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Will you buy an Xbox One X on November 7?


Game Profile
Xbox 360
GENRE: Action
June 23, 2009

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Transformers: War For Cybertron

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on July 31, 2009

Review: Yes, Megan Fox's character appears in the game. No, it doesn't help.

Michael Bay's high-grossing box office sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, doesn't have Hollywood's most engaging script, but it does have two things going for it: lots of special effects and lots of Megan Fox. The identically named video game tie-in can't say the same, however. There are only a handful of intense action moments and even fewer underwhelming appearances by the digital version of Megan Fox. That's a shame because this slightly above average video game experience already has bland missions, far-from-perfect controls and voice acting that is as dry as the bare-bones story.

The first major malfunction of this Autobots vs. Decepticons action game is that it doesn't take advantage of the visual capabilities that we all know next-generation systems can deliver. It's truly a movie-game tie-in in this regard. You'd hope that a game based on a destruction-filled movie would at least look stunning. The main source of the problem isn't that the licensed robots aren't configured correctly (they are), it's that there isn't enough going on within the 3D city environments. All of the missions, in one way or another, involve destroying Autobots or Decepticons (whichever you are not) with melee and weapon attacks. Sometimes you'll have to escort allies or rescue fallen robot comrades along the way, but it all boils down to traversing a small city level and eliminating Decepticon after Decepticon (or Autobot after Autobot).

While the gameplay is ?by the numbers,? the controls can't be described in that way. The greatest mystery is why firing weapons and performing melee attacks are part of different control modes. Holding down the Left Trigger (LT) enables ?firing mode,? which allows players to press the R Trigger (RT) to shoot robot-sized bullets. So, far so good. However, I can't understand why the much-used melee attack (executed by hitting the X button) only works outside of this firing mode when your finger feels the need to permanently hold down LT while in a firefight. This means that while you're holding down the LT button plus rapidly clicking RT to shoot a bad guy and your weapon runs too hot (making it temporarily unavailable), you can't quickly press the X button to finish off your enemy with a convenient melee strike. No, you have to remember to let go of LT, which isn't intuitive and never happens. So instead, pressing X while still holding LT triggers a roll function that's all but useless. This is just one example of a disjointed control scheme annoyance that makes things more frustrating than fun.

I did mention that Megan Fox's character appears in the game. Alas, you're a large-hulking robot, so it's just a miniature version of her Mikaela character. Worse, during my time with the game, I felt that whomever they picked as her voice actress (like everyone lending their voice to the game), was sub-par and unenthusiastic. At the end of the game I found out that it's actually Megan Fox and all of the real voice actors. Clearly she thought less about this videogame role than she did the live-action role that she has recently bashed.

Bottom Line
What Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has going for it besides the coveted movie license is a fair amount of missions, the ability to play as both Autobots and Decepticons and the unexpected online multiplayer, which isn't always a given in movie-games. There is also a worthwhile reward system that allows players to build up a few of their robot's abilities. Be that as it may, the control quirks and the lack of real excitement from single-player missions make this a rental at best, which is a better outcome than the first Transformers game, which felt even more rushed.

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