In years past I always thought of summertime much like the Will Smith song “Summertime”, but as of late, summer is about big blockbuster movies and their video game counterparts. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (RotF from now on) is the latest in the long line of summer films to be capitalized on by the video game industry. While some of these “movie to game” transitions have been great (Spiderman 2) others have just been downright dismal (Street Fighter: The Movie…Game).
Luckily RotF falls closer to the Spiderman 2s of the pack. While the game does do its job to expand on scenes from the movie, it still has plenty of flaws the first of which is the visuals. RotF is a game that is admittedly far better than the video-game adaptation of the first movie. That game was so bad that anything would be an improvement, but RotF is significantly better in almost every single way. Still, the blurry and compressed graphics, along with some very boring and unoriginal levels really hurt the overall presentation of the game.
The new developer Luxoflux really has added a great deal of replayability to the game this time around. Every level in the game is timed and how fast you complete each level will earn you a platinum, gold, silver or bronze medal. While I am not a fan of the timed missions it does give you something extra to shoot for if you enjoy watching your name climb the leader boards. There are also side missions, and little medallions that you can pick up that will give you some extra energon points in which to upgrade your transformers with as well as adding precious seconds to your time so you can make those platinum goals.
Each campaign has about 5 or 6 transformers for you to choose from. But upon starting you normally are locked into picking a set “robot in disguise” for your first play through any given mission. This is mainly because the missions you play are ripped right out of the movie so they wanted to add a consistency to the flow of the game. But as you play and finish each mission and side missions you will unlock the ability to play the levels as any one of the robots of your choosing on your given side.
One of my problems with the original Transformers game that came out in 2007 was the controls. This has been addressed by Luxoflux and what they came up with, while not perfect is definitely an upgrade from the last game. Each Transformer has two main weapons. They range from grenade launchers to sniper rifles to machine guns and so on. Guns overheat, so switching back and forth with the R1 button or Right Bumper will keep you in the fight for a while longer. Transformers also have their melee attacks, which are kept pretty simple. You can do a basic combo by hitting X on the 360 or square on the PS3 three times in a row or you can hold it down for a charged-up attack.
Transforming this time around can be added to your attack combos. You transform by holding the R2 or the Right Trigger on 360, as long as the button is held you will remain in vehicle mode. While driving or flying in vehicle mode if you hold down your melee button your robot will pull off a ground pound attack, the same goes if you hold the jump button you will get more air in your jump. While all of these little attacks are pretty much the same for every transformer, some of them do come in handy.
The developers added in Multiplayer mode for those that want to have a group of Autobots attack a group of Decepticons, and I have to say it isn’t half bad. There aren’t a ton of characters to choose from, but roles are definitely fleshed out; there are healers, attackers, snipers and so on. Playing a team-based, objective-oriented game is a good time if you’ve got folks who communicate well, which we all know is difficult to find in these online games. Hopefully we will see some DLC maybe in the way of maps, and new bots that will keep this mode alive for a little while longer.
As much fun as it is to pull off crazy transform moves or go through missions with multiple characters, it all can become problematic after a few hours of the game. Transformers: RotF starts getting really repetitive after awhile, and you’ll find yourself getting bored defeating wave after wave of the same enemies. Boss fights break it up a bit, but they are few and far between. If you are into these types of button mashers, then this will be right up your alley, but if you are just a fan of Transformers that wants to control his/her favorite robot in disguise then this may work your nerves after a few hours.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a huge upgrade over the previous movie-based game in the series. So much so that it is almost a shame to keep comparing the two. Despite the feelings of repetitiveness and a lack of polish in a few of places, I feel like this is really one of the better “movie games” that has come out in a while. While I can recommend this for those fans of the Transformers, I don’t think this is for everyone; especially those that have grown out of the old school button mashers and prefer the minute nuances of a Ninja Gaiden type ‘beat em up’. But for those that are interested you will find a decent representation of your favorite Transformers, and you can even unlock six episodes from the original cartoon while going through missions, just a little extra fan service that Luxoflux threw in there for good measure.