Game Review – “Transformers: The Movie”


Game Platform: Xbox 360 @ 1080p w/h surround sound
 
Well, the movie was pretty good so I figured it was worth the risk to see if the game followed suit.
Wrong.  For a "top shelf" game, I can’t see it avoiding the bargain bin for long. 
Certainly after the movie hype has died down.
 
This game, unforturnately, is just another let down where the game feels like it was just made to cash in on the movie’s coat tails.
At first everything seems good and, to be honest, I loved the many touches in homage to Generation 1 (G1) fans – and there are many.
In the first mission for the Autobots (and a few other stages) you’ll notice:
– Hound Coffee(?) Billboards
– Seaspray (billboards)
– The shopping centre is called Metroplex
(just off the top of my head)
 
Let’s look at the game first.  The general game mode is campaign.  The two options are Autobot and Decepticon.  Both follow (kinda) the overall movie storyline, with some interesting differences.  There are a number of sub-missions and various "extras" which unlock additional content.
 
Ignoring the extras (it can take quite a while to locate all the energon cubes), and just focusing on the campaigns themselves, let’s review.
High marks for look and feel.  This game renders the main proponents (the transformers themselves) very nicely – especially Optimus Prime.
The Autobot missions are a tad trickier than the Decepticon missions, in that you have to drive a lot.  This wouldn’t normally be a challenge, especially if you’ve played Project Gotham Racing et al..  The problem is the handling of any transformer in a "car mode" is, quite simply, ATROCIOUS.
 
Worst: there are several levels which offer missions which rely on skilled driving, and one wrong tap of the left joystick and you’re a goner.  There is no driving precision period.  This, for me, breaks the game.  It more-or-less makes in unplayable.  Lord knows how they failed to pick this up in testing.
 
It’s a real shame because the rest of the game is actually quite playable (often a bit predictable though).  I was enjoying the game until the problems with regard to driving became apparent.  The Decepticon campaign was easier to execute – the Autobot bosses also easier to overcome – however I found myself gettikng frustrated at either:
a) the repetitive nature of the missions (and sub-missions), and
b) the poor driving game play – since 50% of the game involves driving.
 
This game is worth playing any way, just don’t pay full retail price – rent it instead, or pick it out of the bargain bin.
 
In any case, forget collecting all the energon cubes.  Use cheat codes to unlock "Classic" Megatron and "Classic" Optimus Prime – they are worth seeing, and you don’t miss anything by using the cheats to unlock them temporarily.
 
Rating: 6/10
Graphics: 8/10 (very slick)
Sound:    9/10 (Extra points for getting the original and best voice of Optimus Prime)
Gameplay: 5/10 (Flying around as Starscream was way cool, driving sucked bigtime)
V4$ (Value for money/RRP): 3/10 (You probably won’t be playing this for long)
 
Tomorrow: How dumb I feel because of……… (read tomorrow for more on this)
Later in the week – possibly next week: How to hook an owner drawn window’s child controls (written in unmanaged C++) it has some interesting uses.

About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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