Revenge of the Fallen
- Buy the Game
Reviewed by Rich DeWester
uxoflux, the studio that brought you the film-to-game adaptations of “Shrek 2” and “Kung Fu Panda,” returns to the movie license arena with "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Though “Shrek 2” wasn’t any great shakes, I personally enjoyed “Panda,” so they’re batting .500 on my score card – which is really pretty impressive for the licensed game market.
The game starts off with a good concept – you can choose if you want to play as the Autobots or the Decepticons – but good concepts don't always make good games, and “Fallen” is sadly plagued by flaws and poor execution. Let's start with the game's biggest offender: controls. The convoluted button choices for your actions are not only puzzling, but are also unresponsive at times (such as when there’s a lot happening onscreen). I don't know if it just looked good on paper and was never play tested, but the game never felt natural and was constantly frustrating. You may find yourself swearing in muddled frustration while just playing the tutorial.
Just as problematic, from the very beginning to the end, the game doesn't communicate very well with you. Thankfully, the game’s missions are simple and repetitive, usually just consisting of running into an area and killing everything you see. However, the developers didn’t take the time to really lay the gravity of the situation on you, leaving you feeling emotionally removed from the conflict. I know, I know – it's a game, so who gives a damn about emotions? Still, that connection helps make you feel attached to what's happening on your TV.
There’s also a handful of minor glitches I ran into while playing, from enemies shooting their missiles into the sky at nothing to mission triggers never kicking in, forcing you to restart and try again. (It’s occasionally difficult to differentiate between actual errors and ordinary byproducts of the game’s horrible AI, so I'm kind of guessing that wasn't playing as intended.) Enemies have a tendency to stand still, allowing you to barrage them without adapting to your attacks. The only time they seem to respond without fail is when you physically attack them, causing them to transform and drive off – which does admittedly lead to some pretty sweet car chases (with hot…merging…action!)
The game does offer a wide variety of Transformers you get to play as, each with its own abilities, which does help curb the game's repetitive nature. After you're done with the game, before you set it next to "Iron Man" on your wall of shame, there’s also a decent online multiplayer with five different modes to choose from. Your standard "Deathmatch," "Team Deathmatch," and "Capture the Flag" type modes are included, but then there’s "Control Points," where you battle to, well, control specific areas for points, not to mention "One Shall Stand," where you try to kill the other side's leader. However, when all that's said and done, let's face it – there are better offerings out there, even on XBLA and PSN.
I know people are still going to pick this up regardless of what they're told due to the movie's massive popularity, but I implore you to rent this first or buy it from one of your foolish friends at a discounted price. If you find you like it, cheers; if not, then at least you can rest easy knowing you didn't burn 60 bucks on it.