The fate of the world is in gamers’ hands with the announcement that “Transformers: The Game” from Activision has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Timed to the highly anticipated theatrical release of the Transformers live-action feature film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, the game allows players to experience the unstoppable power and massive scale of the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle for Earth.
“‘Transformers: The Game’ lets you choose your side â€“ Autobots or Decepticons â€“ to either protect or destroy Earth,” said Will Kassoy, senior vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. “The game features fully destructible environments, an army of playable characters, split second changes from robot to vehicle form and a storyline that goes beyond the film to include some elements from the property’s long history that will also appeal to Generation 1 fans.”
In “Transformers: The Game” for the consoles and PC, players are presented with dual campaigns as they choose from an unprecedented line-up of characters including Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ironhide, Starscream, Bumblebee and more. Gamers must master each character’s unique weapons, moves and instantaneous conversions from robot to vehicle mode as they rampage through fully interactive and destructible environments in their quest to protect or destroy Earth.
Superhero Hype!’s own Dante Maddox got a chance to play the different versions of the game and gave us a rundown of what you can expect:
The game looks great, all the intricacy of the motion picture models are here in 3-D. The environments are sound and completely destructible. This feature plays heavily in the game whether the player is a heroic Autobot or an evil Decepticon. The controls are a little unwieldy but that only adds to the sensation of being a giant robot. A giant robot running at full speed is bound to rub up against a building or two (maybe more if you’re not careful) and will subsequently damage the building which might cause the police to get involved. The controls while in battle are really well done and the fighting is pretty seamless. The way the game is set up, you can either follow along with the story by completing the various missions or you can simply run amok and destroy as much as the city as you would like, either way is pretty fun. The driving controls are pretty standard, but luckily precision doesn’t seem to be required for either side. What’s great is that transforming is simple and easy and isn’t some kind of timed issue where you can only be in one mode for a certain amount of time. Simply push a button and the robot will transform into their vehicle mode. It is also possible to access projectile weapons while in either mode. I got the chance to check out one of the game’s many boss battles and was really impressed at the transition between the action and the cinema scenes. The game is a blast.
This might be the first PS3 game I’ve gotten a chance to play that I was really impressed with. The graphics are a little sharper on this platform (compared to the 360), but the game’s controls are pretty similar to that of the Xbox version. The frame rate while driving is pretty nice and the way the player can interact with the environment while in car mode is also pretty cool. The transforming animations are so cool that you’ll find yourself simply transforming over and over again just to see the animation. I really like the cut scenes in this version as well as the lighting effects during the nighttime scenes. Just like the 360 (they are essentially the same game, which in this case is a good thing) the player has a lot of freedom in regards to how they approach the game. The player can rip a tree out of the ground and use it to destroy a building. Heck, you can even grab building marquees and decorations (like the giant bat that adorns a sporting goods store) and use them to beat your opponent mercilessly (is there any other way to beat an opponent?). What really stands out is how good a job they did at giving the player the sensation that they were a giant robot that had to interact with a small environment. Want to run along the roof tops? Go ahead and climb that building and have at it. Cop car giving you trouble? Soccer kick it into a building, or into other cars. Or pick up a tank and hurl it at your enemies. The player should really feel like a Transformer while playing this game.
Of course, the graphics are not as crisp as the other next gen contenders but that doesn’t really affect how the game plays. What really sets the game apart (and this will probably be a running theme for some time) is the Wii remote, because of the controls it takes a second to get used to the gameplay. I got a chance to check out the flying aspect of the game on the Wii and it was pretty neat. The flight controls were simple to pick up and after a few moments I was barrel roling and blowing stuff up. Just like the other games, transforming was done with one touch of the button, except when flying, the plane or helicopter has to be relatively close to the ground. One down side that might exist in all the games is the limitations to where you can go while flying, it felt like I ran out of room rather quickly on the stage I got to see. One major hassle on the Wii was the melee combat, you have to move the left nunchuck side to side in order to attack from up close and my inability to accomplish this often lead to my characters demise. Gamers who are accustomed to using the Wii controller should not have that much of a problem after a little practice. The remote also controls your crosshairs so using your projectile weapons actually works a little better on the Wii. If you have a Wii, then this might be a title worth taking a look at.
The first thing to point out about the DS version of the game is that there are in fact two games. An Autobot game and a Decepticon version, that allows players to have two unique gameplay experiences. The graphics for the DS are pretty nice and the controls are pretty tight. The game also takes advantage of the lower screen for things like radar and the transforming feature. Where the game really works is in the multi-player system that allows you to take on the other side with newly updated missions that get sent to your DS on a daily basis, talk about replay value. The story mode is also very nice as you get to start off as a completely original character that has a number of unlockable vehicle forms to choose from, also the player is not stuck in any particular form once that form is picked, the player can change their appearance as many times as they would like. The game also features a role-playing style level up system so that your robot warrior can grow stronger as you progress through the game. The multi-player function really makes the DS version a decent travel game.
The PSP’s multi-player works in a more traditional ‘death match’ play sense, but that doesn’t mean it is any less fun. The various multi-player levels support up to four players at a time. There is a radar feature (which is really useful since the maps are a pretty good size) that works out well especially considering that you can transform and drive or fly around the level. The controls were designed to make up for the fact that the PSP doesn’t have a dual analog system with the triangle and ‘X’ buttons used to move the camera up and down. It takes a little getting used at first, but works out okay. The designers also did the player a huge favor when it came to melee combat. Instead of a standard melee button, the attack button automatically becomes a melee button as soon as the enemy is in range. That little feature really adds to the strategy of the game and makes movement a lot easier. The character models also play a relevant part into how the player uses a particular robot. Optimus Prime is a massive thirty foot character, and if he melee attacks another player half his size then he’s going to do considerable damage. But the smaller player is more maneuverable and has an advantage at a distance, so the players are forced to play to their characters strengths. If you can find a few buddies online then there should be good fun to be had.
For more information about the game, visit TransformersGame.com.
Source: Dante Maddox, Activision