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Transformers: War for Cybertron review

War for sanity


  • Transformers
  • man
  • tons of Transformers!
  • A rather slick intro
  • Some neat affinity-based strategies


  • Terrible controls
  • Level design somehow punishes you for the controls
  • Painfully unfair checkpoints

Well, it happened. Freed from the shackles of an actual movie tie-in, Activision and High Moon Studios managed to craft a rathersurprisingly goodlicensed game that didn't suffer from the normal schlock of the genre's ilk.

This, however, is not that game. It is not made by the same developers that gave the HD console versions their spark (har har, that's funny because it's the Transformers' version of a soul, y'see), nor does it offer any semblance of the same kind of fun. In fact, this is the antithesis of those versions; it is not fun -- in fact it's a raging black hole of un-fun - nor is it worthy of the license or ever worth your time. And, in the ultimate slap in the face, Activision actually expects you to pick up two versions of what is essentially the same game to enjoy the "full" experience.

This isn't the GameBoy era or even the GBA one where limits on storage space may have necessitated offering two versions of effectively the same game. The DS cart can hold an order of magnitude more information than those old carts where perhaps it would be understood - we're talking fractions of a gigabyte rather than a few dozen megabytes - and the idea that one would have to pay $30 twice isn't just ridiculous, it's downright offensive.

Why? Simple: this game is crap. We would use a stronger word, but we’re fairly sure some of the target audience might actually read this review (and we pray the older ones will see it and not buy this raging pile for their children). The game is rife with falling deaths - and in fact actually challenges the player to try to use the d-pad to control all manner of Transformers with tank controls and piss-poor gameplay. You run (or touch the screen to transform and race!) through a bunch of look-alike hallways while encountering abrupt right-turning flying enemies and effing bees while shooting locks and praying your head doesn't cave in from the boredom.

Look, we get it; the DS isn't a huge sandbox of ideas for games in this modern age. Things must necessarily be scaled down. They don't however, have to force the target audience to suffer falling off platforms or being bludgeoned by enemies while trying to wrestle with a camera in corners or trying to lock on from a too-short distance all while doing absolutely mindless, boring, utterly un-fun tasks like "smash this thing" or "shoot this switch" or "fight the 23,492,032,082th version of the same enemy". More egregious, however is the task of actually trying to use the d-pad controls to make rather precise jumps - the falls from which mean instant death and a restart at the games' masochist-friendly checkpoints. You will rue the day you ever tried to take your robots in disguise on the go about 20 minutes into playing this game. That, sirs and madams, is a shame.

More Info

DescriptionBoth versions of this game are a massive waste of your money and would be better spent, combined, on the far more entertaining HD versions.
PlatformDS, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating16+
Alternative namesTransformers: Cybertron Adventures (Wii)
Release date22 June 2010 (US), 25 June 2010 (UK)