Transformers: The Game
Well isn't this a turn up for the books!
Xbox 360, ALL
And what's the opposite of a turn out for the books? A piece of crap. I swear I'm losing my mind. Most likely because of Transformers: The Game. It's a game, based on the Transformers film by Michael "BLOW SHIT UP" Bay, and frankly it isn't any good.
On playing for ten or fifteen minutes you may cry: "But Ian, he who I clearly turn to for all his opinions as they are gospel - this game is a bit of fun. It isn't the best game ever, oh no siree, but it is fun to run around hitting things and transforming!" To that, I would say this: Leave it at that. Leave with these false memories of a game that's approaching half-decent. Leave before you make any progress in the game and want to rip your eyes out, or simply die. Oh, and in the game it's called 'converting', not transforming. For this they have no excuse.
So what we have is a quickly-assembled movie tie in - no surprises there. The presentation is there, the voice actors are there - the joy that comes when Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) narrates the opening is palpable, though it soon fades and is replaced by a feeling oh so different - everything looks set to be the usual moviegame fare. Uninspired, though ultimately playable. Unfortunately not here - it's just dire. When not wrestling with the controls and irritating bobbing camera you're getting stuck on objects that at one point appear to be made of the lightest material known to man, then suddenly have a greater mass than that of the Earth itself.
Or you're trying, TRYING, to navigate around in vehicle form, crashing into every other car on the road (again, either flying off as if made of nothing or simply stopping you dead in your tracks), getting stuck on nothing and being unable to corner in any reasonable fashion. When a lot of missions involve getting from A to B in a set time limit this can prove pretty damn irritating, especially when you're being constantly harassed by the completely-ineffective-to-your-health-but-still-able-to-get-in-the-way police. God it's frustrating.
Play revolves around a selection of maps, which serve as hubs for the missions - there are collectables strewn around, side missions to do and some other rubbish, and obviously it's a rip off of the current crop of free roaming games. A decent idea, but the playing fields are terribly small, uninteresting and cause more trouble than not - designing a level around the robots themselves would have worked better, rather than trying to make realistic towns and the like. They are giant machines and all, and navigating thin alleyways is made rather difficult as a result. Missions are passable at best, terrible most of the time - destroy this, fight him, drive here, blah blah blah. It gives me headaches just thinking about it.
Both the Decepticons and Autobots have their own campaigns to take part in, but this just compounds the misery. Playing as set machines for different sections of the campaign at least means you have to try everyone out, but when there's barely any noticeable difference between Bumblebee and Optimus (one's a tiny bit faster, one can kill drones a bit quicker), you know something's not quite right. The Decepticons at least have a bit of variation, what with them not all being automobiles, but the choice between a rubbish helicopter and a pointless robot scorpion - I thought Scorponok was huge? - doesn't do much for longevity.
Speaking of longevity, there are a number of unlockables - movies, artwork and Generation 1 characters. Unless you can be bothered playing through the game, these are best left ignored. Though playing as the true original Optimus is a bit tempting, don't be drawn in - it will punish your very soul.
So: it's uninspired, dull, annoying, broken, buggy, the graphical engine doesn't hold up too well, it's prone to odd difficulty spikes and has cheating bosses - cheating in the early 90s arcade game way that all of a sudden your attack that was killing the crap out of them has no effect. It's like a Michael Bay film in game form, one might say. Avoid, avoid avoid.