Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Review
Two years ago I reviewed the first Transformers game and found it to be one of the worst games the generation had seen thus far. It was the status-quo movie-licensed game: it looked awful, it played awful, it sounded awful, and it was without question rushed to all hell and back. I had thought that with more powerful game consoles we'd see the end of the craptacular licensed game, but I was wrong. Well, as expected, a sequel was announced and that meant a new game would arrive too. The movie's out and its critical reception is...well, bad. But surprisingly the game fares better, although not by much, so don't excited.
Gameplay is still every bit as generic as you'd imagine. Just about the only redeeming qualities to the game are that each bot has its own unique moves and abilities, the flying is fairly good, and the driving, while floaty, isn't so bad. You'll start up the single-player and the game will run you through a somewhat lengthy training process showing many of the abilities you possess and how to use them. Once you're through with that, the story begins and it isn't directly based on that of the movie, as there are some additions thrown in between to keep things fresh and longer.
Just like the last game, you get to pick which side you'd like to experience the game with: Autobots or Decepticons. Each side has its own arsenal of transformers to choose from, totaling 14 transformers, some of which you can only use in multiplayer, unfortunately. Again, because the game isn't a carbon copy of the movie, the story progression avoids being linear. So instead of going from one mission directly to the next, there will be times where you'll be able to choose between a few different ones.
Unfortunately, most of these missions aren't any fun and are highly derivative. There is very little variation, and by the time you play the fifth or sixth mission, you'll get the feeling that you've pretty much done all there is to do and will lose the urge to continue. The action is certainly better in this game than in the last one, and that's thanks to the vastly improved controls which allow you to switch between running, gunning, and driving (or even flying) rather seamlessly. There is multiplayer here, and the modes offered aren't bad. But with only a maximum of eight players allowed to partake, there is absolutely no excitement to be found online.
Visually, this game is leaps and bounds ahead of the original. But it still not a good looking game, unfortunately. In all honesty, this is how the last game should've looked in the first place, but didn't. The game picture is clean for the most part, but there is nothing very impressive about the textures, the environments, and the game engine as a whole. Textures lack quality and depth, and environments lack diversity to make them look remotely interesting. And that's one of the key problems with the game as a whole, it's just boring, from gameplay to visuals.
The audio is probably the best aspect of the game, even though it still isn't good, as the voice acting is tolerable and the bots all sound pretty decent. The soundtrack is...fluff, but I'm sure you expected that too. And perhaps the sound effects could've boasted some more punch, as you never get the sense that you're really causing much damage with your weapons.
This review is short, isn't it? Well that's because there isn't much to say about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It is certainly an improvement over the original game, but it's still not at the quality it should be this far into the generation. It lacks innovation and diversity, with an end result that is a boring and highly derivative experience. I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you to stay away from this game, since by now you should know better when it comes down to movie-licensed games. But I figured I'd still warn the few who don't know.
7/20/2009 Arnold Katayev