The player controls Red, a singer who has gotten her hands on a sword known as the Transistor. Trapped within the weapon is Red's lover, who fell to the blade and was somehow absorbed into it. He now acts as Red's guide and companion. They are assailed by an army of mysterious robots, collectively known as The Process. The Process is controlled by a group known as The Camerata, who have taken an interest in Red and The Transistor. Using The Process, they pursue the two as they make their way through the city of Cloudbank, seeking to unravel the mysteries surrounding the Camerata as well as discovering the purpose of the Transistor.
Red can pause the action and survey the battlefield. This turn-based mechanic is integral to the combat.
The game opens with the main character, Red, kneeling by the body of an unknown man who has been killed with a great glowing sword—the titular Transistor. Red is a singer, and the attack which killed the man has also stolen her voice, sealing it inside the Transistor. The dead man's consciousness has also been absorbed into the sword, and through it, he can speak to Red and act as the game's narrator. As Red makes her way out of the district where the game starts, she comes into conflict with an army of robotic intelligence known as the Process.
Red makes her way to her former performance stage, in Cloudbank's Goldwalk district, where it is revealed that the Process is being controlled by the Camerata, a sinister group of high-ranking officials. They were the ones who attacked Red, though the attack was thwarted when the man in the Transistor stepped in front of the blow. As Red travels, she discovers several Cloudbank citizens who have been "integrated" by the Process and absorbs their trace data into the Transistor, expanding the weapon's functionality. Upon reaching the stage where she performed that night, Red encounters Sybil Reisz, the Camerata member who had befriended her before the assassination attempt, in a corrupted Process-like form. It is revealed that Sybil was in love with Red and that she arranged for the attack to cause the man's death and have Red to herself. After defeating Sybil and absorbing her consciousness into the Transistor, Red uses Sybil's knowledge of the Camerata to locate their leader—one of the administrators of Cloudbank, Grant Kendrell.
As Red enters the Highrise district, the Process becomes more aggressive in their actions, attacking the entire city; this leads to the Process becoming public knowledge. Asher Kendrell, another member of the Camerata, publicly apologizes for the Camerata's actions and reveals their involvement in the Process invasion, going so far as to contact and apologize to Red for all that the Camerata has done to her, the mysterious man in the Transistor, and the dozens of other influential figures who have been Processed and destroyed. It becomes apparent that the Camerata is no longer in control of the Process and that the current situation is very different from their intended vision. After fighting past numerous Process enemies, including a massive creature referred to as the "Spine" whose mere presence severely affects the man in the Transistor, Red reaches the hideout of the Camerata in Bracket Towers only to find that Grant and Asher have committed suicide.
After resolving to hunt down the final member of the Camerata, Royce Bracket, and then escape the city, Red and her companion find themselves traveling back through the starting portion of the game, which has now been "Processed" into a blocky, white facsimile of its original form. Upon reaching the starting point of the game, Royce approaches Red through a robotic proxy and offers a truce in order for them to work together to stop the Process. Royce reveals that the Transistor is a "remote-control" to manipulate the changing landscape and environment of Cloudbank. It is the central part of the apparatus used by the city's administrators, including the late Grant, to change the city to fit the whims of the people. After fighting through the completely Processed district of Fairview, in which the Process has evolved a humanoid form and the laws of physics only loosely apply, Red arrives at the Cradle, the system that the Transistor powers in order to manipulate the Process—which is suggested to be an integral part of the system to rearrange and change Cloudbank—and stop the invasion. After Red places the Transistor in the Cradle, she and Royce are absorbed into it. In the Transistor's virtual realm, now armed with a Transistor of his own, Royce informs Red that only one of them can escape back to Cloudbank and repair the city. He apologizes to Red for this, and the two clash.
After defeating Royce, leaving him trapped inside the Transistor-world, Red is transported back into Cloudbank, where she begins the task of rebuilding Cloudbank's Processed areas. Upon un-processing the mysterious man's body and learning he cannot be restored from inside the Transistor, she sits down beside him and—despite his protests and pleadings otherwise—impales herself with the Transistor, committing suicide. In the closing credits sequence, it is shown that the man is reunited with Red within the virtual world of the Transistor. At this moment, a heartfelt embrace reveals that her voice has also been restored.
The combat system in Transistor is extremely customizable. Throughout the game the player acquires abilities (referred to as Functions), each of which has three modes: Active, Upgrade, and Passive. There are 16 Functions in total, and through leveling Red can gain a maximum of four Active slots--each having two Upgrade slots--and four Passive slots. Since any Function can go in any slot, there is a tremendous number of possible configurations.
In an "Active" slot, the Function is a usable ability in the game-world. "Upgrade" slots are associated with specific Active slots and will modify the behavior of the associated Active function. Functions assigned to "Passive" slots give Red passive bonuses or automatically-triggered abilities and require no action from the player.
Functions also serve as a "codex" of sorts for prominent citizens of Cloudbank, and by extension, Cloudbank itself. Each Function has an associated character, and by using the Function in each of its three modes the player will learn more about that character.
Transistor does not have a traditional difficulty selection. Instead, the player can choose to give enemies various bonuses in return for increased experience gain. Limiters are unlocked through leveling, but using them is entirely optional.
There are ten Limiters in all, and they serve as a codex for the game's enemies. Applying a Limiter and surviving at least one combat scenario will unlock flavor text for that Limiter's associated enemy type. (Note that each Limiter affects all enemies, not just the one it's associated with.)
Supergiant Games revealed Transistor on March 19th 2013 with a short teaser trailer. Along with the teaser they promised they would have an "early build [which is] playable" at PAX East 2013, just a few days after the teaser was released. It was also shown at PAX Prime 2013 and E3 2013, where it received numerous award nominations.
- OS: Windows 7 32-bit
- Processor: Dual Core CPU - 2.6ghz
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: 1GB of VRAM: Intel HD 3000 GPU / AMD HD 5450 / Nvidia 9400 GT
- Hard Drive: 3 GB available space