Christy is back with her latest instalment of Loading…New Game. This week we have her time with Supergiant Games’ Transistor.
I love this game. I love how clever it is, I love the music, the artwork – I love it all. And I can’t believe that it’s only Supergiant Games’s second creation. Their first game, Bastion, received many awards back in 2011 and the team behind it have returned to create Transistor.
The story is set in a futuristic sci-fi city, Cloudbank, where the sky is regularly painted and the weather voted for. In this world, everything is digital; the buildings and the people are data, and sections of the city start to go ‘Offline’. You play as Red, a famous singer who has had her voice stolen. She hums occasionally, and you can catch snatches of her songs on CDs you collect. Accompanied by a sword known as the Transistor, which has a person trapped inside it, she navigates the mystery-riddled Cloudbank and faces a wide range of enemies on her way.
Since my other occupations are Online Books Editor, Creative Writing President, English student and aspiring writer, it’s unsurprising that I’m drawn to stories. So Transistor is pretty perfect for me. It’s so beautiful in every single way that I’m going to run out of adjectives for it.
I can’t get over how amazing the artwork is. It’s all hand drawn by Jen Zee and it’s instantly distinctive. The glowing colours, the details of the landscape – it’s so breathtaking that I keep staying still in the game just to look around at everything.
The music is central to the game, and it’s spectacular. Composed by Darren Korb and with vocals by Ashley Lynn Barrett, it’s such a geniously hypnotic soundtrack. Upon entering the ‘Turn()’ function (where you pause time and plan out your next moves), the music changes and you can hear her humming. It’s echoing and distant, as if submerged.
During the game, there’s a button you press for her to hum, and sometimes the sword joins in. The sword’s voice artist, Logan Cunningham, is perfect. He can convey so much expression and meaning, despite the fact that the only accompanying visual to his voice is the sword flashing.
I love the storytelling. The functions you collect are actually people, and by using them in different ways, you can unlock more of their story as you play the game. Discovering more about these unconventional characters is one of my favourite parts, but also I know some people just want to play the game, so it’s perfect how Supergiant have offered both options to us.
The little details such as the OVC Terminals give us glimpses of life elsewhere in the city. There, you can check out the weather forecast and order food, as well as seeing news updates which further add to the puzzle. The beach retreat you can pop into now and then is a nice touch – it’s a relaxing sandbox area where you can take a break from the increasingly chaotic city. There’s an adorable pet dog, a hammock to rest in and several challenge areas to practice in at your own pace.
I’m dreading this game ending. It’s an amazing, brilliant experience, and I am out of adjectives. Just go play it.
Online Books Editor
Games and Tech Columnist
How have you felt about your experience with Transistor? Let us know in the comments or feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on Transistor, here’s our official Transistor review, but for more on everything else games and tech, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.
Next week, Christy’s love-hate relationship with Pacman.