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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 461 Ratings

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  • Summary: Transistor is a science-fiction themed action RPG set in a futuristic city where players will take on the role of a young woman who gains control of an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin after a mysterious group of assailants nearly kills her with it.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. 100
    Breathtaking presentation plus creative combat plus a metaverse of metaphors equals a romance that is brief, but oh so captivating.
  2. May 20, 2014
    90
    From its surreal setting and enigmatic characters, to its surprising upgrade system and combat, Transistor is a game that is happy to let you discover its charms over time. For players willing to accept a slightly more opaque experience than many games, Transistor offers an escape into a strange and enchanting world.
  3. Jun 24, 2014
    90
    Without being weird and unrecognizable as a video game, Transistor turns many video game tropes on their heads—subtley.
  4. May 21, 2014
    80
    It isn't a bad story, with plenty of intrigue from its setting and characters. The issue comes in when it tries to take a leap into the realm of allegory, where it never ties itself together thematically in a satisfying way. In that way, Transistor is like a virtual croissant. It is layered and delicious, but there is a lingering airy emptiness to it that makes it hard to fill up on just one.
  5. Jul 25, 2014
    80
    After completing the game I almost instantly returned to it for another 9 hours of New Game+ and after I’m done with it I’ll do 9 more. Or maybe twice as much. [07/2014, p.52]
  6. Jun 5, 2014
    80
    Transistor is no pioneer of the genre, but it is not afraid to be "special". It's a game which squeezes emotions out of you, and which will reward you with its both greatly written and put story, and enjoyable gameplay. This is a must for everyone who seek intense gaming experiences.
  7. May 20, 2014
    40
    I recall Bastion feeling far more open ended, offering me a scoring challenge and plenty of incentive to boost the difficulty level. But Transistor commits the cardinal sin of not making me want to keep going. It feels as if it’s ended before it’s over. The new game plus should be the opportunity to flex everything I’ve unlocked and yet here I am using the same tools, with no reason to raise the difficulty because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all it has to offer.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 72
  2. Negative: 3 out of 72
  1. May 20, 2014
    10
    This is the first game from supergiant done completely on their own (Warner Bros. published Bastion) and it is a testament to what indie studios can accomplish when they aren't fettered by a large studio. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with Transistor and while it is the spiritual successor to Bastion a lot of it is very different and everything that it borrows from Bastion is improved.

    The art style, music, and narration are all in the same vein as Bastion, which is to say they are a masterpiece. The artwork is very beautiful especially during cutscenes and found myself taking screen shots constantly for desktop backgrounds, etc. The music is a big part of the experience as well, and just as in Bastion, both the music and the artwork set the scene. I would not say they improved on Bastion because that would be saying Bastion was flawed in those aspects. And Bastion is more of a western feel while Transistor is very much a cyber-punk game. However, the artwork is more detailed, rich, and beautiful, probably due to the fact that this is a newer game. I also feel that the music is a bit more developed and varied. The narration is also wonderful.

    The gameplay has changed significantly from Bastion, so if you're expecting the fun but rather simple gameplay of Bastion, you will be pleasantly surprised. In Transistor, you only have one weapon, if you can call it that. Your weapon looks like a sword, but it is more like a computer that you can upload programs to. Those programs are your powers and you pick them up as you progress through the game. The awesome thing about these programs is that they have three different uses. You can use them as active powers, passive powers, or you can use them to alter other active powers. For example, you have an area of effect attack, and an attack that gets enemies to fight for you. You can alter the AOE attack with the conversion attack and you have an AOE attack that converts enemies. This obviously gives you an immense amount of flexibility in combat and very different gameplay styles and approaches to defeating your enemies.

    These programs/abilities are then socketed onto your sword, which is the Transistor of the games title. In keeping with the cyberpunk theme, your Transistor has a limited amount of RAM...each program uses different levels of RAM...some only take up one space of RAM, others take up more. Another cool thing about your Transistor is that it is the narrator for your game...I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give away the story, but it all makes sense a little while into the game.

