Review by Tifanity
"= A Major Disapointment for what could have been a great movie game ="
If there was ever a movie game that didn't follow the movie in any shape or form, this is that very game. This game should not even share the same title as the movie because this is honestly and actually a prequel to the actual movie. What does that mean? Well let's say that this game should have been called : "Transformers 2.5"
This review contains spoilers for the game, not the movie. Please don't read on if you don't want to know about the game. Remember also my reviews are done like you are in front of me, I speak my mind and remember that this is only my opinion it isn't fact. Main purpose of my review to let you the reader decide on whether you want to get this game or not.
Being a huge Transformer fan since I was a mere child, I have been collecting the toys and buying the games. I have all the movie games and even multiple copies on different consoles and hand helds. Each game is unique to itself and had its' flaws but at least, AT LEAST they followed the their respective movies in one shape or form. Part one the final battle in the game was in the city, just like the movie, in part two you fight the Fallen in Egypt, in this one, no battle takes place in the movie, none. Does this mean the game itself is bad because of this? Yes and no. Yes because this game is SUPPOSE to follow the movie and it doesn't no because the game itself and a whole isn't too bad. However, the main killer to me about this game is that it's painfully short. I will however get to that later in the review.
The game follows the second movie but three years after and the Autobots are still hunting what is left of the Decepticons. Soundwave is still in space and Megatron is left in hiding. From the beginning of the game,the start of the campaign where you are forced to use Bumblebee, I had a bad feeling. What happened to choosing the side you want to start? What happened to choosing the character you want to use? that choice had been taken away, you are forced to use whoever is bestowed upon you. After beating the game fully, I still don't understand the main plot of the game. It had nothing to do with the moon and it concentrates to me more on the Decepticons than the Autobots. It seems that the whole point of the game is to prevent the awakening of Shockwave and that the whole game was just leading up to that point. Ah, but that was the point of the game right? Well, I honestly didn't know until after I beat the game, I mean, the game has the same title of the movie, why is it so different?
The controls for the game can take some time to get use to. The reason for this is the inconsistency of the controls. For example, when you are in Robot form, you aim with the L2 button and you fire with the R2. When you transform, you go into what now they call Stealth mode where you are in vehicle form where your armor is strengthen. Now in the mode, if you want to aim, it's no longer L2, now it's L1. L2 now in vehicle mode, turns you into your regular vehicle form and accelerate. Why was this done? I really don't know, most of the time when I go into stealth mode, I find myself accelerating instead of aiming and sometimes it actually kills me for doing so.
The R1 button in Robot form activates your special ability, this ability can be used once and it can be recharged by killing enemies to collect Energon. However, in stealth and Vehicle mode, the R1 button is now to boost. R3 just like War to Cybertron is to transform, X is jump and circle is to throw grenades. Triangle is to switch out weapons. Talking about weapons, you can never pick up any guns and you never ever run out of ammo. Although you need to reload. Health has also changed, now if you aren't being hit, your health bar by itself slowly regenerates on its' own. However, sometimes enemies drop a canister that refills your health in case you don't want to wait.
The game play if you have played War for Cybertron is almost identical minus the choice of Co-op. Oh yes, there is no Co-op a crucial aspect of the game to me. You have an objective and you just move from point A to point B to accomplish it. This game has no puzzles, if they did, I didn't notice them and the only time I have died was when I was fighting a boss. However, each boss, they tell you how to defeat them so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know what to do. A feature that I miss is the ability to have team mates with you. There are many moments in the game where you are with your comrades but only for a short amount of time. Now if you aren't following the movie already, why not keep that feature in and most importantly, let the players use who they want!
Going into the characters, you can play with the following in the campaign and they are in order: Bumblebee, Ironhide, Mirage, Soundwave, Razorbeak, Soundwave again, Starscream, Megatron and then Optimus Prime. The Decepticons missions are longer and more fun than the Autobots because simply you have to do more things and you fight more. Also, this is where it mainly shows that the game is a prequel to its' name. It shows Soundwave exit space and how he got his vehicle form even though the vehicle he is in the game is not the same as the movie, it shows how Megatron got his new form, it shows how Shockwave got initiated, it shows how the Decepticons made the plan for the moon. Oh wait, you are thinking that I earlier I mentioned that it had nothing to do with the moon right? Well, here is the killer, when they mention the moon, the game is over. Want to know what happens next? You have to watch the movie. In fact, I recommend people to play this game first then watch the movie, otherwise a lot of parts don't make sense.
