Shockwaves: War For Cybertron PC UK Delay

By Alec Meer on June 23rd, 2010 at 11:51 pm.

Oh look, they've made Megatron's head into the Decepticon logo. That's not canon, etc

EDIT – Oh look, it is available after all. I am, as you might imagine, a teensy-little bit annoyed.
EDITEDIT – Activision have just confirmed availability to me. I was told the wrong thing earlier, basically. Sigh!

I’ve spent some time this week trying to track down a PC version of the upcoming (if you’re British) / now on sale (if you’re American) Transformers: War For Cybertron, because I’m a man-child who loves plastic robots. It’s due for release here on the 25th, but annoyingly it’s already on sale in the US.

Turns out, it’s not, in fact, due for release here on the 25th -even though sites such as Amazon are claiming it is. Many sites, and they continue to claim so even just one day ahead of release. But this is what I’ve been told by Activision: while the Xbox and Playstation versions will indeed squeak into retail then, the PC one is now delayed. Until when? Your guess: as good as mine.

“Later in the year.” That’s the most information about a UK PC release I can get out of Activision for now. Huh.

Perhaps that’s days not weeks, or weeks not months, but whatever you might think about a game concerning robots running through corridors and bashing each other, it’s troubling in terms of PC distribution.

There’s a part of me that’s very worried it’ll simply never see release here, but hopefully that’s just empty paranoia. If it was the PC version as a whole being delayed – as has happened with a few titles lately, for reasons of piracy paranoia or simply not considering the PC a priority – I’d understand, albeit grudgingly. But when it’s already on sale in the next continent? When, via assorted forms of skullduggery, I can and indeed have downloaded it via Steam? Strange, strange.

Staggered territorial release dates are an old-fashioned nuisance as it is, but a territorial delay for just one format? Strange, strange.

So, just a heads-up, really. If you’ve preordered the game on PC from anywhere and are expecting it on the 25th, don’t get your hopes up. I’ll continue to try and track down a definite date – if there indeed is one – in the meantime. I’ll also update this story if it turns out those online pre-orders do come through despite what I’ve been told.

Oh, and yes, I’m playing the thing at the moment, on my PC, with retail code via Steam. It’s almost as if most parts of the planet are connected via a global telecommunications and networking system which renders attempts to restrict consumer entertainment to specific territories pointless. So expect some words on that soon. So far: runs fine, minimal configuration options, not much variety, robots.

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58 Comments »

  1. Jake says:

    Maybe this just means we get a UK version written by Simon Furman that’s way better than the US version.

  2. TotalBiscuit says:

    A few points about War for Cybertron. You can get it if you have a friend in the States who is willing to gift it to you, so it’s not as if it’s difficult to acquire.

    1) No dedicated servers – This is more problematic than usual simply because there are so few EU players right now (for obvious reasons). I have had plenty of very laggy games which were unplayably bad. Also when the host leaves, the whole thing shuts down, smart. Recommend playing private games with known, good hosts.

    2) 30fps cap – The .cfg and .ini files are encrypted for some reason, apparently some form of collated file. The framerate is capped at 30fps. It is however, well optimised with minimal loadtimes.

    3) Can’t reconfig key bindings – The keybindings are well setup and you can use a 360 pad, but those of you who use unorthodox configurations may struggle

    Other than the above nonsense and the bizarre decision to delay the UK release, the game is very good. It would not be unfair to say that it’s the Arkham Asylum of Transformers and the Bulletstorm style kill messages (xp bonuses for all manner of different things) are fantastic. Voice-acting is top-notch, aside from some grubby textures the game looks amazing and hey, it’s Transformers.

  3. Antsy says:

    What a shame. Oh….

  4. jeremypeel says:

    Alec, you’re such a click-click-whrrrr robot fanboy! I hope no one ever tells you about the existence of Transformers 2, ‘cos you’d be upset with it.

  5. DJ Phantoon says:

    Will War for Cybertron be able to earn four Optimus thumbs ups of approval?

    I eagerly await the Wot I Think.

  6. BigJonno says:

    “Oh, and yes, I’m playing the thing at the moment, on my PC, with retail code via Steam. It’s almost as if most parts of the planet are connected via a global telecommunications and networking system which renders attempts to restrict consumer entertainment to specific territories pointless.”

    My dislike for this hit new levels when I realised that my pre-ordered, paid in full copy of Dragon Age was already sitting on my computer, completely unplayable for no good reason. I most definitely did resort to region changing shenanigans to get it working.

