The Transformers: The Game
Traveller’s Tales and Activision recently released the official Transformers game on most major platforms. Historically, video games based on movies are notorious for being low quality cash-in games. With Transformers, that’s about what you’re going to get; a shallow, cheesy 3rd person action game that’s not worth your gaming dollar.
Another Weak Movie Translation
Transformers the game allows you to choose between the Autobots and Decepticons. Regardless of your choice, the game is played from a 3rd person perspective and involves a short campaign experience that is made up of short, linear missions. The game unfolds across various, seemingly wide open areas, but they are not as open as Crackdown or recent GTA games, for example. Not only do you not have as much room to explore, but your mission objectives will keep you pretty much locked down, too. Each area does contain a hundred collectible pickups, although I never felt compelled to bother collecting these, even though most of the collectibles per area can be found very easily.
One of the few cool things about Transformers The Game is the ability to wreck havoc on the environment; also, most objects are able to be picked up and thrown, including cars, street signs, trees, and so forth. The damage that can be created in battle is pretty impressive, but buildings seem to fall apart like they’re paper instead of concrete. Contact with a building, even if you weren’t trying to destroy it, is usually enough to at least cause it severe damage if not make it crumble to the ground. At first, I didn’t really notice this, but once I noticed it took away from the enjoyment of the game because it made everything seem cheap and flimsy, thereby making the destruction less impressive because it was so easy to achieve.
Naturally, as an Autobot, destroying Earth structures and causing such havoc isn’t supposed to happen, but there is no penalty for doing so that I could tell. When using Decepticons, mass destruction is the goal in some missions. Other mission types include racing to various checkpoints and defeating handfuls of enemies. This takes me to one of the biggest problems I had with the game, the combat. You have the ability to shoot energy at your enemies, but it’s hardly effective; there are two types of fire “heavy” and “light” but neither seems very effective at all – combat always boiled down to close combat brawls which while neat at first, get old quick. The camera and lock-on system was a nuisance too, and required plenty of manual intervention, which furthermore took away from the experience.
There is no multiplayer mode at all with Transformers; you get two short campaigns that can be beat within five or six hours each, and through these you can unlock lots of artwork and some short movie clips. Ultimately, there isn’t much reason to begin the game in the first place, nor really the option or reason to play through again.
Visually, Transformers looks okay. I was most impressed with the destruction and the chaos that you can have going on around you during battle. Otherwise, some other positives are that the framerate stays smooth and the robot animations are pretty good. In terms of audio, the booming voice of Optimus Prime brings a flair of authenticity to the mix, and for me was the standout of the game’s audio presentation.
Transformers The Game is not the worst movie-to-game I have played, but there isn’t a lot great about it. I didn’t enjoy the movie, though, so fans of the film may find this game more intriguing. Regardless, I do recommend it for purchase; you could easily beat this game with both the Autobots and the Decepticons in a weekend rental anyway and there is no reason to come back for more.