    Another thing that makes the gameplay very fun is that you can pause time on the battlefield. While paused, you can move around the battlefield, and choose which powers you want to use and which enemies you want to target. This allows you to escape when surrounded, or flank your enemies (since attacks from behind do more damage). This gives the game a turn-based feel to it. It does not really feel like a hack and slash at all...you can use your powers in real-time as well, but when facing very powerful enemies, you will die very quickly when using that tactic.

    I have not actually died yet while playing but I have discovered another thing about the gameplay in almost doing so. When you're health bar gets to zero, you don't immediately die, you simply lose one of the programs you have socketed into your Transistor. My assumption is that you will die after you lose all four programs. This also requires you to carefully plan how you which programs you use and how you have them modified, etc. Just another thing that makes this game awesome.

    Finally, the story is very intriguing. You play as Red who is a famous artist and singer. Apparently, there's a group called the Camerati (sounds kind of Mafia-ish) who is angry at you for some reason and they try to kill you. They have also killed the other important people in the city you live in (called Cloudbank). That is all I can say since I don't want to give anything important away. But I can say that the story is very intriguing and every aspect of the game helps tell it.
    Expand
  2. Oct 12, 2014
    10
    This is my favourite game of all time. It has a beautiful art style that is truly unparalleled, an innovative combat system, a heart wrenching story, a mysterious and vague but incredibly deep setting and a soundtrack that you'll still be listening to a year later. Expand
  3. May 21, 2014
    10
    Wonderful Beautiful game. Everything about it is gorgeous. Game can be challenging, but avoids being unfair. Features exist to amp up difficulty if needed. Well worth the money - I even bought the sound track. If you play, be sure to unlock and read the 'Function Data' as a lot of the story hides there. Expand
  4. Jun 15, 2014
    9
    One word: Amazing
    This game is wonderful for the eyes, and fun for the mind. Who loves lores will find a lot of them, who like strategy will
    find a lot of power and hundred of powerful combination of them, who likes games must play this game! Expand
  5. May 21, 2014
    9
    A fantastic game. The soundtrack and visual design alone warrant a purchase, but an impressively deep and rewarding combat system paired with a mysterious and emotional story seal the deal. It takes some time and effort to work out the story, and some of the attacks seem much better than others, but I absolutely loved everything about the rest of it. Easily one of my all-time favourites. Expand
  6. Jun 10, 2014
    8
    Pros:
    -Great Atmosphere
    -Great Music
    -Fun and rewarding combat with many different play styles depending what Functions you choose
    -The
    Narration doesn't get annoying

    Cons:
    -Very Short
    -Story was a little confusing till the end (reading the character profiles help)
    -The limiters were either pointless or borderline unfair
    Expand
  7. Nov 3, 2014
    4
    Oh man, what a disappointment. I love cyberpunk, recently I gave the full score to Shadowrun, the music is absolutely fantastic, including beautiful female vocals, the combat system is definitely interesting with really cool option to mix all your skills from active, to upgrades, to passive, even the art style screams creativity, although I'm not the biggest fan of all that rainbow colors everywhere. But... first of all, the story never got me. I tried hard to get into it, read all the terminals and all the information about characters from the skill info's, but I just never really started to care. When you break down the activity that you're doing in this game, 90% of your time you're just going forward from one fight to another, that's it, another fight, another fight, another fight. It stopped being entertaining very soon, it got repetitive and the game doesn't have anything else to offer. On top of that the narrator (the sword) is just annoying beyond imagination, every time he started with his terrible voice I just wanted to tell him to STFU already, but he never did. I almost never had fun playing this game and even if I would, it just ends too quickly. I finished it under 5 hours, which for me was a salvation that it's over and I can move on to some other interesting titles, but for someone who likes the game, the length is another big minus. I never played Bastion, but if it's anything like this, I probably never will. What good is it that the game is unique, creative and has an amazing soundtrack when it all leads to such a boring, short and repetitive experience that does such a poor job in captivating you in it's world and in it's story. I wanted to like it, but unfortunately left very disappointed. 4/10 Expand

See all 72 User Reviews

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