certainly where it shines. It looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful, and as mentioned in the OP the soundtrack is phenomenal. There's really not much more to say here. 10/10.


Story

I don't even really know what to say here. I've played several hours into the game and I still have no idea what is going on. It has gotten to the point that I don't even bother reading most of the flavor text anymore because it is literally meaningless to me and feels like a waste of time. Maybe there is actually some real story to this game, but it is so overly obscured that it almost feels like understanding/following the story is the biggest challenge of the game. Personally, I'm not a fan of this sort of obtuse narrative. Maybe I've missed something, or maybe I just lack the patience, I don't know. The one thing I will say is that some of the writing can be pretty entertaining, particularly when the main character is making a comment on some terminal or something, but that's really the only good thing I can say. For me, the story gets a 2/10, and it's lucky to get that. Perhaps if I forced myself to finish the game my rating would change, but sadly I don't think that will ever happen.


Gameplay

Alright, so in general the gameplay is similar in style to most action RPGs, though it is also lacking a lot of the things that I think really give flavor to action RPGs, such as quests, loot/equipment, stats, etc. If you are looking for that sort of action RPG experience, this game will be a pretty big disappointment. So far as I can tell, the only way your character ever really evolves is regarding skills, and even then in a pretty limited fashion. When you level up, you get a choice of Functions (basically, skills) and eventually you start getting Permissions (which "unlock" certain features such as passive slots, extra upgrade slots, etc.) and Limiters (which give a bonus to experience at the cost of higher difficulty in various forms.) Unfortunately, as far as I can tell the choices you make here really don't matter, as if you choose one Function over another you'll be given the option of choosing the other Function at a later point anyway (and presumably you eventually unlock all of them.) Thus, the only thing your choices really affect is how soon or how late you get access to a given Function. As far as the Limiters go, I like the fact that you have the option to increase the difficulty as the combat seems overly easy, at least for as far into the game as I played. However, the small bonuses to experience seem practically pointless and at times almost insultingly low considering the costs. For instance, there is a Limiter that DOUBLES the damage of all enemies but gives you only a 4% bonus to experience. As far as the Functions go, there are some interesting ones and the incredibly large number of ways you can combine them for different effects is pretty interesting as well, but I never really felt compelled to explore this to maximize my potential. The game was just far too easy, and for the most part I could get away with spamming the same skill over and over (and often even forgot what Function I was using, because it didn't matter) since there's no "mana" style resource or cooldown or anything like that for the vast majority of the Functions. The Turn() feature (basically equivalent to V.A.T.S. in the later Fallout games) is pretty neat, but I found myself not bothering with it most of the time because it just slowed me down unnecessarily and came with some annoyances of its own, such as it indicating that an attack would hit an enemy when it actually wouldn't, or the first couple of queue'd moves causing the later moves to fail (for example, by knocking enemies out of the way.) Perhaps with some practice it would get less annoying/more useful, but as mentioned I never really felt compelled to use it because I could just spam skills to kill everything anyway. The few times I did use it, I didn't find that it was valuable enough to justify the "cooldown" period afterwards where you can do ~nothing but run around (save for some exceptions through use of upgrades) like an idiot.

I also feel the need to comment on the linearity of the game. Despite the snarky comment in the OP, I actually do enjoy movies and TV shows, but the linearity of this game is pretty painful IMO, and I'm not one to usually complain about linearity in games. But this game almost feels like it is "on rails." Even games like Diablo III, which is a largely linear game, gives you breaks from the linearity by having quest hubs to go back to for various reasons, bosses/areas that are worth running repeatedly for rewards, etc. There's nothing like that in this game so far as I can tell, and even if you wanted to go back and explore some area you have been to previously for some reason I don't think you can. The worst part of all of this to me though is that the flavor of the game never seems to change. Every area I go to looks similar to the last, the small variety of enemy types are all overly similar and almost completely lacking in character...and I found myself getting incredibly bored after a while. I never had a feeling of "I wonder what I might find in this next area" because I pretty much already knew before I got there. More of the same. Imagine playing Diablo 2, but instead of the different acts having a variety of themes (plains, desert, swamp, etc), they were all just an extension of the Act 1 theme.

All-in-all, I found the gameplay to be pretty disappointing. There's a lot of potential here and a lot of good ideas, but the execution is just all wrong to me, and the lack of NPCs/quest hubs/items/etc. really makes the game feel pretty shallow despite the very deep skill system. Gameplay gets a 5/10 from me, not abysmal but nothing to write home about.

Overall

I can't really recommend this game to many people, particularly fans of typical ARPGs. If you really dig cyberpunk themes or overly obscure narratives, maybe this is your thing. If the idea of spending hours playing with different skill combinations (even when it isn't really necessary as far as I can tell) sounds fun to you, you might like it. Overall, though, my recommendation is to steer clear of the game and just buy the soundtrack, as that is the only part of the game that is worth your money.
D3V: I need to get on zelaron more. I'm having withdrawls.
Skurai: You should be used to withdrawls by now, D3V.
!King_Amazon!: It's "withdrawals" you illiterate douchebags
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