Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic 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. Jun 24, 2014
    100
    Gaming gold. It may be short, I clocked my first play through in around 6 hours, but it’s a beautiful 6 hours.
  3. May 23, 2014
    100
    From its combat mechanics and customisation, to the narrative and the visually orgasmic art-style, this is an experience to be savoured, to lock yourself away in the confines of your gaming boudoir and revel in its luxurious design and perfection.
  4. 100
    This unique blend of action and tactical RPG elements in one, along with the deep level of complexity, finds the combat to be enticing and addictive in its execution.
  5. Jun 24, 2014
    90
    Without being weird and unrecognizable as a video game, Transistor turns many video game tropes on their heads—subtley.
  6. 90
    It is a wonderful single-player experience, and I highly recommend escaping for a day into the colourful city of Cloudbank.
  7. May 20, 2014
    90
    Transistor is a wildly smart action-RPG that places all of its trust into your intelligence. Nothing from its cyberpunk story rife with mysteries, to its deep combat that encourages experimentation, is ever spelled out for you, which I personally loved.
  8. May 20, 2014
    90
    Despite some reservations with the ending, Transistor is captivating in ways that few other games can manage. It creates a place that we wanted to be a part of, learn more about, and most importantly didn’t want to leave. Transistor isn’t something you’ll forget about immediately after finishing it. Instead, it’s one that you’ll wish you could play again for the first time.
  9. 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.
  10. May 20, 2014
    90
    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.
  11. May 20, 2014
    90
    Transistor is another great indie game with awesome visuals, unforgettable OST and great gameplay mechanics.
  12. May 20, 2014
    90
    Like Bastion before it, Transistor is a lovingly crafted game by a dedicated and tight knit group of developers who strive not only to present us with a technically polished title, but one that keeps us interested throughout the entire journey.
  13. May 27, 2014
    85
    While I wasn't the biggest Bastion fan, Supergiant had definitely stepped things up with Transistor. Deep, stylish, fulfilling and concise, Transistor can easily be described in terms used for music rather than games—And like a great song, it stays in one's head long after the credits roll.
  14. May 22, 2014
    85
    A mysterious and futuristic trip with a strong narrative, superb atmosphere and strategic battle system. If you look for an A-RPG with a different experience it's definitely here.
  15. May 20, 2014
    85
    It’s oozing with style and aesthetic charm, and it drew me into its weird and wonderful world immediately. But its beauty is outshined by combat deep enough to sink into for hours and hours. The game’s vision is intoxicating, and its execution is inspired.
  16. May 20, 2014
    85
    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.
  17. May 26, 2014
    82
    Deeply atmospheric, featuring gorgeous visuals and a haunting soundtrack, as well as a combat system that serves as both a blessing and a curse, Transistor is most definitely not a blockbuster for everyone, in the sense that Bastion was. What we have here, is a deeply unapologetic sci-fi noir drama, that carves its own path through the dimly lit, fractalised, non-universe of Cloudbank. It will not hold your hand but it will richly reward those willing to work for its mysteries.
  18. 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]
  19. Jun 29, 2014
    80
    Gorgeously rendered and scored, if somewhat hazy when it comes to the actual story. [July 2014, p.54]
  20. Jun 28, 2014
    80
    A bit abstruse, but beautiful and engaging nonetheless. [Issue#250, p.69]
  21. Jun 9, 2014
    80
    Transistor isn’t perfect, there are issues with the combat system and sometimes the art gets in the way of the combat itself but that isn’t enough to deter this masterful execution of storytelling.
  22. 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.
  23. May 25, 2014
    80
    Strip away all of Transistor's cool neon-noir sci-fi trappings and the game's a love story between a woman and a sword.
  24. 80
    While it doesn’t quite live up to the magnificent standard set by Supergiant’s previous game Bastion, Transistor still makes its mark with deep gameplay and an engrossing story.
  25. May 21, 2014
    80
    If you're the exploratory type, you'd do best to direct that particular urge unto Transistor's elegant and stimulating combat system. Just smile past its empty corridors and thinner-than-you'd-like fiction and Red will glowingly smile right back at you.
  26. 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.
  27. May 20, 2014
    80
    While it would be hard to call Transistor disappointing, it's also impossible to say that it's as good as Supergiant Games' previous title. If the game had taken more time to explain its story, characters, and world, it probably would have been a more enjoyable experience.
  28. May 20, 2014
    80
    A brilliant and rewarding combat system propels a story that never becomes as interesting as it seemingly should.
  29. May 20, 2014
    80
    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.
  30. May 20, 2014
    74
    It doesn't really manage to combine brains and entertainment. That's a pity because it could be a great game.
  31. Aug 4, 2014
    70
    Besides killing enemies, there is not much to do; the entire game is a linear path from one small arena to the next one. Yes, there is a story, but in Bastion it was seamlessly integrated into gameplay, and here it only breaks the pace.
  32. May 20, 2014
    70
    Not all of the game’s bold ideas are entirely successful but in terms of the visuals, music, and storytelling ambition this is one of the most absorbing indie adventures of the year.
  33. May 20, 2014
    70
    Sometimes frustrating in terms of both gameplay and narrative, Transistor manages to be a redolent title with a ton of imagination. While not quite as clever as its presentation suggests, it's a pretty little title that ends on a beautifully bittersweet note.
  34. May 20, 2014
    70
    There’s a great game in Transistor, and a deceptive and strange world, and a touching character relationship between Red and the sword, even if it only makes sense once you’ve seen the ending cinematic. But Transistor won’t give you those things up front; you’ll have to earn them. That means putting up with a story that seems meaningless and a battle system that starts out feeling limited to the point of being potentially annoying.
  35. 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.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 414 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 65
  2. Negative: 2 out of 65
  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.
    Full Review »
  2. May 20, 2014
    9
    Masterpiece. Gorgeous art, fantastic hour and thirteen minute soundtrack, fleshed out main protagonist and great combat to tie it all together. Do yourself a favor and at least watch the trailer if you are on the edge of buying this great game. Transistor is a worthy followup to Bastion and I hope SuperGiant will keep up the great original work! Full Review »
  3. May 20, 2014
    5
    After the disappointment that was Wolfenstein, I figured at least I had Transistor to look forward to. Unfortunately I was wrong there too. Three hours in and the story behind this world makes little sense. The combat system is frustrating since it gives you bare minimum information on how to manipulate your skills (and even less information about switching skills). The top down view reminds the player of classic Shadowrun... without anywhere near the quality of the story. Speaking of story, when it feels like telling one at all, it's disjointed and lacks any kind of cohesion. Frankly this game feels like indie BS that's too trendy to try to tell a cohesive story or provide solid gameplay, certainly not in the same league as its predecessor, Bastion. Full Review »