Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review

  • Legitimately unique multiplayer action
  • Playing as your favorite Transformers
  • 13 playable characters (some multi only)
  • Controls take time
  • Single player is average
  • Graphics could be better

The current reinvention of Transformers is one of those things that make it hard to be a geek some days. The previous Transformers film took everything we loved about the original cartoon and toys and rendered it stupid – yet made something like 700 million dollars – and the game was just shy of an abomination. This time around, the movie is arguably even worse. Seriously, gold-toothed, urban transformers who can’t read? Robot testicles? Are you freaking kidding us? And the game is… well, actually the game isn’t half bad. The single player mode is pretty standard third-person blasting and destruction, but the multiplayer modes offer more than most gamers would expect (see what we didn’t do there?).

We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth repeating: the multiplayer action in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is totally unique. Because each robot has its own weapons, armor, speed, vehicle mode and special moves, this plays like Team Fortress 2, but with lumbering mechanized giants that can morph into jet fighters, hot rods, and the like on the fly. There’s also one particularly creative mode called One Shall Stand, in which the object is to kill the other team’s leader (Optimus Prime or Megatron) in addition to the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag and control point contests.

In contrast, the single player mode is predictable - you represent the good side or the evil side, and each mission finds you choosing from 1-5 available characters and protecting/ destroying, defending/attacking, or escorting/assaulting various places, items, or other robots. It loosely follows the plot of the film – not really worth suffering through for the story’s sake then.

But the single-player mode is still worth playing so you can grow accustomed to the unusually laid-out controls. You’re constantly toggling between speedy vehicle form, the running, jumping humanoid form, and “weapon mode” - in which you pull out giant guns and gain the ability to strafe. Most games would just call this “aiming,” but whatever. Plus, most of your best attacks can only be done as part of your transformation from vehicle to robot form; for example, you can switch to vehicle mode to build up speed, then transform at the last minute to perform a shoulder charge or a super jump. To enable all this, the control scheme often has you holding two buttons and releasing them in a certain order to execute the desired move – not always an easy thing to do when you’re also jockeying both sticks. But it does feel empowering once you get it down.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen lacks the polished sheen and balance of some of its competitors – its looks are average, and the level design and mission parameters are painfully typical. But when the Transformers themselves are freed from silly plotlines and allowed to stand or fall on their own merits, as they are in the multiplayer modes, their distinct set of abilities make them truly engaging. That’s what we’ve always loved about Transformers, and no amount of Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf’s interference can take that from us.

Jun 30, 2009

More Info

Release date: Jun 23 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, PS2 (US)
Jun 23 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, PS2
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Savage Entertainment, Beenox, Krome Studios, Luxoflux
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Fantasy Violence, Violence, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:


  • IslanderSwagg - July 9, 2009 1:43 a.m.

    The movie was great but there were some stuff that were unnecessary like the robots who acted ghetto (they had no purpose in the movie at all). The game looks cool too, I'll buy it when the price drops
  • silentfire - July 8, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    I thought the movie was good
  • AHolyMonk - July 6, 2009 12:49 a.m.

    Looks like its worth a rent, but im more excited to see squares new entry into the wonderful world of mechanical mayhem. Cant wait!
  • JC182 - July 4, 2009 10:55 p.m.

    I thought the movie was pretty badass but the game's story made gets really old after a while because you are just doing the same thing over and over again
  • Spartan523 - July 2, 2009 4:27 a.m.

    correct me if im wrong but isnt one shall stand a carbon copy of Rainbow 6 vegas 2's team leader mode. in team leader you need to find and kill the other teams leader which stops their team from respawning, while protecting your own leader
  • erreip199 - July 1, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    didnt know u people hated the movies so much... i kinda liked it due to the transformers new HD looks
  • C69Denommay - July 1, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    I actually own this game and the online is worth buying the game. if your not gonna play online then just rent it but its the same for all games. The controls are complicated at first, but if you beat the campain you get used to it. thats when you start having alot of fun online. so if your not sure about the game rent it do the campain go online and if you still dont like it, no one is forcing you to buy it.
  • Defguru7777 - July 1, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    I honestly didn't think the movie was bad.
  • NeoKef - July 1, 2009 12:07 a.m.

    What? A movie game thats actually good? First Wolverine and now this? I got to check these games out.
  • ConkertheSquirrel - July 25, 2009 9:29 p.m.

    I played the game and the online makes it worth buying. and the controls are not as hard as they say. an experienced gamer can get it down in a couple minutes
  • silentfire - July 10, 2009 7:48 p.m.

    The game is good but its alot better on live
  • doomdoomdoom - July 9, 2009 10:46 p.m.

    The game is not worth $60 wait a month or two til it is $30
  • alexlcna - July 9, 2009 5:22 a.m.

    i dont know but is the game worth buying?
  • gamer49 - July 5, 2009 2:53 a.m.

    The movie was awesome, the game could use some work be it's still good.
  • HellHound258 - July 2, 2009 10 p.m.

    Spartan523, it's not copy. Lots of games have that type of gametype. Like Gears 2's Guardian or in this case Transformers 2 One Shall Stand
  • helix92 - July 2, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    whats with all the bitching about the movie??? Did anybody really expect it to be a masterpiece in storytelling? I saw it and got what i went in for... Megan Fox! and i suppose the giant robots punching the crap out of each other was pretty cool too.
  • jmohan - July 1, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    I liked the movie too. Loved the first, the second isn't as good, but not as bad as it's made out here.
  • Ravenbom - July 1, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    Who would have thought that licensed games could be decent?
  • michaelmcc827 - July 1, 2009 12:17 a.m.

    In other words, worth a rental but not $60. Oh the score of a seven...

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000