Transformers ReviewAlec Hilton
Have no illusions of grandeur about this game. Unfortunately, unlike the massive hype around the game, it falls insanely short on even movie tie-in standards.
Transformers as an idea could have been one of the best games of recent years. Indeed the Atari, Playstation 2 version was some of the best gaming fun to be had. It gave you the feel of the massive stomping robots, making you feel like you’re part of the series. But regrettably, this new game just makes the transformers feel like giant metal blobs, which plod around suburbia.
The thing that could have made this game brilliant is the fact that Traveller Tales was given the developing duties, but unfortunately they just seemed to create a mess. The game gives you the sense that it was rushed to meet the movie deadline or just given up on after a few months. It falls into the pile of titles that are just an unfinished jumble of ideas.
The cut-scenes and gameplay look like someone has welded them together in any old fashion. As for the actual cut-scenes they do look nice and in HD-o-vision. These lush visuals from the cut-scenes do translate fairly well in-game, but the transformers can look a bit pixelated and fuzzy around the edges of the characters.
The gameplay is the weakest link in the chain, and for this title that is saying something. The ideas are very good, with things like buildings being damaged or collapsing, if you or your opponent is into it. The problem with that is they would be completely destroyed with the slightest touch. Heck, if you coughed next to some, all you will be standing next to is rubble. The damage to the buildings, if you can see it for the fleeting seconds it’s on screen, looks very realistic.
The Autobot sections are the worst. Imagine, if you will, that you are there standing as Optimus Prime, leader of all that is good in the Transformer world, a massive cityscape set out before you; your mission objective is to rescue BumbleBee from Shockwave’s undercarriage. Now what do you think to do, climb up a building and launch yourself on the flying tin can? Transform into vehicle mode and find a ramp to attempt a daring rescue of your comrade? No, what you do is run around like a moron while BumbleBee just hangs there like a preverbal melon. I’m sorry, but really, that is far from a fun thing to do and went out of fashion with the PS1.
The attempts at a Sandbox game have also fallen terribly short of the mark with the use of action areas in which you need to fight to the death with a bunch of the other mechs. If you by chance move out of this area or get pushed out, then a timer will tell you to get back or fail the mission. Of course, for some reason, the rule that applies to you doesn’t for the AI, and they will come out with you and continue mashing their fists into your shiny hind. It’s a shame that the AI can follow you around trying to kill you, but when it comes to self-preservation the thought never crosses their microchips, it’s just a mess of fists until you blow them into tiny bits!
That said, there are some saving graces with the game; there are plenty of things to do in the world. There are small Energon cubes that are dotted around the world in each of the chapters. Each time you get a multiple of ten of these cubes you unlock new content. There is a problem with these. They are very easy to find. Most of them are literally only a few meters away from each other, and you end up just following a track of cubes around the map. Added to this, there are challenges for each section that are the normal fastest lap contest and destroy as many of these in a set time. I just wish there was more of a choice, the way that Spider-Man 2 and 3 gave you challenge missions.
Transformers: the game is unfortunately just another videogame summer blockbuster tie-in. Nothing amazing or noteworthy is brought to the table here, but were you really expecting there to be? After all the hype, I just wish that there was something to shout about. The game gives you a good 7 hours worth of play, but lacks any replay value at all. In short, this game is worth a rent for the small hours smashing fun but nothing more.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.