Review: Transformers Dark of the Moon

Transformers Dark of the Moon, from developers High Moon Studios, is the third game in the trilogy which is based on the latest Transformers movie by Michael Bay. The story line in the game takes place around 3 years after the second film ends. The humans think that the Decepticons have left Earth defeated but the mighty Autobots know that it is not so. Wheeljack find out that satellite transmissions from around the world are being monitored and being transmitted to a Soviet relay facility. Once the Autobots find out about this they set about uploading a virus into the Decepticon network which will help the Autobots monitor them.

In Dark of the Moon the first thing I picked up on was that it was all about the transforming, which  is great because the game is all about huge transforming robots fighting other huge transforming robots.  The mechanics for transforming are really good, and you have 3 modes. One is your normal vehicle mode where you have all the benefits of a car.  You have the handling and the speed, although the one downside is that there are no weapons at all. The next mode is a combat vehicle, again in this mode you are still the vehicle, however this time you have an assortment of weapons at your disposal – hurrah! in this mode however you are giving up your speed. Finally, everyone’s favourite, the robot mode, do I really need to tell you that this is awesome?!

Mission wise it’s very simple and what you would expect from taking a game idea from a film. I did feel, however, that I had no freedom, I was told where to go and that’s where I went. It had the feeling of start at point A go to point B and so on.  They have tried to spice things up a bit at the start of the game where you play Bumblebee and that level seems to be tailor made to play him.  Then when you have finished that level you play another Autobot and this level is best suited to that bot and his abilities.  For me, nothing really stood out on either of these levels. This will change though when you play the Decepticons! As for me, one Deception level stood out overall which was the Starscreams level. It added a new dynamic to the game and I really started to feel like I was playing a proper Transformers game. It seemed to step up the game as it added a different element in which you had not come across until now.  You start the level engaged in a dogfight with Aerialbots as an F-22 Raptor, which takes place in a canyon. When you make it to the end you fly out to meet the end boss of this level which is the giant Autobot Stratosphere, and engage him in a close quarters combat, which will entail you transforming in mid-air to land on the back of the Autobot to take him down by destroying parts of his body. A couple of other levels try to instil some variety but somehow seem to miss what they had for the Starscream level.

Multi-player In Dark of the moon will let you play 3 different game modes which are Team Deathmatch, a “normal” Deathmatch and then finally Conquest mode. The only one of these really worth talking about is Conquest.  In this mode you will be fighting to take control of nodes, the more nodes you control the faster your points go up and when you reach 400 your team wins.  It’s a good team based mode which gets you playing both attacking and defending it definitely is a great mode and really, for me, the only one to play.

You also get to customise what you want to play.  This is broken down into categories:  Scout, Hunter, Commander and Warrior, each of these have a standard character linked to them for example Commander will be Prime for the Autobots and Megatron for the Deceptions. As you play them more the more XP you will get, which will let you unlock extra powers to help you try and get that extra  edge.  I enjoyed what they have done here but for me, it gets a bit boring after a while as there are not many maps to play on. Hopefully, there will be some map packs coming out for it to make the level variety bigger.

Transformers Dark of the moon is a good game taken from a great concept and I, as a child from the 80s, grew up loving Transformers, and I feel that the fans of the Transformers may have been let down by this game. I see this happen a lot in games that have been made from a franchise that is trying to reach all mediums. I don’t  know if it’s the time they had when making the game to meet the deadline of the film? I don’t know.  I mean, it’s a good game, but it could have been a great game.  In my opinion, games based on a film for me always seem to fall short. Nevertheless it’s a game worth getting if you enjoy Transformers and want to find out what happens between the two films.

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