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Transformers: The Game

Score: 62%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Free-Roaming

Graphics & Sound:

Traveller's Tales has brought the events of Transformers: The Game to life and done so in an amazing way. There is nothing about this game's visual style that is lacking. The open-ended worlds are vast, destructible and full of details, while the character models resemble their movie versions exceptionally.

Though each open-world map feels smaller than other games of this style, that might be due more to the size of your character than the actual size of the map.

Audio is a major issue in this game. There is one big issue that really threw the score off for me. Yes, the game uses the voices of the original Megatron and Optimus Prime and yes, many of the actors from the movie reprise their roles for the game. The issue that utterly destroys the feel of the game (even more than the difficulty issues I'll talk about later) are the reminders about what mission you should be doing next. For one thing, you are told all too often where you should be going. If you want to do a little free-roaming fun, you will be constantly interrupted by your boss-bot with the same sound-byte over and over again. Actually, I can deal with that - where the problem comes up is that these clips are really buggy. A clip will restart several times while its playing making Optimus and Starscream seem like stuttering idiots or beat-box artists. This, combined with the frequent reminders, makes the game pretty much unplayable. The only solution seems to be to turn off the voices. Unfortunately, that keeps you from gaining the actual useful information it is trying to convey.


Transformers: The Game lets you play through two campaigns, one for Autobots and one for Decepticons. In both stories, you are trying to get a hold of the AllSpark before your enemies. The Decepticons will do everything they can, including going through everything they can, in order to achieve their goal, while the Autobots focus on minimizing damage.

There are several hub open-worlds in each campaign. These worlds let you roam around and take part in various missions. For the most part, you will participate in Story Missions that advance the movie's plot. The other type of missions are used to help you unlock collectibles. These are typically timed events that range from really hard to really easy.

Story missions aren't all that original in the grand scheme of things. Typically, you have to hunt and destroy a certain number of enemies, or chase down other enemies before they reach some goal. Most of the missions have some sort of time limit forcing you to repeat the mission several times in order to find just the right way to tackle the mission in order to succeed.


Transformers: The Game has major difficulty issues. Most enemies are easy to take out. The generic grunts take very little effort to take down, but because so many missions have time limits that are very conservative, you may find yourself just barely failing the mission. This mechanic makes the game border on enjoyably difficult and annoying.

Where Transformers' difficulty issues really come through are in the frequent boss battles. These matches are very one-sided and will typically leave you stopping the game for a while. Where your lasers do very little damage, the Boss's long range attacks doles out a lot of pain. The bosses' melee attacks seem to be about as effective as yours, but still very painful since they can knock you back and use their weapons on you. The only real hope you have is using the various objects around you and throwing them at your opponent. It is a real shame that such an issue takes so much away from this game.

Game Mechanics:

Transformers: The Game's controls are a mixed bag. Robot controls are fairly solid, but feel stiff. Granted, you are controlling multi-story tall machines, but I just don't feel like I am moving as fast as I should be while I am chasing down enemy Decepticons.

Vehicles are also off. Driving a car shows very slippery controls. Trying to make very minor adjustments to your direction in order to aim your weapons leaves you flying across the street. It would have been better if you could control your weapons independently of your vehicle, making the need to line up exactly with your enemy unnecessary.

The other vehicles, on the other hand, aren't all that bad. When controlling Blackout (a helicopter) or Scorponok, I found I was able to feel out their controls really quickly and I rarely had any problems doing what I needed to do.

I do have to mention one little detail that really adds a bit of polish to this game. Not only does it support the Xbox 360 controller, but if you are using that controller, the in-game cues on which buttons to press to perform actions match the 360's buttons. If you are just using a keyboard and mouse, then the same HUD symbols match the keyboard keys. Like I said, this is a little detail, but I was really pleased to see it.

Between the balance issues and the sound problems, this is just not a good game to get. As much as it pains me to say this, don't get it. At the time of this writing, there didn't seem to be any patches to fix the audio issues, but if one does come out, then I might reconsider my verdict. Either way, if you are really interested in this game, look into one of the console versions instead.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP or Vista, DirectX 9.0c, DVD-ROM, DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card, DirectX 9.0c compatible video card

Test System:

Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Duel NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

Sony PlayStation Portable Transformers: The Game Nintendo Wii Tamagotchi Party On!

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated