Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

August 17, 2009

It’s hard to make a video game based on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and have it not be better than the movie, and Luxoflex has succeeded in doing so. But judging it solely as a game, it not only makes a game about giant robots boring, it actually manages to take so many different gameplay elements and make them equally as uninteresting. 

The game follows the story of the film, but there is a key difference: you can choose to play as either the Autobots or the Decepticons. If you decide to play as the Decepticons, the story changes pretty drastically, and you basically get the completely opposite of what normally happens in the film. It’s nice to see developers include two different ways to approach a generally linear storyline. But it’s a shame that the gameplay really doesn’t change at all. Whether you’re an Autobot or a Decepticon, it’ll all feel the same.

The models of all of the robots are impressive, and it’s cool seeing them transform. That was handled really well, but everything else in the game looks rather bland and uninspired. Even the waves and waves of generic enemies you face all begin to look the same after a while. The game has pretty much the same music found in the film, and it sounds good, but you rarely hear that music in-game, most of it is played in the menus. 

Each robot, whether it is an Autobot or a Decepticon, has a few small, unique things about them. They are all slightly different in terms of speed, strength, and the weapons they use, among a few other things. They also each have their own special abilities that may drastically help in battle; Bumblebee, for example, can temporarily disable the enemy, while Ratchet can heal himself and other Autobots around him. You generally never need these skills though, since the majority of the gameplay consists of destroying smaller enemy robots that really pose no threat, especially with the regenerating health your character has. 

The control scheme is actually executed rather well, with many different moves and maneuvers all learned pretty easily. A nice touch I enjoyed was when you hold the right trigger, you transform into whatever vehicle your character is, and by letting go you transform right back. You can use this to sneak attack enemies or perform higher jumps, among other things. The shooting and hand to hand combat are pretty simplistic as well, and by the end of the tutorial, you will know everything there is to know. 

Each mission consists of generally the same objectives: protect a specific target, destroy all of the enemies in the area, take a target from point A to point B, repair certain items in the area, or defeat a specific enemy (a boss). There is really no variation in any of these missions, and you tend you get a bit bored of everything going on fairly quickly. You are however given a medal at the end of each mission based on how fast you finished it, ranging from platinum to bronze. Aside from going back to get the better medals, there are really no reasons to replay any of these missions. 

The huge problem with the game is, despite the variety in the different gameplay elements, none of them are never handled that well. You can drive or fly, but it’s almost never necessary unless you are trying to finish a mission quickly to achieve a platinum medal. The shooting feels the same, since all of the enemies you face are generally the same, and the hand to hand combat rarely works because the enemies run away after you get only a few hits in. None of it is ever executed properly, and in terms of boss fights, they all follow very similar patterns and really require the same “strategies” you used to defeat the smaller enemies. 

While the single player may be fun at first, you’ll soon slowly begin to realize that the game is nothing but the same missions over and over again. And with such little variety in the environments or the enemies, it becomes a chore to actually finish the game. The Decepticon campaign is, if anything, a bit more original due to the change in the story from the film, but aside from that there really are no differences between the two main campaigns in the game. 

There is multiplayer as well, and surprisingly enough it actually is fun to play. With a good group of people, the multiplayer can be a blast, and actually feels less tacked on than it does in most games. There are your standard game types: deathmatch, team-deathmatch, capture the flag (called Battle for the Shards), and control points. There is one mode called One Shall Stand, which involves the two team leaders (Optimus Prime and Megatron), and the objective is to defeat the opposing team leader to win the match. It’s fun, and adds more variety to the game than can be found in the bland single player. 

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is your typical movie based game that fails to become anything more than a generic action title. It has a lot of great ideas, and you’d think a game with so many different gameplay elements could have some variety, but it just feels like another cheap cash-in. If you were to play this game for any reason, make it to try out the multiplayer, because it’s better than you would expect. 

ESBR: T for Teen; Just a lot of robot violence and some mild language

Pros: Cool transformations and abilities; very easy to learn and intuitive control scheme; fun multiplayer

Cons: So many different gameplay elements, but none are handled well; feels repetitive after a while; generic enemies and boring mission objectives

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.