Length: 6 episodes (22-26 minutes each)
Voice Cast: Edward Bosco, Jake Foushee, Jason Marnocha, Linsay Rousseau, Keith Silverstein, Frank Todaro, Joe Zieja, Justin Pierce, Marqus Bobesich, Bill Rogers, Beau Marie, Jeanne Carr, Erin Ebers, Sophia Isabella, Joe Hernandez Andy Barnett, and Jonathan Lipow.
Streaming on Netflix from 29 July
4 out of 5 stars
The final chapter of the Transformers: War For Cybertron trilogy, subtitled Kingdom, almost doubles its main cast with the introduction of Transformers with beast modes. It's a loving homage to 1996's Beast Wars: Transformers, as it concludes its tale with exciting battles, epic clashes, and startling revelations.
Transformers: War For Cybertron: Kingdom is a 3D-animated action drama that is the third and final chapter of the Transformers: War For Cybertron trilogy. The heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons finally locate the AllSpark, a powerful artifact that is the key to saving their dying home planet of Cybertron. However, another two factions of transforming robots enter the fray — the mammalian Maximals and predatory Predacons — and other sinister forces are also after the AllSpark. Ultimately, the Transformers discover that their battle isn't just for the survival of their home planet, and that there are much bigger stakes involved.
The series starts hot with the introduction of the Maximal and Predacon characters, which significantly increases the main cast of the show. There's the inevitable clash between the factions, but the dust settles by the end of the episode with the Maximals teaming up with the Autobots and the Predacons joining forces with the Decepticons. It signals the new direction that the Transformers franchise will be taking in the next few years, especially since the upcoming Transformers live action movie will involve Beast Transformers.
It also means that the Transformers with beast modes overshadow those with vehicle modes in the first few episodes of the season, given that the spotlight is largely on their story at the beginning. If you're a fan of Beast Wars: Transformers, then you'll be happy to discover that their story includes some iconic moments from that series (much like how Starscream repeatedly betrays Megatron in the G1 series). But that doesn't meant that Kingdom has jettisoned the overarching plot, as it still ties the series back to the main storyline and the Transformers finally find the object of their quest.
This third chapter also progresses at a much faster pace than its first two chapters, eschewing philosophical debates for fast-paced storytelling and glorious action sequences. (Read our reviews for chapter one here and chapter two here.) In fact, the plot unfolds so quickly compared to the second chapter that it almost feels like they could have moved some of the plot points into the previous chapter so that the more interesting moments could be explored here. The action is excellent here, with several fun fights every episode that make use of all the new characters.
Earlier chapters of the series have showcased gargantuan Transformers, with Chapter 1 revealing Omega Supreme and Chapter 2 giving us Scorponok. Chapter 3 is no different, as it has the Autobots' spaceship, the Ark, transforming into a behemoth that dwarfs all the other characters. This feels just like how you would play with the Transformers action figures, especially since the Ark was recently released as the massive centrepiece of the Kingdom toyline. In fact, most of the battle scenes are sprawling and evocative, and give you fresh fodder for how your own Transformers figures can fight at home.
The villains that were teased in the second chapter are also revealed in this chapter, and they get more screentime. While the show uses elements that many long-time fans know about, such as Galvatron being a reformatted future version of Megatron, it also adds its own unique twist to them. It makes for an intriguing new interpretation of classic elements, while still honouring their origins. We also get many scenes with Unicron, the Transformers equivalent of the devil.
However, the show does leave several plot threads dangling, presumably so that there are stories left for a possible sequel series (or for you to play-act out with your figures at home). Some fan-favourite characters also don't get a satisfactory resolution. Nevertheless, it does tie up its main plot with an epic finale, and it's clear that unresolved plotlines will be tales for another series.
You're going to want to start playing with your Transformers after watching Transformers: War For Cybertron: Kingdom, especially since it's left the fate of several characters up to your imagination. There's nothing quite like watching a show based on toys, and getting all fired up to collect them all so that you can recreate your favourite battles. This final chapter is a fun and fast-paced conclusion to the Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy.
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