Review by oldschool312

Reviewed: 07/05/07

Not Quite More Than Meets the Eye

It is summer. The days are longer. The temperature is warmer. The local theater has a marquee full of blockbuster action packed movies sure to make millions of dollars and set box office records. Enter Transformers. One of the many huge movies during the summer of 2007. Gamers get an added bonus of a game based on the film.

The makers of the game made an excellent choice by allowing control of each of the two Transformer groups. Missions are played through the perspective of Autobots or Decepticons. At any point in time it is possible to stop the series of Autobot missions and begin the Decepticon mission. The are mutually exclusive, progress (or lack of progress) in one does not erase (or impede) the other. Unfortunately, the developers failed to give the gamers of the world a multiplayer fix for their Transformer addiction. I must say it would be very cool indeed, after defeating the story mode, to have a traditional team based battle system where Autobots and Decepticons face each other.

While no multiplayer mode exits, single player is a fun experience. Some of the fun is somewhat diminished though by the lack of tight controls. It is often difficult to maneuver the vehicle versions of the Transformers. At times missions have to be attempted again just because the controls are not on par with the premise of the game. Another disappointing portion of the gameplay is the complete lack of powerful weapons. Each Autobot and Decepticon has a light and heavy weapon attack. These attacks are mainly only useful for destroying buildings or other environmental objects. Do not expect to damage any Transformer by firing a weapon. Instead the battles are won by throwing objects (cars, trees, signs....) in the area or through hand to hand combat.

Where the game may be slightly lacking in controls, it exceeds in the category of character models. The Transformers look like their movie counterparts. Additionally, the actual process of transforming is well designed. The content in the cut scenes though looks very ordinary and overall is too short. I would have preferred slightly longer scenes that further the story more strongly. Then environments are adequately designed. It is nothing earth shattering but is a solidly made open world. The path the Transformers take can be traced by the carnage they leave behind. Buildings are obliterated, cars are turned over, and people scatter. The big problem in the graphics and sound department is the annoying static like sound that pervades the game. Apparently (according to several posts on the message boards), the static sound exits when using the HDMI cables. The sound may vanish when using an alternate set up.

The meat of the game is the two story modes (Autobots and Decepticons). There are challenges in the game that may or may not be of interest. The include but are not limited to races, battles, and item finds. The challenges can extend the length of the game but most should be able to defeat the two story modes in a couple days of moderate play time.

Overall the game performs quite well. When grading a game I place fun factor or interest level above all else. The game is frustrating in parts but overall a very enjoyable experience. This is especially true for any Transformer fans. If not a fan then the frustrating parts may override the enjoyment of controlling a giant transforming robot. While not quite "More than meets the eye," this Transformer game is worth playing.

Summary

Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 3/10
Replayability/Playtime: 7/10
Fun Factor: 9/10

Overall: 7.5

Pros:
-Character models
-Transformers License
-Autobot and Decepticon story mode
-Destructible environments
-Open world

Cons
-Sound using a HDMI cable is constantly full of static
-No multiplayer mode
-Underpowered weapons
-Loose vehicle controls


Rating:   3.5 - Good

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