    • subedii says:

      How does that work exactly? You just tell Steam you’ve moved to a new address or what? Would that cause issues with buying using a UK registered card?

      I know that games not traditionally available in your region can be gifted to you from elsewhere (and that’s also how you can get the international version of something like L4D whilst you’re in Australia). I’ve used that once or twice myself, getting games that were on sale cheaper in the US (another ridiculous aspect of “regioning” when this is all bits of data) by paypalling a friend the cost and having them gift it to me.

  7. Javier-de-Ass says:

    my pc copy is in the post. but not uk of course, scandinavia

  8. WhiteLung says:

    My flat mate pre-ordered the PC version from the GAME website and got an e-mail yesterday saying it had been posted…

  9. Colthor says:

    Adding in all those extra Us and having all the voice actors recorded saying “guv’nah” doesn’t happen overnight, you know!

    • Jake says:

      A cell shaded texture mod pack would just be great. Obviously I appreciate all the hard effort the designers have gone to make everything look boring, but add some nice bright 1980s colours and I am all over this.

  10. IvanHoeHo says:

    Well, if your local publishers want to lose half their sales to the torrents in the coming days/weeks, then it’s not up to us to object.

  11. ZIGS says:

    This is the worst port ever. They literally just made sure the game ran on the PC and shipped the damn thing. Is it so much to ask for a little respect? Just a little?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      No it absolutely is not the worst port ever, you are crazy if you believe otherwise. Alpha Protocol is far worse than this, DMC3 is far worse than this, Onimusha 3 is far worse than this, RE4 is far worse than this, Borderlands is far worse than this, to name but a few.

      PC gamers would do well to quit with the hyperbole, it makes us all look like idiots.

    • Portapoop says:

      Quite frankly porting a good game that should have been developed on and for PC instead of doing it directly is what makes people look stupid.
      The consumer / PC user only is stupid if he supports it by paying for the game or console or consolified version..

      I feel that anyone raging over bad ports is a quazillion times justified, as it’s just a super-sad state of affairs.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Whether or not it’s a port is one factor in purchase, not the deciding factor. As it stands, this is a very good game that plays best on PC, so if one were to buy it, they should do so on PC, since that would be the sensible consumer decision.

  12. elyscape says:

    Did you look at the system requirements? Specifically:

    Hard Drive: 9GB of uncompressed hard disk space (plus 400 MB for the Windows® swap file and 12 KB free for saved games)

    Emphasis mine.

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Wait, did he say robots? Robots! ROBOTS!

  14. Miker says:

    The 30 fps cap is a tragedy, and it’s the reason why I’m not buying this until it hits $10 or less. Lucasarts did it with Force Unleashed, Black Rock did it with Split/Second — both of which I tried — and it was a pretty sad experience after playing all of my games at a rock solid 60 fps.

  15. Coillscath says:

    Yeah, New Zealand got the bad news a few months ago. We’re not getting a PC version at all, I had to order my copy via Amazon in America. Cost damn near as much to ship as the game itself cost! D:

    • Buzko says:

      It appears the PC version’s not on sale in Australia either. There’s a trailer on Steam, but I’m not allowed to watch it. Local retailer sites don’t have a listing, and Activision’s Australian site doesn’t seem to have been updated since around 2008. Fucks me off, cuz this was actually one of those PC games I was planning to buy new.

      Oh well, if they insist that I pirate it…

  16. TheTingler says:

    So… what are some of these skullduggerous means then?

  17. Muddy Water says:

    This is an Activision thing, I’m sure of it. Most game companies consider UK and India to be the same for some reason. The standard here in India, is for console games to cost Rs 2500 ($54 or £36) and for PC games to be subsidized to Rs 1000 ($22 or £14). Activision, starting with MW2, have started charging Rs 3500 ($75 or £50) for their console games and have stopped releasing PC games at all. They’ve hiked prices for the UK, too, right?

    The greatest tragedy is that Starcraft 2 is never going to get released here. *sob*

    DAMN YOU ACTARDS

  18. DiTH says:

    So if the Europeans decide to pirate this game to hell it will be their fault not the company that decides to sell the game to everyone but them.

  19. Grunt says:

    (Gnashes teeth in a manner alarming to passers-by)

    Not only is a PC release now in doubt but there’s a 30fps cap on it? That makes no sense at all. I don’t want to get the game from Steam or to torrent it but if they delay/cancel a game that the rest of the world can play (except New Zealand) then I’m not going to be a happy pixie.

