Based on the Transformers movie, Transformers the Game is unfortunately just another quickly turned movie tie in. It would fair to say that Transformers the Game is a shoulda, coulda, woulda type of game that is only a passable experience. The game offers a parallel story to the film, allowing gamers to play as an Autobot or Decepticon and go between the scenes of Bay’s movie in a free-form, mission-based experience.
The game opens with a cut scene on Cybertron and Optimus Prime dishing the details the history of the Autobot/Decepticon rivalry, familiarizing fans and newcomers alike to the new interpretation of the franchise. From there you can choose either Autobot or Decepticon loyalty and begin their quest to retrieve the Allspark.
No matter what side you take, the general gameplay progression is the same. You’ll have totally different missions depending on which side you take, but both sides offer similar mission-based chapters wrapped in an open-world area. You can explore the various regions, be it desert, city, suburban, etc. all you want, but ultimately there’s just one mission to take part in for actual story progression. The claim that Transformers is truly an “open world” is a bit misleading though, as it’s more of a mission-based game within specific “arenas.” There just isn’t enough diversity within areas to give the actual feel of anything more than a destructible sandbox.
The actual missions are pretty straightforward, and can get repetitive fairly quickly. If you choose the Autobots, all you pretty much do is drive to a checkpoint kick some deceptichops. While the game focuses primarily on the movie’s key characters, you’ll also come across some rather generic looking drones to fight, though nearly all of the combat focuses on melee attacks which makes use of their weapons rather pointless. At any time in a fight, enemies can put up energy shields that stop you from shooting, hitting, or even throwing items at them. This makes the whole point of attacking them pointless.
The Decepticon campaign offers a bit more diversity, allowing you to blast the hell out of anything in sight. In addition, the Decepticon transformations make for far more diversity, as you’ll blast through the skies with Starscream, fly with Blackout, tunnel with Scorponok and more. It’s still pretty basic on the Decepticon side, but at least there’s more diversity in the vehicular forms even if boss battles are handled with little else than energy shields.
The graphics aren’t that bad, but could definiely use some work. The robots look good, but the humans sprinkled throughout look cookie cutter and generic. One neat thing is that a fully-destroyable environment makes for a ton of collateral damage during fights, and nearly any piece of the environment can be picked up and used as weapon. The helps a ton since the blasters don’t seem to do any damage to the Decepticons.
There are some downsides though. Perhaps the biggest flaw is that combat is too one-dimensional, focusing mainly on melee. As I already mentioned, your energy weapons do nothing against enemy shields. As an “open world” game, Transformers can also feel fairly closed off because each area dispenses only one mission at a time. It gets repetitive fairly quickly as well. It’s more of a the more you play the worse it gets kind of game. This is definitely a rental for me.