While we're still working on our review of Transistor, it seems like the game is doing quite well among our fellow video game critics. Of course this is great news for Supergiant Games, since this is only their second game, following the amazing Bastion.
Transistor’s the kind of game that made me immediately jump back in to take on New Game Plus. I wanted to continue exploring the excellent combat in new, more challenging scenarios. I wanted to double back on the areas that I’d missed the first time through, and try to fill in the gaps of the fantastic story. But most of all, I wasn’t ready to leave Red or her world behind
There’s an inscrutable quality to Transistor that makes it so easy to get lost in. Everything has a soft glow, making the world feel ethereal and filled with ghosts, which makes sense given the game’s story. A great catastrophe has happened in Cloudbank, the city where Transistor is set, and relentless, predatory life forms roam the streets, attacking anything they see. These organisms are part of a collective known as the Process and it’s acting like a cancer, growing and consuming until there’s nothing left.
Enjoy the artful approach to science-fiction, enjoy the hoops Supergiant's jumped through to position you in the right place to engage with its combat, and you can even enjoy the very fact that the game often struggles to get its deeper messages across. After all, if the developer had something straightforward to say, it might not have had to make a game in the first place.
Supergiant Games hasn't delivered a wholly new experience with Transistor but it's still an enjoyable game that's well made and has wonderful art and sound. The new tactical combat is welcome and there's some real enjoyment to be had in tinkering around with all of the available Functions. However, if parts of Bastion left you cold, then you may find the similar structure of Transistor and its themes will have a hard time winning you over.
Transistor is always a good-looking game, but in these instances, it demonstrates a rare knack for combining its visuals and music to powerfully convey both narrative information and tone, driving the story forward with Red's own unwavering resolve. So in the end, yes, Transistor is a fun action role-playing game with a neat combat system, but beautiful moments like these make it more than that. They make it a game with a soul.