Supergiant’s Transistor Is An Underrated Masterpiece

This small game truly deserve more attention.

Supergiant’s Transistor Is An Underrated Masterpiece
Supergiant’s Transistor Is An Underrated Masterpiece

The gaming landscape is a battlefield these days. I know this is a good thing as healthy competition results in better games for players. But the problem is only sequels, remakes, and AAA titles with billion-dollar budgets dominate the headlines.

In all this fuss, players, including me, neglect many beautiful games. And Transistor, a masterpiece by Supergiant is one such amazing game that many of you might not know.

Key Takeaways

  • While Hades and Bastion are more famous, Transistor is another underrated masterpiece by Supergiant that you should play.
  • The storyline is short but it is also highly immersive and full of emotions like loss and revenge, etc. 
  • The cyberpunk-styled visuals make the whole experience very aesthetic while the voice-over takes the experience to new heights. The visual contrast between the environment, protagonist, and enemies is very visible and enjoyable.
  • The game mechanics, especially the Turn() system allow players to pause time, pre-plan their attacks mid-game, and win fights strategically.

It is underrated not only among other games but also among Supergiant’s fanbase where Hades and Bastion are much loved while games like Transistor and Pyres are neglected. Pyres is a topic for another day and today I will only shed light on the game which just turned 10 last month.

The Tale Of Red And The Transistor

Do you see the photo below with a girl carrying a sword larger than herself? Yeah, she’s the protagonist, Red, a singer who lost her voice in a tragic accident, and the sword is named Transistor, which is somehow attached to Red and acts as her tongue. I won’t say much about the accident and other things as that will spoil the whole story.

Red carrying Transistor
Red carrying Transistor

In short, the story tasks you with regaining your voice and solving the mystery behind the shadowy organization responsible for this tragedy. What makes the whole story so beautiful and intriguing is that it’s open to interpretation by raising questions about loss, revenge, and the power of language, but it doesn’t offer easy answers.

There’s a sense of sadness in the storyline and a feeling of longing for something lost. This allows players to interpret the story in their own ways.

And trust me, it makes it a deeply personal experience. For me, it made me realize the importance of communication and the power of the human voice. We take many things for granted.

A Bite-Sized Adventure

Now this is another factor that makes me like this game even more. You see, I like games that are short but still have a great story that leaves a lasting impression on me. And in today’s world where AAA titles exceed even the 150-hour mark to complete, only a few indie studios create small games with lovely stories.

The same is the case with Transistor, which offers a completely focused short experience. The game can be completed in around 8-10 hours, but that doesn’t mean it feels short-changed.

Once you play the game, you will be forced to appreciate the developers for carefully crafting every encounter, and every line of dialogue, and keeping the storyline tight and immersive.

Visual And Artistic Excellence

As soon as you enter the city of Cloudbank, you are met with neon-themed graphics with vibrant colors. Walking through the neon-lit streets of Goldwalk gave me a cyberpunk experience. Neon lights were casting long shadows on every path I walked. Similarly, you can pause the game at any time and it’ll look like a digital painting.

But it’s not just the surroundings but the characters and enemies have well-thought-out designs as well. For example, Red’s design, with her flowing red hair and elegant dress, is very organic and natural.

On the other hand, the enemies, known as the Process, are designed with a contrasting robotic look against the organic environments. This contrast portrays their role as invaders in Cloudbank.

It doesn’t end here. Transistor doesn’t only have artistic graphics but its soundtrack is a smart choice as well. It is a blend of electronic beats and haunting vocals that perfectly complements the artistically robotic atmosphere. Choosing Darren Korb for the soundtrack is the best choice Supergiant made.

The voice acting deserves a shout-out too, especially Logan Cunningham‘s voice-over of the Transistor. This man especially deserves applause as he’s worked as a voice-over artist in Supergiant’s first four games. You’ll know about his powerful voice from the first dialogue in the game:

The singer lost her voice, and the world went quiet.

The Turn() System

The RPG combines real-time action with strategic planning through its unique Turn() system. What it does is that it allows players to pause the action to plan their moves, allowing them to position Red and queue up attacks with precision. I like this feature but don’t know about others as it’s like a cheat code which makes the combat easier.

Turn system in Transistor
Turn() system in Transistor

Similarly, each ability, or Function(), can be used in multiple ways: as an active skill, an upgrade, or a passive bonus. For example, the Crash() Function can be used as a direct attack, combined with other functions to enhance their effects, or equipped as a passive ability to reduce damage taken. This allows players to design their own playstyle.

Trust me when I say this isn’t even half of what the game has to offer. To truly live an exciting experience, I highly recommend playing this game.

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