Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (360)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graphics: 8.50
Sound: 9.00
Gameplay: 7.00
Replays: 6.00
Gamelength: 7.00

“Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen” is a great game based on an awesome movie, but it doesn’t hold up in comparison to other big titles.

The “Transformers” series has been around for quite some time, with cartoons airing as early as the 1980s. Ever since, the series has been a part of American culture. Over the year, it spread to other countries and ultimately, the more recent live action films brought the series into the spotlight across the globe yet again for the modern age of society. While some may argue that the 1980s cartoons were far superior, there’s no debating the fact that this game is better than any previous release based on the “Transformers” concept. It all comes down to the gaming experience and in the case of “Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen” for the Xbox 360, it’s all about fun.

Modern technology allows games like this to look just like their movie counterparts. As such, this is a beautiful game. It’s not the crown champion of visual quality, but every corner of the game world matches the quality of the movie. The Transformers all look better than ever for this latest release, but there’s still one disappointment: The game world isn’t as big or as open as gamers would hope. Rather than having one massive world to roam around in and destroy, there’s a simple globe interface with a mission-style layout. You select your location, choose a mission and have at it in a small portion of the world, which is sectioned off from other parts of the world by a very obvious blue barrier. Despite that invisible barrier and the lack of an open-world free mode, the game is still fun; just not as cool as it could have been.

With voices taken directly from the movie, as well as new lines voiced entirely by the original cast, it’s not a surprise at all that this game really nails the overall movie experience. To round out the experience, an epic soundtrack fills the player’s eardrums to avoid any moments of dull silence. Add the awesome sound effects into the mix and you have one hell of a perfect audio experience, as far as a movie-based video game goes.

This is not the best game ever made. It probably won’t change the way you feel about video games, nor will it leave you feeling accomplished. You probably wont want much more from the game after you’ve finished both sides of the story and regardless of the tolerable Xbox Live multiplayer, there’s just not much replay value. However, the only serious fault here is that the story isn’t told very well in the video game. Every part of the movie is there, as well as stuff that doesn’t even happen in the movie, but it’s just not handled very well. There are not very many good cutscenes and most of the things that happen are either unexplained or highly lacking details. Either way, this is a two-shot experience that will likely stink you in for a short while purely based on the amount of fun there is to be had. It’s such a simple concept, really. You pick a Transformer faction (Autobots or Decepticon), blow varying amounts of enemies up and move on to the next mission. There’s not much else to it, but it’s such a fun (and almost guilty) pleasure to roam around as your favorite Transformer, transform between vehicle and battle modes at any given time and plow through all sorts of enemies. There’s a small bit of extra stuff to do, which leads to one of the best unlockable features in video game history. Provided you meet certain requirements, all of which are extremely easy and never very time-consuming, a bunch of full episodes of the 1980s cartoon are unlocked for your viewing pleasure. Aside from those small objectives, a few basic achievements and the somewhat mindless missions, there’s an experience system in place, although it’s very minimal and doesn’t add much to the game. Killing enemies, collecting things and reaching specific goals in each level to obtain a higher medal results in earning experience points, which are used to unlock a maximum of 3 levels in multiple attributes. Attributes include such things as health, turbo boost, weapon cooldown and melee damage. It’s easily possible to max everything out within’ 2 or 3 hours of grinding the very first mission, which is actually the tutorial. Having high attributes doesn’t even really make the game much easier and never adds new abilities, so it’s fairly pointless to grind. Still, it gives players something to look forward to and since it’s so easy to level the attributes, it provides a certain degree of instant gratification. The combat is pretty fun, although it can get boring after long periods of gaming. In essence, you just jam a melee button or pump a trigger to fire your weapon. It really is that simple. This game was obviously designed to be easily playable for gamers of every age group. Yes, that means it’s an easy game. Experienced gamers will likely find no challenge at all, aside from obtaining a platinum medal on a handful of the more challenging missions. After completing the story mode, you may want to play through the game again to see the other side of the story, although neither side is much different, aside from the ending and which Transformers you have access to during the game. The final component of the game is an Xbox Live multiplayer mode, but it’s really not enough to keep the game from falling off the radar after a few short days of casual online play. For the most part, matches consist of simple deathmatch-style gameplay. There are other variations of online gameplay, but I had time finding matches even in the basic deathmatch mode. Not very many people play this game online, from what I can tell and those who do prefer the most basic variants of online gameplay. All told, this game should last any experienced player a good 6-20 hours, depending on how much you grind and whether or not you actually play both sides of the story.

Overall, this is a great game as far as movie-based titles go, but the online component could have been better and it wouldn’t have hurt to include a basic free mode with a sandbox version of the world.

Pros:
-Outstanding visual quality.
-Near-perfect voice acting.
-All of the primary transformers from the movie are playable.
-Fairly long, factoring in both sides of the story.
-Simple, yet fun combat.

Cons:
-Online play is lacking, to say the least.
-Extremely repetitious if played for long periods of time.
-Both sides of the story are basically the same.

Bottom line:
If you really love Transformers, this game is worth buying. Otherwise, wait until it drops in price a bit and buy it cheap for a quick playthrough or 2.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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