The Art of Transistor
By Suzanne Verras
Transistor is our August 2014 “Not Crowdfunded, But…” title. For more Transistor content head over here.
I’ve played Bastion and I enjoyed it, but I had not taken a peek at Transistor yet. I knew I had to, even if it was only for the watercolor painted style that I had also love about Bastion. Even if you don’t like action RPG’s, you should really try Transistor, because the art style, the story and the music are amazing. I’m not going to go into all those things because we already have, I’m just here to show you how incredibly stunning this game looks.
All the scenes are a simple build up out of three layers; the background layer, central layer (where you run, shoot and experience everything), and the foreground layer. When running around the background and foreground layer move with you and add some life to the environment. Sometimes you come across a flock of white doves who fly up if you come near them. Together with the bright colors it makes for a festive eyesight.
But! Yeah, here comes trouble. The futuristic city in which Transistor plays, is slowly falling apart. A virus called The Process is taking over every little corner of the city, turning everything into a white, emotionless mess. The transition from a healthy vibrant world to a cold blocky place is gradual. When walking through the world of Transistor, you find more and more chunks missing until there is hardly any color anymore, except for the evil red glow from your enemies. Your character Red, together with her sword the Transistor, are the only real colorful things left and they provide a big contrast to the world. Even though everything is white and dead, it’s still a beautiful world.
The cut-scenes are also built up by these three layers. Some places trigger a scene where you move from left to right to change the perspective. These are close-ups with beautifully drawn still images. In the beginning of Transistor, Red comes across a poster of her from when she was still a singer, before all of this happened. When you return to the place later on, almost everything is consumed by The Process, except for some of the posters.
Another cool thing about Transistors art style is the transition between chapters. Different chapters are set in different parts of town and you have to travel back and forth to get there. Cut scnes accompany there travels and they tell the story and make your goals clear. They are also made up out of the three layers, most of the time with the city falling apart in the background.
In the end Transistor is more than one heck of a game to watch, and you should certainly play it till the end and replay it to enjoy it even more fully, but the art style is definitely a big part of it. If you like what you see, head over to Supergiant Games to find out more, or you can buy it on Steam for $19.99. While you’re at it, be sure to check out our previous coverage of Transistor as well!
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/suzanne.jpg”]Suzanne Verras is a freelance writer and a university student from Leiden, The Netherlands. She is a video game enthusiast, but also loves movies and art. She has her own video game, film and art blog called Miss Lily Blogs where she posts all kinds of articles as well as her Let’s Plays. Her favorite games include Bioshock, Myst, Ratchet and Clank and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. In the future she hopes to be writing full-time and one of her dreams is to sell her artwork one day. You can follow her on Twitter: MissLilyTweets. [/author]