I really did not want to write a review slating a game so soon after starting actually writing reviews but I have to. Transformers, like we all know, is a huge franchise, from when it first started in 1984 to the massive blockbuster movies from 2007. However, now it seems Transformers has fallen down the path of neglected games just pushed out to add to a mass income on low-quality products with a movie title slapped on that children will see and nag their parents for because it is the latest “big hype”. Don’t get me wrong, many movie games fall down this path but it was just a shame Transformers followed the herd, when done right it could be so much more.
What person would not see the cool side of being able to transform from a robot to a sports car or even a fighter jet? The way it looks when you hit the left analogue stick in to make your character transform just makes me want to hit it over and over to watch it in amazement. Or trying to impress myself by speeding off in the vehicle and upon approaching the enemy I hit the analogue stick in to transorm and pose to fire right at them just like in the movies. Unfortunately, this isn’t needed. The enemy AI is scripted enough to where if you stay back far enough without engaging them and fire at them you can repeatedly shoot and they won’t even attempt to fire back – it takes a little while longer to kill them but it’s the easiest option. There are a few instances like in the very first chapter you have to fight off hordes of enemies before you can progress, or later in the game your Transformer is damaged enough that he is stuck in the robot form, meaning he also can’t access his weapons, so he can only melee the enemy – so staying back and attacking from far is not possible.
There is also a point system in the game where as you kill enemies you gain points and the more you kill within a certain time frame the bigger multiplier you get. However, the only reason for this system seems to be to unlock certain achievements that want you to finish a level with over a certain amount of points. I never found myself wanting to try and better my score on any level.
There are some good points to appreciate in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For example, within the storyline you get to play the role of both the Decepticons and Autobots and learn about the unique abilities for each of the Transformers you play as. You get to drive sports cars, speed through an erupting volcano – granted you dont get to see much but you know you have a time limit to get out and the idea of that is quite thrilling in itself – fly as a Jet and even land on an aircraft to fight the enemy.
One of the game’s main features is the “Stealth Force” mode. What this means is you can chance into vehicle mode but still be able to fire weapons, as well as strafe left and right, firing at enemies with ease. It also increases your armour efficiency to higher than either other form. Whichever transformation you want to fight in, you can do that, even in the vehicle form (holding down left trigger when in “Stealth Force” mode) where you have no way of stopping but letting go of the left trigger, you can use your boost and hitting most enemies normally results in a 1-hit kill.
I could tell you all about the story-line and what the idea behind it is, but it really wouldn’t sell the game to you. The script has parts where it’s just laughably bad and most of the cutscenes you sit through waiting to just be over so you can get through the game and complete it. It got so bad that the final 3 chapters of the game – out of the total 7 – I stuck headphones in and listened to podcasts just to be able to play through it and finally complete it without putting it down every 15 minutes and going on to something else.
The best part of the game I think is flying above the clouds in the Jet formation. I even found myself shouting “Do a Barrel Roll” any time I hit right bumper to actually do a Barrel Roll and just flying around open air firing at enemies was immersive enough for me to forget the flaws. However, go too close to the clouds below you or fly too high above to the atmosphere and your immersion is broken and the fun stops just because of invisible walls that actually narrow the space you play on quite a bit.
The game could have been so much better had they seemed to actually care about making it anything like the movies and spent more time on it. This is a game that done right would be fantastic but instead we have this drivel. If you feel you can play the game and just entertain yourself doing “barrel rolls” or trying to look as cool as possible whilst playing and really don’t care for an immersive game then you could easily enjoy this for the 4 or 5 hours it may take you to complete. The multiplayer is also fun if you have friends to compete with, other than that the multiplayer is just like any other but with transformers. If not, a young family may love a new game.