Transistor is a science fiction action role-playing video game by Supergiant Games, and the studio's first title since the release of their critically-acclaimed Bastion. The game was released on May 20, 2014 for Windows and PlayStation 4. Later it was also released for Mac & Linux platforms on October 30, 2014, for iOS on June 11, 2015 and Nintendo Switch on November 1, 2018.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Red, a famous singer in a city called Cloudbank, is attacked by the Process, a robotic force commanded by a group called The Camerata. During the clash, she is transported all the way across Cloudbank and comes into possession of the mysterious Transistor--the greatsword-like weapon she was to be assassinated with. The Transistor is buried into the chest of an as-of-yet unnamed man (who seems to be close with Red), now slumped over and dead; but his consciousness and voice seem to have been absorbed into the Transistor itself, along with Red's voice. The Camerata continues to track Red and the Transistor down with The Process, wanting the weapon for some yet-unknown cause.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Transistor utilises an isometric point of view. The player controls the character Red as she travels through a series of locations, battling enemies known collectively as the Process in both real-time combat and a frozen planning mode referred to as "Turn()". Using Turn() drains the action bar, which refills after a short delay. Until it is full again, Red cannot use Turn(), or almost any other ability. Players can map out a series of movements and actions to take (each consuming a bit of the action bar) and then execute them instantaneously. Afterwards, Red must dodge enemies until her Turn() fills again.
Red is awarded experience points after battles depending on the enemies defeated. The Transistor gains in power equivalently as Red gains levels. The Transistor has the ability to absorb the essence of fallen victims of The Process which allows Red to gain new abilities called Functions. Functions may be equipped as one of four unique techniques, or as an enhancement on another, equipped technique. For example, the Function Spark() may be used to fire a wide area attack, or equipped on another Function to increase the other Function's area of effect.
For the PlayStation 4 version, the DualShock 4 light bar flashes in sync with the Transistor's speech.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Transistor received "generally favorable reviews", according to review aggregator Metacritic, scoring 83/100 for both PC and PS4 versions. Most reviewers praised the game’s visuals and soundtrack – according to Polygon, Transistor is “...oozing with style and aesthetic charm”.  Slant community was impressed by the game’s deep customization that rewards imagination and strategy, and agreed that it offered an awesome hack and slash action with an interesting twist.