    My poilicy is to never pre-order games, having been burned by shoddy releases too many times in the past. I made an exception for this one based purely on my Transformers monomania. DONT let me down, Activision!

    • Grunt says:

      In a could-be-related note, Amazon have just emailed me telling me that “Transformers: Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron” (I told you: Transformers MONOMANIA) has now been delayed until July 06-07 due to lack of stock from their supplier.

      Nothing about the game yet though…

  20. Grunt says:

    Happy news!

    Amazon have shipp…er, posted the game. Panic over!

    • Catastrophe says:

      In UK? So its to be released very soon I guess????

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s not unheard of for Amazon to go “people ordered this ages ago, they only just told us to push the release date back, it’s out somewhere else – fuck it, let’s just ship it to people who preordered anyway.” I’ve seen it happen a couple of times (once with a book, once with a DVD).

    • Catastrophe says:

      I’ve managed to pre-order the game from Amazon – heres hoping!

  21. Ravenger says:

    If I were interested in this game (and I’m not) the non-rebindable keys would be the biggest deal breaker for me. It’s my biggest bugbear.

    PC Ports should have as a MINIMUM:

    Fully rebindable controls
    No frame-rate lock (except for a V-Sync option)
    Fully configurable graphics detail levels and other hardware related options.

    The amount of ports which are getting this wrong recently is incredible.

    • frymaster says:

      conditional disagree about frame-rate and graphics options
      while it’s “traditional” for games to let you screw around with this, it also leads to people moaning about the game “not being optimised” because they figure a PC of a certain vintage should be able to handle all sliders being an arbitrary percentage of the way across, regardless of whether the knobs go up to 5 or 11

      I see no objection to a game regulating its own complexity settings in order to meet some framerate target, rather than the user regulating the settings in order to meet some e-peen target

      that being said, I doubt that’s what’s happening here, and I do like the choice implicit in graphics settings (for example I tend to cut down on AA/AF in favour of higher resolution and better effects) – I just don’t see it as a deal-breaker

  22. neems says:

    I do wonder if there is some engine related reason for the frame rate lock – maybe physics related, or for synchronisation purposes in multiplayer?

    As above, for me the real problem is the key binding, or lack thereof.

  23. Publisherfail says:

    Hey man, don’t sweat it. That’s no problem.

    It’s not like they have to compete with an underground marketplace that offers the games up for free by the time of release or sometimes even earlier. (Besides, add in the joy of modern DRM, high prices and just as high bug count and you just KNOW it’s all for the good of the customer anyway!)

  24. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    Is there genuine excitement about this game? “Port of licensed game” is usually a sign for me to run far away, but there’s been 2 articles about this on RPS. Am curious….

    P.

    • subedii says:

      Batman: Arkham Asylum taught me not to prejudge these things.

      Although personally from looking at the footage and hearing some of the faffery going on with the PC version (no keybinds? Even some of the worst console ports I played had keybinding), I can’t say I’m all that interested in this one either.

      I mean yes it’s Transformers, but aside from the brand the actual gameplay looked kind of generic to be honest.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Arkham Asylum was praised so highly because it was an authentic Batman experience with deep respect for the license, not because of innovative game mechanics or ground-breaking new features. Transformers : War for Cybertron is the same deal, which is why people care about it. I’ve put 5 hours into the game so far, 3 in the single-player, 2 multiplayer and for what it’s worth, it’s the best Transformers game ever made by a huge margin. That isn’t saying much, but the actual game itself is a fantastic tribute to the franchise, layered in fan-service and is an extremely competent shooter with a very enjoyable multiplayer element, 3 player drop-in/out co-op (which is well designed) an escalation/horde mode with some innovative features and stunning voice-work.

      There are a lot of reasons to care about this game and don’t be fooled by ideas that it’s somehow generic, it is not.

    • subedii says:

      Well I’m willing to wait and see. You’re right that saying the “best Transformers game” doesn’t mean much on its own, but then Arkham Asylum never really had much competition as the “best Batman game” either.

      Assuming, you know, us plebs in the UK actually see a release date.

  25. i am paul newman says:

    30fps? i wanted to buy this :(

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      I’m willing to put money down on the odds that most people who complain about fps caps couldn’t actually tell the difference between 30 and 60fps anyway.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      People not noticing the restrictions doesn’t make them less awful, though.

      Also, here’s an easy way to tell if you can spot the difference between 30 and 60 FPS: link.

