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If there is one thing that developer Vicarious Visions wanted from someone playing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it is nostalgia. Transformers begins and ends with the original cartoon series for many. And if you, like us, aren’t thrilled with the modern bastardization of the Transformers, it’ll be tough to appreciate what Vicarious Visions has created. More than anything, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an experience tied to your enjoyment of the franchise.
Both games tell the same story, but from a noble Autobot or an evil Decepticon perspective. Your connection to the game is not as a popular character, but rather a personalized robot that you give life by choosing from a few predetermined molds. Unexpectedly, we came out of this decision with a roller-skating robot that performed a heel grab every time you jump. While this must appeal to someone (not your humble author, but someone), this choice thankfully gives a peek at the game’s customization. Gathering purple blocks during missions enables you to further fiddle around with your attributes later on. It’s simple yet rewarding.
More unexpected is the game’s combat. It starts off slower than a McDonald’s drive thru, but the combat opens up once the tutorial finally ends. Battles usually play out with circle strafing shootouts, but once the difficulty sneaks up you learn how to manage between flying punches and homing rockets while escaping ill planned attacks as a Ford Pinto look-alike. While things usually move down a linear path and do not encourage much thinking, the game does throw you fun scenarios where your dexterity is tested.
Sadly, boredom finds a way in fast. Some missions have terribly placed checkpoints that encouraged us to take breaks and try again later – or maybe just play something else. There is nothing attractive about repeating already repetitive activities. Flying missions and the occasional interesting objective did not ease the pain.
If your hair rises after hearing the iconic transforming sound the extra missions, limited multiplayer options (4 player local wireless) and downloadable challenges might keep you interested longer. But if you’re not a huge fan of the existing franchise, there’s not much here to make it worth your while.
Jun 30, 2009