|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Vicarious Visions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 23, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
As far as summer blockbusters go, Michael Bays Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be one of the biggest. Naturally, the film has been translated into distinct gaming experiences across every platform. On Tuesday, May 19th, at an Activision event in Las Vegas, I got a chance to play each and every version of the game. Im happy to report that the Transformers IP has been lovingly recreated for each system, taking advantage of every consoles unique character. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (RotF) is bound to make an impact across every gaming demographic.
Daniel Suarez, executive producer of RotF, made it clear to all attending that the team at Activision and the various developers working on the games were well aware that the previous titles were not very well received. Rather than riding on the coattails of the film, Mr. Suarez assured us that RotF was going to encompass a truly compelling set of experiences across every system. After tooling around with the games, Im willing to five that sentiment.
Kicking things off, we got to play in a couple multiplayer sessions on the Xbox 360. The multiplayer component for next-gen consoles isnt merely a tacked-on feature set; it may actually be what sells the title to gamers outside of the Transformers core. Taking on both the Autobots and the Decepticons, we played in four on four Team Deathmatch and Control Points games. Unfortunately, we werent able to play any of the other modes, but these two options were more than sufficient to see just how much fun players are going to have with competitive multiplayer. Upon firing up the session, it became immediately apparent how important scale and tactical roles are. Because the bots are so massive, climbing up buildings is done effortlessly. This makes for three-dimensional, vertical play on all maps. Moreover, available characters on both sides of the fight can roll out on wheels or even take to the skies. This makes playing your role in RotF very important.
Players will be able to take on a host of different bots that play very distinctly. For the Autobots, a couple forms of Optimus Prime were available (sorry, we cant discuss what thats all about). Optimus is a leader character with a high rate of fire, strong melee attacks, and leadership boon power that helps him deflect oncoming damage and makes his close-combat even more devastating. Players also will have access to Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, and Breakaway. These are a mix of scout, melee fighter, medic, and flying sniper. Utilizing a nice mix of roles and working in conjunction proves to be very devastating, especially when going after the objectives in Control Points mode. Similarly, the Decepticons are also a devastating group of characters. Players can choose from Megatron, Starscream, Grindor, Long Haul, and Sideways. The Decepticons have a lot of aerial fighters, and Megatron is utterly destructive.
I really enjoyed the multiplayer experience. Climbing up buildings, transforming in an instant, and laying down the hurt is quite unique. Every bot is loaded with strengths and weaknesses that you can take advantage of on either side of the conflict. While the bot count is somewhat light, the developers have promised a load of unlockables and future DLC support.
After multiplayer, we moved on to test out the single-player story mode. This time around, players will take on mission-based levels as either the Autobots or Decepticons. Single-player action is punctuated by fast and furious gameplay accentuated by the garnering of medals. Players will be awarded with ratings depending upon how quickly they achieve the objectives. For instance, in one level I played I was an Autobot: Ratchet. I was tasked with healing and protecting Ironhide from a relentless stream of Decepticons. I finished this level in just under ten minutes and was rewarded with a Silver medal. The developer with whom I was playing let me know that a few of the testers could get the level finished in around two minutes.