You can beat this game in one sitting and in a minimum of four to five hours. I kid you not. You don't even have to know what to do, you can never get lost and you can never get stuck. You walk around, you shoot things and you move on and you win. If you want to make the game longer, play on the hardest difficulty and search for the Autobot/Decepticon symbols to destroy in each level. Otherwise, you are done with the game. This game doesn't even have an ending, it's a poor excuse for a movie game and I am pissed off after playing it. But this game has a multiplayer mode right? Yes and it's horrible.
Why is the multiplayer in the game horrible? First, you are limited to who you can be. You can customize your own Transformers to an extent. You can choose their guns and their color, even name one. I named my Soundwave, Tifawave but big whoop, I can't choose him unless I by luck get on the Decepticon team. Second, when you start the match, you can only choose a class and they give you the default, you can't choose who you want to be. I guess this is for balance? You can't have a full team of Primes or Megatrons but honestly, the Decepticons are better than the Autobots. What is this blasphemy you say? Am I just saying this game I favor the Decepts more? NO! whoever controls Megatron is mostly going to be the lead and have the most kills. Reason is his cannon gun is ridiculously strong and he can steal health from his enemies. Not just one enemy, ALL enemies around him. Team him up with any Decepticon, he is unstoppable. Here is an example:
I was in a match where the guy had over 30 kills and 1 death! He took out my whole team in one sitting. Everytime I was to attack him, he had Starscream in the air shooting me, I stood no chance. My team mate who was Breakaway tried to take Starscream out but he was two shotted by Megatron! Worst part is also the spawning points. You always spawn after death in two places, these places are easily accessible by your enemies. I re-spawn one time with a Starscream just sitting there shooting me and killing me before I can even lock down on him. Another time Megatron himself just sitting outside waiting for me to poke my little head out before taking it off. No you can't do that in the game, I was speaking figuratively.
There aren't many modes to choose from either. You have free for all, team deathmatch and I think the last one is Conquest where you have to accumulate 400 points to win, sort of like a Capture the flag. What is missing is the escalation mode from War for Cybertron where you fight countless of enemies until you die. A great way to level up and power up. This game now, you just have to choose the classes and win or lose, you gain experience points and when you reach level 20, you are at your max. You can also choose your killstreaks which is another way of breaking the multi player experience. You can activate powerful weapons, protect your team mates, the works. Of course each killstreak, you need a certain amount of kills but just use Megatron and you will find yourself getting them in no time.
Lastly, missing characters. In the game there were a handful of characters you fight. One example being the Aerialbots but in Multiplayer, you can only choose one of them. Sideswipe is also missing, you have to unlock Ratchet and Shockwave who can't transform by the way and a few others are missing as well. I guess they are going to release them as DLC? If so, what a rip-off...
Now what is good about this game? Well for one the graphics are done very nice. Each Transformer is very detailed and they look like what they are suppose to. I also love seeing them Transform from Robot mode to Vehicle mode and vice versa. I enjoyed the missions as well, when I had reached Ironhide's part, I told myself that I loved the game, only to change my mind after beating it. What is also good is the music for the game, it doesn't have the official music from the movie but there it's close enough. The main theme for the game is very good and I think it's the best music in the game.
The scenery believe it or not is very detailed, tress and water moving, the sun light, the lava, ice, everything is very detailed. However, one thing I mostly like about this game is the patches it filled in from the movie. I think they did a very good job in doing that and what I absolutely love about this game and really only thing are the boss battles. One worthy boss battle to mention is when you are Starscream and you are in the sky duking it out with other aerial enemies. I wish they had something like that in the movie.
In closing, game is too short, feels rushed and incomplete. If you are an Optimus Prime fan, you will be very disappointed in this game. If you got this game for the multiplayer, you will be very disappointed and if you are a fan of Transformers or the movie, you will be disappointed. This game is not worth the price of $60, it could have been a great game and it started out to be one which is why I am so angry. This game felt like an expansion from the Rise of the Fallen, it should not have been named as a sequel.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 07/07/11, Updated 07/08/11
Game Release: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (US, 06/14/11)
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