Transformers: The Game

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


One would hope that Transformers: The Game is more than meets the eye. That way, there would be something under the surface of this mundane licensed action title to help it rise above the sadly expected standard fare. It’s mild fun as after all you are a giant robot let loose in various locales with free reign, but the core feels slapped together and sloppy.

Giving the player the ability to choose between warring factions (the Autobots and Decepticons), the storyline follows the highly budgeted blockbuster movie, with obvious tweaks where needed depending on the chosen side. In third person, the Transformers are tasked with finding objectives on a free roaming map, highlighted by a bright green aura. It’s impossible to mix, and there’s little to do when walking outside of storyline missions other than find various hidden objects that do nothing to enhance the experience, only cheapen it.

The ability to transform at any time, leading a gorgeous set of animation, is a nice touch to add that extra sense of freedom. Sadly, the missions will dictate which form you need to be. High speed chases or air combat can’t be completed when walking around as a humanoid machine. Dual sets of projectile weapons are fun to play with when taking down buildings in the impressive destruction engine, though almost entirely useless when in real combat with other Transformers. All but the smallest drones have fully enabled shields that make them impossible to take down with anything other than hand-to-hand combat.

This leads to battles that feel alike from one to the next, and makes the extended and irritating boss struggles seem more like work than fun. With no checkpoints during the missions, this can be as aggravating as trying to deal with the animation sequence for picking up objects, which seems to have a mind of its own. The majority of the larger scale battles are the same, requiring the player to run from one section of the map to another within a strict time limit, deplete the enemy life bar, and repeat. Fail at any junction, and the entire fight resets.

Director Jon Burton has a history of pushing through licensed titles including the wildly successful Lego Star Wars, yet still falls victim to the typical pitfalls this genre brings with it. Completing the story missions straight through is a painfully short experience, hovering around five hours if you take your time or are caught in frustratingly long missions. The collectibles are tiring and irritating to find, and the extras earned once discovered aren’t worth the effort.

Even with the flaws and stress causing design choices, fans of the Transformers will likely enjoy this romp. The recognizable characters and voices from the classic cartoon will bring forth enough nostalgia to sugar coat the smaller problems, and the ability to break anything in the game world is undeniably a blast. When it’s over and the brain stops remembering why you enjoyed the original cartoon series, you’ll come to realize that $60 could have been spent actually buying that original series on DVD.


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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 10:05 PM