Sometimes itâ€™s a good idea to let somebody else give their perspective on something. The first Transformers game was by Travellerâ€™s Tales and ending up being the gaming equivalent of a rusty old banger. For this globe-trotting sequel Activision have let Luxoflux have a stab at the Transformers license, which makes perfect sense considering that they developed the car-combat series Vigilante 8 and also the admittedly quite good Kung Fu Panda tie-in.
The good news is that itâ€™s a better game than the first. Not greatly so, but thereâ€™s a definite improvement. Combat has a lot more depth with each robot having their own skill (helicopter Grindor can drop automated gun turrets; Bumblebee can emit an EMP blast to stun foes, etc) and each kill is scored depending on style. Missions objectives are generally more interesting – thereâ€™s a couple of escort and protect missions, a battle against the colossal Devastator and some against the clock checkpoint races. There are still a few too many mindless â€œgo and find some Decepticons and bash â€˜em upâ€ missions though. Each mission has bonus objectives too, like having to kill 10 enemies in a certain way. Completing these will give you bonus points to upgrade weapons and the like and also unlock full cartoons from the 80s TV series.
One thing that is initially confusing is that the right trigger has to be held down to stay transformed. This has been done to serve a purpose though – if you release the trigger while holding down another button advance jumps and attacks can be unleashed. Aerial combat (Breakaway, Starscream and Grindor make up the airborne bots) has been greatly improved, allowing for barrel rolls, banking and attacking while hovering. By far the best mission in the game is based in the skies – a battle above sea to protect (or destroy) a group of aircraft carriers protecting Megatronâ€™s remains.
The aforementioned 80s cartoons are the biggest treat that fans of the Transformers will come across – unlike the first game the voices have been supplied by sound-alikes, there are no clips from the movie it doesnâ€™t even follow the plot that well. Ghetto bots Skids and Mudflap, who are both central characters in the new movie, are oddly absent. Also, the CGI cut-scenes between missions feel like they were put together within the final hours of development mostly comprising of dull faux-radar animations.
Another sign of a rush job is that itâ€™s a very short game too -both Autobot and Deception sides take around three hours each to finish, although there is a degree of replay value to be had as the illusive platinum medals are quite tough to get.
There are a few nice ideas here, but given the source material Luxoflux could have transformed it into something a lot involving. Will Prime ever get the star in the game he deserves?