|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Activision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 19, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
April 30, 2007 - In the 80s, Transformers were all the rage with a cartoon, a highly successful toy line, and a movie that made a lot of adolescent kids tear up - even to this day. We all had our favorites and they included Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, Megatron, and even the sniveling backstabbing Starscream. Transformers held captive our imaginations everyday once we got home from school. Their popularity continued to escalate, only rivaled by that of four green teenagers that knew the ways of the ninja.
There have even been heated debates over which Transformers cartoon was the best. Be it the original, now dubbed Generation One; Beast Wars; or one of the more recent ones, Transformers Armada. These discussions are almost as bad as when you ask someone which is better: Star Trek or Star Wars. This summer sparks the rebirth of the Transformers in the hearts of giant robot fans everywhere. As you might be able to guess, with a high profile movie comes a game that everyone hopes will be good enough. Well, Eidos has a plan to make not just a good movie tie-in game, but also a really good Transformers game.
The storyline of the game has been assured to follow that of the movie closely, as both revolve around finding the life giving force known as Allspark. The Allspark was hidden on Earth during the raging war on Cybertron that still wages to this day. The Allspark is so vital that it would tip the scales in the favor of whoever possessed it. This is where we will come in. The decision we will have to make will offer two separate, yet parallel, storylines. We will have to choose to either protect, by selecting the Autobots, or destroy, by selecting the Decepticons, the Earth.
Once our decision is made, we begin to enact the rest of the film. Traveler's Tale worked closely with ILM and DreamWorks to ensure that the game followed close to the film. In fact, if you chose the side of the Autobots, you will find the more accurate representation of the film since it will highlight several of the film's locations that need your protection. You will be able to play as one of the four Autobots from the film, and if you chose the Decepticons side, you will be able to play as on of the five available. However, you will not be able to choose who you are. Regrettably, you will have to use the transformer pre-selected for that particular stage of the game. Maybe, and hopefully, this will change before the final release of the game. Deciding to go with the vile Decepticons as your robot of choice will follow a "what if" scenario of the film, where devastating the populace of the Earth is priority number one.
The gameplay will be structured around a free roam engine, the environments will be completely destructible, everything is up for grabs with your giant robot hands and feet, and a refined ability to transform on the fly should appeal to any fan of the Transformers young and old alike. Another plus to the destroyable environments is that nearly anything will be allowable as a weapon. This will undoubtedly come in handy with the multiplayer aspect of the game. Though not fully disclosed at the moment, it does appear that we will be able to challenge our friends and finally answer the question: Which Transformer is the best? Each transformer will have two types of weapons they can use in addition to the varied weapons they use from the environment. The game will not be a straightforward shooter, melee action game. Players will have to use the varied skills of each Transformer in order to defeat their enemies. For example, you might be fighting and destroying everything in your path to save someone, and then you have to transform in order to chase them down. Maybe it's not an advanced strategy game, but at least there appears to be something extra to the traditional action oriented games.
The graphics of the game look remarkably good. The same team behind the cutscenes of Ultimate Alliance is lending their talents to recreate the Transformers of the film. The environments look crisp and the light glinting from the metal of the Transformers is captured beautifully. The Transformers look so similar to their movie counterparts that this could go down as one of the best graphic video game representations of a movie in a long time. The voice over work will rekindle the imaginations in a lot of fans. For starters, Frank Welker will reprise his role as the diabolical Megatron. Even though Hugo Weaving provides Megatron's voice in the film, it is nice to hear that at least the in-game voice will be voiced by the original Megatron. Then there is probably the most recognizable Transformer the world over, Optimus Prime, and the man who started it all, Peter Cullen, will provide his voice in both the game and the film.
Transformers: The Game looks to be the game fans have been waiting for. Sharp graphics, explorable and destroyable environments, and Peter Cullen are just a few of the things fans should get excited about. Only time will tell how enjoyable either the film or game are, but we're hoping it lives up to the standards of the fans and general audiences everywhere. Be sure to check back at CCC as the game draws closer to release for our review of the robots in disguise.
CCC Freelance Writer