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

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 573 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 87
  2. Negative: 5 out of 87
  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 indieThis 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.
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  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 wrenchingThis 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 22, 2014
    10
    wow, i am blown away. The game caught me by surprise. I love the old school anime style with backgrounds that for some reason remind me onwow, i am blown away. The game caught me by surprise. I love the old school anime style with backgrounds that for some reason remind me on "Metropolis" by Rintaro with an infusion of Ghost in a Shell.
    The music is great, so is the portrayal of characters. While many games fall into a trap of exceeding storytelling at the cost of gameplay, Transistor manages to remain a "game" throughout.

    I tried hard to think of elements to complain about, but cannot find any significant thing. All in all a rare gem, well worth the price. For me, more than a game, it is a piece of style and art. a clear 10/10 from me.
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  4. Jun 2, 2014
    9
    Every single thing in this game is beautiful. The amazing art, the fantastic soundtrack, the story, the ambient and how everything worksEvery single thing in this game is beautiful. The amazing art, the fantastic soundtrack, the story, the ambient and how everything works together. Supergiant became my favorite indie studio after the release of this game, i loved bastion and i loved Transistor even more. I didn't rated 10 because the game is too short =/ Expand
  5. Nov 4, 2014
    9
    If you enjoyed Bastion, Transistor will not disappoint you. A masterpiece in terms of indie games, and one of the few studios that gained myIf you enjoyed Bastion, Transistor will not disappoint you. A masterpiece in terms of indie games, and one of the few studios that gained my trust, keep on going! Expand
  6. May 22, 2014
    8
    It is very innovative game. Its gameplay is based on active pause in real-time which is rare in nowaday games, but it's very fun andIt is very innovative game. Its gameplay is based on active pause in real-time which is rare in nowaday games, but it's very fun and satisfactory to play. Also, the idea of limiters (you achive ten while progressing, by turning them on the game becomes harder in various ways but you get more experience) is one of the best ideas to new systems in games in the last past years. Talking about graphic: What can i talk about, there is only one word to describe it- Artistic. Music is in my opinion the best part of this game, soundtrack is just phenomenal, and discovering new song by beating chalanges is enough for me to spend a few additional hours on listening to music and discovering the next ones. Now to the most important thing in games to me, plot. The story in game is good, it didn't sticked in to the ground but it is consistent. Characters are, well, for me they are a bit shallow, but maybe it is only my opinion. For me it is strong 8/10 And i look forward to see the next games of this studio :) Expand
  7. Jun 22, 2015
    4
    Unfortunately I couldn't really get into it. None of the game's aspects seemed to appeal to me. The combat gets repetitive very quickly, withUnfortunately I couldn't really get into it. None of the game's aspects seemed to appeal to me. The combat gets repetitive very quickly, with most abilities doing nothing more than simply dealing damage, there's not much of a story, and the narrator's voice is pretty distracting, and I wish he'd stop talking because he never has anything interesting to say.

    I couldn't really enjoy the art or the music either. The visuals don't look cyberpunkish to me. They don't even look general sci-fi. The main character looks like she belongs in a Final Fantasy game, the enemies all look pretty identical, and those white-grey blocks... I don't know what they're supposed to be, but they look like candles to me. And the music doesn't fit the sci-fi theme either. It just sounds... romantic.

    Also, nothing was ever explained. I was thrust into a confusing special abilities menu and had to figure out how on Earth to equip them and so on.

    I can see why some people would enjoy this game, but it's most certainly not for me.
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See all 87 User Reviews

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