  26. Javier-de-Ass says:

    game seems really well optimised yeah. very good and smooth. but as has been said 30 fps cap, and no options to screw around with. hopefully someone will crack this thing open so I can go for 120fps soon

  27. RedCraig says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this game, review have been unexpectedly positive about it.
    Something about running around as a 90 tonne robot beating up on other 90 tonne robots…
    I think I’m gonna fire up mechwarrior now.

  28. DrugCrazed says:

    FPS cap? Who? What? Why?

    However, I WANT BIG STOMPY ROBOTS!

  29. Dobleclick says:

    Wonderful writing! This is the third article I read from you after stumbling upon this website through, precisely, Steam (your Counter Strike meets OSX article). Nice to see that a videogame journalist (sorry if that sounded like a curse) has the ability to not simply describe a thing, but be able to think about his description. And write accordingly. Very funny and refreshing! Kudos to the other writers as well, by the way. You got a new reader here in Spain!
    *point*
    *click*
    *drag*
    *release*
    “Bookmark added”

  30. Rozza says:

    I was hoping to pick this up today since it’s the release day for the game (in the uk I mean), this sortof proves that consoles get more praise than PC but i’m not saying that’s why the PC version is being held back. The FPS cap is a bit annoying and I would prefer to play this game at 60FPS, however watching gameplay I doubt the cap would spoil the whole game.

  31. Optimaximal says:

    It’s hit retail shelves along with the console versions. Both Play.com & Amazon are saying its instock too.

    Steam just doesn’t have it – presumably some publishing deal Activision have struck up.

  32. NastyBadger says:

    I’ve just been to Game and ASDA and they didnt get in for the PC, all other platforms but no PC. Has anyone got a PC copy in the UK deliverd yet or know a shop thats selling it?

  33. Jon says:

    Amazon have now sorted out their listing and you can get it Saturday morning if you order now (which I have). Whats worrying is that user reviews say the co-op and mulitplayer randomly pick the other players so you can’t play with friends!!!

    • Catastrophe says:

      I pre-ordered it from Amazon yesterday and it was despatched yesterday evening – I received it today.

  34. Ironwood says:

    Not in any shops today. One hopes that this is sorted soonish. It’s extremely annoying.

  35. Pluberus says:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1323217

    I can gift you the game if I receive the money via Paypal. I will request it from you after receiving your friend request on Steam and talking with you. I’ve been doing it for $45 USD via Paypal (Because of Paypal’s monetary transfer fees) from Pluberus@gmail.com

    You can always reverse paypal charges for non delivery of goods, but I can’t reverse a gift so I’ll add you to my friends list and will request payment from you ($45 USD). On confirmation, I will send you the gift as soon as your payment shows up on my Paypal account.

    Also, if you have successfully done this transaction with me, post here so others will know its legit.

    Also, please note that due to the nature of the product there can be no refunds. I do not own it in any way, merely providing this service to those who do not have access to it in the Steam store at this time.

    You must accept my friend request in order for me to be able to gift it to you. I can also do it via email if you’d like. (Just tell me which email to send it to via the Paypal message).

    Please do NOT send me payment without first adding me via Steam and contacting me. I will request the funds from you via Paypal if I am able to do so (to prevent scams).

    Further Proof of my Trustworthiness:
    https://www.paypal.com/us/verified/pal=Pluberus%40gmail.com
    http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn29/Pluberus/Proof.png

  36. Pluberus says:

    And apparently its not allowed to gift EU or Aussies if you get paid. :(
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1324278

  37. Izhmael says:

    It’s up on Direct2Drive.co.uk now though, so if you want a digital download version and (like me) don’t want to wait for it to *maybe* get released on European steam – there’s your ticket. Downloading as we speak ^^

  38. Catastrophe says:

    Its a fantastic game, well worth purchasing ^_^

  39. Sarmed2000 says:

    well i went to all the stores in the city .im from birmingham and they told me maybe next week .even they dont understand the whole issue..HMV has it on comsoles so does game but gamestation doesnt..
    amazon uk is listing it for 27 quids..is this something to do with activision tax relief stand? or something else.
    i really wanna play the game but i dont wanna pirate it..

  40. dungo says:

    To all those moaning about the FPS cap.
    google,download and run “TWFC_FPS_Unlocker”
    it works brilliantly at 60fps

    @totalbiscuit – for claiming people cant tell the difference between 30 and 60fps, your an idiot mate.