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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 441 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
    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
    Without being weird and unrecognizable as a video game, Transistor turns many video game tropes on their heads—subtley.
  4. May 21, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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: 61 out of 68
  2. Negative: 2 out of 68
  1. May 20, 2014
    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 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.
  2. Sep 2, 2014
    It made me cry in the end. The story is perfect. We just fall into it and feels what the characters are feeling. All the music and voices are perfect and creates the necessary atmosphere. I really like playing it. Expand
  3. May 22, 2014
    Just one word is enough to describe this game: "masterpiece". Transistor has everything that made Bastion a great game. With a more tactical combat, fascinating visuals, a great sci-fi atmosphere and another excellent soundtrack from Darren Korb; this game is even better! Expand
  4. Jun 9, 2014
    Ever heard of a game called Bastion? Its won the Game of the year award in 2011 and 100 more others to count on , the makers SUPERGIANT ,have added another to their list called the “Transistor” . Transistor as I would call it,is a Game Musical.A Top-down isometric view game which comprises of mix of real-time and turn-based combat.


    Red is a lounge singer in Cloudbank City who is attacked one night by a mysterious organization called the Process. Red loses her voice and awakens next to a dead man impaled with a talking sword. This sword is the “Transistor“, which speaks to her as she travels and seems to know her very well. At the same time, strange creatures are infesting the city and attacking anyone they find, and Red has to battle through them with hopes of stopping the Process

    Much of Transistor‘s plot is told organically as you play, but a great deal of the narrative context is reserved for text character biographies which unlock as you progress. Red’s sword is the primary Transistor features a constant story telling from Red’s sword and offers a lot of play-by-play commentary.Red communicates through text in a few instances and has expressive animations.

    When it comes to gameplay. Red can use one of four powers in real time, or she can enter turn mode—time freezes and she can plan out her next actions. However, Red can’t use any offensive abilities for a short period after her turn ends, forcing one to be extremely strategic when using it.

    In addition, Red has many different sets of abilities and upgrades that give the player many possible builds to work with. Each new ability can be used as an active primary action, used as an upgrade for an existing action, or be used in a passive slot to gain things like health regeneration or more actions per turn. All manner of play-styles are supported, making the game extremely adaptable to personal preference.

    transistor 2An impressive selection of enemies maintains a steady challenge curve throughout Red’s journey. The insidious Process take many forms, and each attacks and defends in its own way. One might fling out grenade-like area attacks, while another hides in a corner projecting an energy shield onto an ally. Even as one enemy charges headlong toward you, another hangs back and remains phased out and impervious to damage until you come within line of sight. Each battle becomes a puzzle, and the solution lies in which enemies to hit first, and what powers will best do the job.

    The artwork is absolutely gorgeous,along with the soundtrack, Transistor‘s aesthetics deserve every bit of credit that’s been given to them. In between fights, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. Lush color brings life to the computerized cityscape of Cloudbank, while brief still-life cut scenes help push the story forward. A striking soundtrack combines jazz and electronica to great effect.

    While I have passed very little time on Bastion , and a lot of comparison happening between the two , I would find the game not very disappointing. Though,players looking to find all the answers by the time the credits are likely to be disappointed. Transistor is as much about what is left unsaid as what is explained. But what made me fall in love with the game is the soundtrack which works extremely well in context with the game.
  5. May 21, 2014
    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. Aug 16, 2014
    Red rocks and I didn't expect less than this from Supergiant Games. When I first played Bastion I found it extremely innovative and fresh and now what? Transistor is even more innovative. Gameplay and camera are similar to their previous title, I don't deny it but they didn't have to change these factors cuz they're already cool enough. Sometimes I think that I'm more relaxed by playing these low sized independent games rather than playing famous blockbuster ones. I can't forget how enjoyable "Torchlight" was and now Transistor gives me the similar joy. Don't lose it pals, it's worth it. Expand
  7. May 25, 2014
    Where do I start? The travesty. Random lines which the Transistor gives you get really annoying because they don't contribute anything. It's a case where 'less is better.' The way this game is unique. You could say the features of most games are unique even if they are really similar.

    The combat system is somewhat interesting, utilizing an unusual form of real-time with pause-on-turn. You can choose when to take a turn, you can move whenever you actually like (besides during the execution of a turn). You can take many actions or you can forgo it altogether, so the system gives you a choice or flexible experience, it can be played in different ways. The issue with this system is that a turn based system has more strategy and a real-time system feels less frustrating. Because turns let you do so much, it still ends up rather spammy and there is a lot of lee-way besides when the game is not difficult, so when the game is easy, it's just a bore, the game has to always be challenging and it wasn't. I get the feeling that most people enjoyed the system just because of the execution of turns (result of actions plus eye-candy) and the fact that it was fresh or unique.

    The skill system is great and for people familiar with games such as Path of Exile, Diablo, it will be familiar and easy to grasp. I don't have any particular complaints about balance.

    The music is, well, some parts are great, sometimes the music distracts from the game. In the field at some points it gets really repetitive. If there was more minimal ambient, it would of helped the atmosphere a lot and avoid a lot of the repetition, and take out the cheap beats. The humming was actually my favourite thing, although that could of been minimized when you pause. Less is better.

    Ultimately, repetitive, music and sounds could of been so much better, graphics are gorgeous, story is okay but put forward well. I didn't enjoy it much and I think it is overrated.

See all 68 User Reviews