What's Cool about Fall of Cybertron:
It's definitely a good a Transformers game. This means that there is now a holy trinity of Transformers titles: Prelude to Energon, War for Cybertron, and Fall of Cybertron.
Now, it might not be an genre-busting tour de force of action shooters, but it is definitely no Force Unleashed II, either.
The game tries to incorporate a fairly wide cast of characters, each with slightly modified play styles, which keeps the game from becoming too monotonous. I also assume it's an attempt to tap into as many fan-favorites as possible.
The direction of the cutscenes creates a cinematic feel to the game. Playing on normal this means you can mostly coast along as if it were an interactive movie. Only occasionally did I run into battles that I had to replay upon failing, but save states were generous sprinkled throughout. The story is not particularly thought-provoking, nor does it seem to carry any kind of sustained theme throughout, but it is about as stable and reasonable as a serialized adventure tends to be. It's better than a Michael Bay movie, but it still could be so much more. There's enough light-hearted banter that the game doesn't take itself too seriously, but the game also succeeds at imbuing its characters with enough heart that it doesn't feel like a bad parody.
Multiplayer, while different from War for Cybertron, still offers a satisfying dose of giant-robot clobbering.
I bought the base game on sale for $45. I've logged about 17 hours of entertainment (7 hours for the campaign and 10 getting killed in multiplayer) so far, and I'm not bored of the game yet. That seems fair to me.
What's Disappointing about Fall of Cybertron:
Given the wide range of characters, you feel like the time you spend with any one of them is too short. The story and the levels are completely linear, so you are forced to play as the same character each time. In War for Cybertron, each level had a three man team, you could replay each level as a different one of those three characters, and the teams changed from level to level. Not here.
Also a little disappointing, a lot of the characters advertised as part of the game are not actually playable in campaign. Autobots and Decepticons make cameos, and can often be purchased as downloadable content so that their frames can be used in Multiplayer, but they were not playable in the campaign.
Most of the weaker points of the game happen in Multiplayer, and most of them are probably cosmetic. Although HMS provides a broader color palette this time out, the colors come in pre-arranged pairs. This means you can't always get armor sets to look the way you want them to...and some characters can't even be rendered in their original colors in multiplayer. Many armor sets have to be unlocked by earning points in MP matches, which is definitely disappointing the first time you enter the customization screen.
There is also an option to change voices in multiplayer, but many of them don't seem to suit the robot forms.
My Grimlock always sounds wimpy in MP.
Also, the fembots have been removed from the game. That's one step back for women's lib, eh? It's a No-Girlz-Botz-Allowed club now.
The average gamer isn't going to care much about this cosmetic issues, but a hardcore Transformers fan is likely to be irked by them and repeatedly ask why HMS couldn't have paid more attention to detail every time they logged on.
I can't speak much to Escalation as I have yet to find an active game in that mode.
What I Would Change:
I yearn for HMS to give us a mode where we can design two teams of Autobots and Decepticons and set them loose on each other. I also yearn for an "exhibition mode" where I can take my custom bot or one of the classic characters and play with and/or against my pre-made AI bots. I guess this is really just a customization mode for Escalation.
These are digital action figures, HMS. Let me play with them!
I'd also love to see HMS give modders a crack at making their own armor parts and levels. Go ahead and open up a Steam Workshop, and let us fans do all the dirty work for ya!