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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Traveller's Tales

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

July 2007

 

 

- The actual Transformers are great

- Many objects to pick up and hurl

- Sticks to the film source and inserts a few optional tasks

- Tons of unlockables

 

 

- Though there are a few extra tasks to do, it still doesn't feel like there's a lot going on

- Characters are almost too big for their own good

- Clunky combat

 

 

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Transformers: The Game

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

Developer Traveller’s Tale seems to be making a career of creating games based on childhood toys.  First, it was the Lego Star Wars games, which was followed up with Bionicles and a Lego Batman game (coming 2008), but their most recent project is Transformers: The Game, which is based on the recent theatrical release.

 

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As far as licensed games go, it’s a generally good romp through some of the movie locales and is packed with a variety of playable Transformers, both on the Decepticon and Autobot sides.

 

The mold that the gaming world has seen repeated multiple times before sets up the action in Transformers: a big environment to explore, a main storyline to

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follow with a few optional challenges, a long, long list of unlockables (including comic book covers, movie trailers, and stills from the movie), and collectible “orbs” hidden all over the place.  Travellers’s Tales also nailed the actual transformation of the Transformers (even if the manual refers to it as “converting” rather than “transforming”)

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and destruction can be meted out over large swathes, which is a great way to show what would happen if massive mechanical beings went toe-to-toe in a crowded urban center.  Objects that litter the world such as cars, giant baseball bats, lamp posts, and other pieces of debris can be used to cause even more damage.  It all comes together as an undemanding action game, with a few drawbacks that will serve to irritate anyone over the age of 12.

 

Combat is clunky at the best of times.  Start a combo and Bumble Bee, Optimus, Starscream, whichever Transformer you happen to be, they will complete the combo attack in a straight line.  Because the direction of attack can’t be altered once a combo attack begins it’s often the case that the first hit will connect and if they aren’t lined up perfectly the next two blows whiff through the air.  Locking on to any particular foe can also prove to be frustrating grind as the Transformers themselves take up so much screen real estate it can be difficult to see enemies to actually lock-on to.

 

transformers game          transformers game

 

The campaign is fair enough, but once it’s over there’s not a lot to bring players back.  Each area has completely optional challenges which are “purchased” with the orbs collected throughout each area but there aren’t enough of them.  Completed missions in any level can be replayed but that’s still not enough to bring the core gamer back because there’s little reason to do so. It’s not like the Transformers are upgradeable…

 

I said it of Spider-Man 3 and the same can be said of The Transformers. “I’d suggest Activision tap the talents of some of the writers of the comic book to pen a story – or hell, even adapt one of [The Transformers] more classic comic stories – and use that as a basis for a game.”  The constraints of the movie license just seem to block the fun (though hearing Peter Cullen and Frank Welker back in their iconic roles as Optimus and Megatron is pretty sweet).  Pull the camera back a bit, give us gamers more to do in a story-driven environment, and make the combat system a little more flexible.  But those are for a sequel.  As is, Transformers is an average game that younger fans of the film should enjoy.

 

- Omni

(August 1, 2007)

 

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