Transistor Review Roundup

The latest RPG from the creators of Bastion is out today for PS4 and PC, but is it a must-buy?

Transistor, a sci-fi game from the creators of Bastion, released today on PC and PS4. In the game you play as a singer named Red who takes possession of the titular sword that was going to be used to kill her. Combining action-RPG gameplay with strategy elements, the game has generally been well received by critics.

On review aggregator Metacritic, Transistor is currently sitting at 85 for PS4 and 83 for PC.Here's a summary of some of the game's reviews:

Game Informer -- 9/10

Transistor’s focus on combat lets it shine, but one battle after the next results in a strictly linear path to game completion that can feel repetitive. ... Players looking to find all the answers by the time the credits roll are likely to be disappointed. Transistor is as much about what is left unsaid as what is explained. I find that openness to interpretation refreshing; I suspect I won’t be the only one. [Full review]

IGN -- 9/10

Transistor’s the kind of game that made me immediately jump back in to take on New Game Plus. I wanted to continue exploring the excellent combat in new, more challenging scenarios. I wanted to double back on the areas that I’d missed the first time through, and try to fill in the gaps of the fantastic story. But most of all, I wasn’t ready to leave Red or her world behind. [Full review]

USGamer -- 4.5/5

Transistor is the story of a girl and her sword and their quest to save their home from an unknowable destructive force. The freedom you're given to complete that goal through battle makes an interesting contrast to the unrelentingly linear road that takes you there; and the Transistor's running dialogue - alternately defiant, lost, confused, affectionate, and mournful -pulls you into the adventure while neither spelling things out too obviously or being too needlessly obfuscatory. Over the course of the journey, the bond between Red and her sword deepens. Until the end, where a single word contains more emotion than the entirety of most games. [Full review]

GameSpot -- 8/10

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. [Full review]

Joystiq -- 3.5/5

In the end, it's the unique digital world of Cloudbank and the refreshing combat that driveTransistor. The perfectly executed turn is consistently rewarding, while uncovering the dark side of Cloudbank and untangling the motives of the Camerata proves enticing enough to draw you along, even if the story doesn't strike all of its intended chords. [Full review]

Quarter to Three -- 2/5

Transistor starts off strong with its phenomenal soundtrack, striking visuals, lively animation, and intriguing premise. ... But Transistor’s promising start crumbles quickly, especially if you go into it thinking “yeah, these are the guys who did Bastion, all right”. The story is convoluted and brimming with extraneous detail, doled out at optional terminals and on unlockable screens you might never see. Names you’ve never heard waft into the game and suddenly one of them is important and you have no idea why. ...When I reviewed Bastion, I wrote the review as a list of 15 things all games can learn. For me, the real disappointment of Transistor is that developer Supergiant seems to have forgotten half those things. [Full review]

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald

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33 comments
meatz666
meatz666

Nice article.

Like I can't go to metacritic myself.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I'm not usually into these kinds of games, but this one sounds quite interesting and has gotten lots of great reviews, so I'll put it on my "to play sometime in the near future"-list.

ringringabel
ringringabel

waitin for the gf to go to sleep so i can finally get back ti playing this! cant get enough of the soundtrack. visual aesthetics, and most of all the sword's voice speaking to me through my damn controller XD

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

oh Tom Chick... you always trying to stir the flamewars...

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I'm still playing Child of Light, but definitely going to play this between Watch Dogs and The Last of Us Remastered. Combat looks fun and the art is phenominal. 

allanondelion
allanondelion

Spoilers are to be assumed, but reviewer offered far too many story details - which were not necessary to review the game. Appreciate just a bit less detail.

TristanPR77
TristanPR77

I played the game and is pretty good. Is very worth the 19.99 price.

Anyone with a PS4 should buy it.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I, for one, welcome Tom Chick's review, if only because it's an outlier opinion.

Some people still can't seem to accept that reviews are pieces of opinions. If the author of the opinion brings his/her expectations to his/her review, I say that this is his/her right.

It seems like Quarter to Three has its own set of b*tching protesters who use the phrases "objectiveness" and "professionalism" in vain when stating their vacuous arguments.

yellowsanchez
yellowsanchez

i am waiting for a sale for this game. from all theses gameplay vids i like the visual style and combat

rasterror
rasterror

I would get it today but I have Mario Kart 8 to get through. Maybe on a Steam sale.

ghost59
ghost59

i hate the game spot reviews  voice. she sounds like a dying cat.

Razor10000
Razor10000

transistor art direction is stunning, the game looks realy good. they should release bastion on ps4.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Seems legit, Game Revolution gave Transistor a 5/5 along with solid detail so this game is a must buy for me while I did enjoy Bastion a few years back.

shingui5
shingui5

Who the hell's Quarter to Three? 

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Don't want to bash this game for no reason, but I didn't enjoy Bastion, so I probably wouldn't like this game either. Everyone says they both look good visually, yet... well, they don't look bad, but the environments are always the same, and the gameplay is very repetitive too. The narrator in Bastion got annoying fast. The music is alright, but nothing amazing. Seems like they're trying too hard to be artsy just for the sake of being artsy.

c_rakestraw
c_rakestraw moderator moderator

@Gelugon_baat Tom Chick is, if nothing else, a fascinating guy. Even if I don't always agree with him, I definitely appreciate that there's room in the industry for someone like him.

Plus, his XCOM: Enemy Unknown review still stands as one of the best out there for that game.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@ghost59  

Then don't listen to her anymore. She's not going to change her voice and I doubt that CBSI would want to fire her over her voice.

justinhaywald
justinhaywald moderator staff

@shingui5  That's Tom Chick's site. He's been writing reviews for a very long time and used to head up the SyFy channel blog. 

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

@shingui5  Whos Quarter to Three? I have no idea but they will forever be known for the crowd who gave Transistor 2/5.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

@Gelugon_baat @ghost59
This is supposed to be such a progressive place, yet their wordfilter blocks you from using the word 'gey'. Because that's a bad word, right?

shingui5
shingui5

@EasyComeEasyGo  

It is apparently only 5-6 hours long, which is something to consider.

I guess in this regard, it comes down to if you are ok with spending $20(£15) on a 5 hour game, that seems to be a real quality experience.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

@dribblesbarbax @shingui5 Tom Chick is well known for writing reviews that go against the grain. He's very picky and will often give critically acclaimed games low scores.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

@Gelugon_baat @liquidbutter every word can be used in a derogatory manner. That's a shіt reason to ban it. You are not allowed to use it in its proper way, which gives the impression that homosexuality is wrong.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@liquidbutter 

If you are using that phrase in a derogatory manner, then yes, it's a "bad word" to them.

With that said, how do you define "progressive"?

Zloth2
Zloth2

@mattress805 There's quite a few $60, 5hr games that I ignore until they show up on Steam for $5, too.

mattress805
mattress805

There's quite a few 60$ 5-hour games too.