It’s universally accepted that any video game based off a movie is bound to be garbage. Unlike regular games with no tie-ins, games based on movies are nothing more than a marketing tool, hastily slapped together for unsuspecting fans of that movie and gamers alike. Transformers: The Game is a prime (no pun intended) example of this.
Mirroring the movie’s plot, the story focuses on the war between the Autobots and Deceptions and their race to find the All Spark, a powerful cube that can put an end to their stalemate. Destruction and chaos ensues, which is what you’d expect from giant robots running around the place.
Since there are so few positive points in this game, let’s get them out of the way first. You can play as either the Autobots or Deceptions. After all, it’s fun to be the bad guy once in a while. It’s actually more fun to be the Deceptions because unlike the Autobot campaigns, you don’t get penalized for smashing stuff – in fact; you’re rewarded for it. After all, there’s just something satisfying in whooping a billboard with a palm tree. I’m impressed by the graphics, especially the detail on the robots. The transforming animation looks pretty cool. Controls are relatively smooth, but mainly when the character is in robot form. In addition, it’s fun to unlock classic appearances of certain characters.
Ok, now the bad. The missions are horribly frustrating since many are timed. I hate timed missions because they’re stressful, and games are supposed to be fun. Furthermore, checkpoints are few and far between. Boss battles are presented in stages, and if you miss the checkpoint at any stage, you return to square one of that battle. Welcome to Aggravation Central.
Since many missions are timed, gameplay is severely restricted. You can’t romp around the city exploring, or destroying stuff for the hell of it. What good is being a Transformer if you can’t have fun with it? Even worse are the monotonous fights. Your characters carry mean-looking and awesome ranged weapons, but they’re completely useless since nearly all your opponents have a shield. You’re then confined to hand-to-hand combat, which wouldn’t be so bad if you had more than three moves to choose from.
As I mentioned earlier, controls handle smoothly, if you’re in robot form. Cars are awkward to steer, which makes it difficult for missions that require you racing against time or an opponent to a specific goal. I often found myself crashing into walls. Planes are almost as tough to control but aren’t as bad since there are no buildings and fences in the air.
If you want the mindless fun and explosive action of rumbling robots, buy the Michael Bay DVD instead.
Transformers: The Game is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Violence. This game can also be found on: PC, PS2, PS3, PSP (E10+), Wii, Xbox 360.