Transistor, developed by Supergiant Games for PS4 & PC, was one of the most memorable indie games of 2014. It was well-received, with a score of 83/100 on Metacritic based on 47 reviews and a score of 9/10 on IGN. Eight months after its release, it sold 600,000 copies.
But what made this game so awesome?
Well, it certainly wasn’t the plot. Transistor’s plot is really really vague. It revolves around Red, a famous singer in a city called Cloudbank, who is attacked by the Process, a robotic force commanded by a group called the Camerata. She manages to escape and comes into possession of the mysterious Transistor; the sword-like weapon she was to be assassinated with. Even though it’s a standalone game, from the very beginning you feel that there’s a lot you don’t know and don’t understand as if it’s a sequel to a game you’ve never even heard of. But it’s not, it simply has a complicated plot that’s not handed to you.
If it’s not the plot, maybe it’s the gameplay? No. Transistor’s gameplay was good, it’s simple, fun and it doesn’t take much effort to get used to and get good at.The combat system is both real-time and has a planning mode that allows you to draw a path of attacks for Red, during which the world around you is frozen. There are various attacks that you unlock as you progress further in the game. as good as its gameplay was, it wasn’t so special to make Transistor the awesome game it is.
The setting then? Well..it’s a close one but…no. As stunning as Transistor’s world was, it’s also not what made this game memorable. This futuristic beautiful world certainly was mesmerizing, but there’s something even more mesmerizing that made Transistor so awesome.
What is it? It’s the music.
Yes. Transistor has perhaps one of the best video game music scores ever. The soundtrack was written and produced by Darren Korb and featuring female vocalist Ashley Lynn Barrett. The music in this game is something else. It’s as if you sold your soul to the devil and asked for the best music ever and he gave you this. It has a distinctive style that was described by Korb as “old-world electronic post-rock”. The epic soundtrack sold 48,000 copies within the first ten days of release.
Of course many other factors contributed to making Transistor an awesome game, but if it hadn’t been for that amazing soundtrack, perhaps Transistor wouldn’t have been as memorable as it is today.