As a kid growing up in the 80’s there was no cooler toy to have than the Transformers. (Just so we can get this out of the way…Transformers are NOT Go-Bots, please don’t compare the two.) When the Transformers came stateside in 1984 they were the hottest thing around. As with all hot things, they eventually cooled off, but unlike the Go bots they never died.
The years since have seen our Autobot and Decepticon friends return in various forms, from new cartoon series to a toy line that had Optimus Prime as a …..fire truck?! Now in the year 2007 Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay are set to release a blockbuster live action movie based on our “Robots in Disguise” (Just so you know, I have seen the movie…..IT IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!) As it is will all summer blockbusters, Transformers has received the game treatment….but is it “more than meets the eye”?
Transformers: The Game loosely follows the plot of the movie. It does a good job, in that it fills in some parts that you may wonder about after seeing the film. It also changes some things that you will see in the movie. Sadly the cut scenes in the game are shoddy at best. One moment you will be driving around as Bumblebee or some other robot, and the next you will have a random cut scene. Which would not be so bad, if once the cut scene ended you were given some direction as to what you are supposed to next, instead you get a green dot that you have to drive too, and then fight some random transformers. The game does allow you to play as both factions (Autobot and Decepticon for those of you who don’t know) but the game play mechanics are essentially the same. Of course as it is with most games, you will have more fun with being bad!
Transformers: The Game really is just a straight up third-person beat em up, with driving elements. The only reason to transform into vehicle mode is just to get to one objective to another. Riddle me this gentle readers. If a game has robots that turn into vehicles, would it not make sense to focus at least a little bit on how they control. Well apparently Activision felt otherwise, as the Autobots in vehicle mode control horribly loose.
When you have to turn, and you let up off the accelerator you will lose traction, and your car will just start to doughnut. Which is very frustrating, especially in the Hoover Dam level. You will constantly be moving the analog stick left, and right just to stay on the street. The airborne Decepticons control better, but not much. It is easier to get them where you want to go, than it is Optimus Prime and his crew. As I said before, you would think this would be a no-brainer to get correct given the characters in the game.
Most of the game you will be in robot mode anyway though. The combat can be pretty frustrating at times, due to the wacky camera that goes where ever it wants. The developers were kind enough to include a lock-on ability, though it really doesn’t work all that well. The point is to using the lock on is to stay locked on, well if you move away, or anything it unlocks. Meaning you end up shooting at some building, and getting points deducted for destruction. Not only that but you will have to go through all the trouble of lining up your shot again on the boss you are fighting.
Once you’re done with both parts of the single-player campaign, there’s really very little reason to put it in your system ever again. There’s no multiplayer mode, although there are a few side missions that can be found through exploration. As for the audio in the game, the voice work is good. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reunite to voice Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively. The score is forgettable, and the sound effects will grind your nerves. What could have made it better is if they included that song from the 86 animated movie….”You got the touch” and the original transformation sound effect from the cartoon.
This really pains me to no end. I am a HUGE Transformers fan, and to have this game end up being this bad really hurts my soul. I mean the very basics for a transformers game is driving, fighting, and huge robots. They got one out of the 3 correct. I can only hope that when the sequel for the movie arrives, that we can get a better game to play. Plus maybe Unicron will make an appearance.