Transistor is free for the next two weeks on the Epic Games Store and it is my humble opinion that you should be playing it right now, because it is a gem. Currently my favourite of Supergiant Games’s all-excellent lineup (with wizard-sportsball adventure Pyre a very close second), it’s part action RPG, part turn-based tactical combat, and all classy. Set in a jazzy art-deco cyberworld, Transistor has gorgeous art and music and features a giant sword that is also a USB stick containing Logan Cunningham’s most doting, boyfriendly voice. Nab it here, keep it forever.
This is probably the most divisive of Supergiant’s games. Nathan Grayson’s Transistor review was very positive, but he thought it fell short of the studio’s best. Personally, I adored every moment of it, enough to play it through two and a half times. As Nathan says, it’s a very different game to the studio’s earlier Bastion. I’d say it’s pretty subversive as far as game narratives go. I’m loathe to spoil anything as so many are going to be trying it for the first time, but I will say this; don’t expect a clean-cut, three-act heroes journey. Transistor is a story about people, and people aren’t simple.
Transistor’s combat is unique, too. Initially real-time and with the option to attack as you run around its beautiful arenas, most of your damage-dealing will be done in turn-based format. Every few moments you’re free to pause the game and issue a chain of commands that all play out in a fraction of a second. In one motion you can knock several enemies into one corner then finish them with a heavy area-effect attack, or combo your way through a half-dozen smaller targets. The game keeps adding new tools and tricks until the credits roll, too, which is both blessing and curse.
Simply put, Transistor’s combat isn’t at its best until a second play-through. New Game Plus mode introduces endgame enemies right off the bat and some new hazards along the way, and really gives your collected cyber-skills room to shine. While the story is unaltered, it becomes a far more involved and tactical playground on a second go. Many will only play the game through once, to its emotionally impactful conclusion, but I highly recommend that you find the time to give it a second spin if you liked the fighting along the way.
Transistor is free until May 2nd. Grab it here on Epic and it’ll stay on your account forever.