Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
Luxoflux / Activision (2009)
Also on Xbox 360
The Autobots and Decepticons save the day without the aid of unfunny juvenile humor and racism.
I actually like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen the game. I know you’re asking, “How, when the so many movie licensed games are utter garbage and the movie itself was so awful, could you have liked it?” I like it because it is far better than the movie and actually redeems some of the movie-style Transformers in my eyes.
First, I am a huge Transformers fan. I didn’t think I was going to like the first movie, but it was okay. The game based on the first movie was terrible. Transformers: Renege of the Fallen was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. In hoping to find something worthwhile in the movie Transformers universe, and to hopefully alleviate my utter disappointment with the movie, I began playing Transformers: RotF the game. Thankfully, some degree of redemption was found. I will warn you that there are spoilers for both the game and movie. You have been warned.
So why is Transformers: RotF the game better than Transformers: RotF the movie?
Yes, the game does have its own problems and annoyances, with the transformation control chiefly among them. Amazingly, the one thing that Transformers do best, transforming, is something that developer Luxoflux got wrong. To transform to vehicle mode you hold down the R2 button, however, the R2 button also controls your acceleration, so your ‘bot is constantly accelerating. It does not allow you to just transform your chosen Transformer into vehicle mode and sit there to admire or go for a leisurely drive. I don’t see why transforming could just have been mapped to a single button press. Mainly because of this, the controls do take a bit getting used to, but you should have them down within the first few missions.
The design of the game also wouldn’t allow you to take a leisurely drive through the city because of a constantly ticking timer for every mission. To obtain a better score for the missions, you have to beat them under a certain amount of time. Each mission usually limits your character choice to one or two characters, however, once you beat certain challenges, you can return to replay the missions as any character. There is replay value if you want to improve your scores. Each Campaign has twenty-three missions, with many of them being optional bonus missions.
The missions themselves are standard game fare. In the missions you will destroy all the Autobots/Decepticons, protect a fellow character, escort humans or ‘bots, capture humans, repair or sabotage communications equipment, and fight bosses. Each campaign has fourteen missions in for both the Autobot and Decepticon sides. Once a mission is beaten, it will open up other story missions and bonus missions.
On the Autobot side you can play as Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Breakaway (don’t remember him being in the movie), Optimus Prime, and Powered-up Optimus. On the Decepticon side you have Sideways, Long Haul, Grindor (who looks exactly like Blackout form the first movie/game), Starscream, and Megatron. The in-game models of the Transformers do look very good. Luxoflux obviously took some time to make sure every extra unneeded metal piece of the movie version Transformers is accurate. The levels look fairly average. Nothing really stands out in them. The stages themselves, on the other hand, merely fairly average. Streets and Buildings do meet with damage whenever robots stomp or climb them, but sometimes a small object will inexplicably
I did sense a missed opportunity in the game. In the Autobot campaign you get to fight Devastator, but you don’t get to play as him in the Decepticon campaign. Just one stage playing as Devastator would have been pretty cool, but I suppose when the Decepticons are winning, they don’t need the extra robo-muscle.
While playing the Decepticon campaign, Starscream and Megatron are constantly nagging about your progress. Even when they are pleased with your results, they still sound like they’re whining. In the Autobot campaign, Shia LaBeouf is badgering Optimus during the entirety of the battle with The Fallen. Shut up and let a robot work, kid. These constant voice-overs about your progress are something the game could have done without.
One thing I found funny is that as the Autobots, you can kill just as many humans during the missions as you can while playing the Decepticons. After one particular mission playing as an Autobot where I went out of my way to destroy moving buses, cars, and to stomp on people, Optimus actually made the comment that they were killing too many humans and they should be more careful in the future. I thought it was funny that the game acknowledged the innocents I was sacrificing in the name of fun.
The multiplayer is surprisingly good. In the various multiplayer modes, you can play as any character from the main campaign as well as the generically named Autobots Protectobot and Aerialbot and Decepticon Seeker. Each robot is of a particular class with different stats for armor, speed and firepower, so teamwork can be critical. The bad part about this is if you pick a weaker 'bot like Sideways and everyone else picks more powerful characters like Optimus, well, you will be dying a lot. The modes are deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the shard, control points, and the One Shall Stand mode, where each team must kill the other team's leader, Optimus or Megatron.
The game has many unlockables including episodes of the original Transformers cartoon. For now, I guess this is the closest you’re going to get with Transformers on Blu-ray, however the resolution of the episodes is lower than that of the standard DVDs, so the DVD quality is much better. There is also concept art and a couple G1 colors for a few characters. These colors are just that though, colors, not G1 models.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not a great game, but is decent and easily could have been better if transforming wasn’t just so unnecessarily weird. The game doesn't stand out above and beyond in any single area, but is a solid enough game to get a Transformers fix. Above all, the game is far better than the disappointing movie.