The latest Transformers movie’s huge box office haul proved once again that the franchise is utterly critic proof. The same is most likely true of this tie-in game courtesy of Electronic Arts, and despite its shortcomings anyone with a soft spot for the Autobots will get a kick out of taking control of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to do battle with hordes of nasty Decepticons.
But, and it’s a big one, if you don’t have an affinity with the characters, there’s little left to enjoy about Transformers: Dark of the Moon (out now, $2.99). The game is terribly plotted (generic save the world dross), the dual-stick shooter style gunfights and linear progression soon get dull, while driving sections – which could have been the title’s saving grace – suffer from awfully clunky controls.
It’s not all bad though; much like the movie it’s based on, Dark of the Moon looks good and is, in parts, mindlessly entertaining. As you run, gun ‘n burn rubber through the game’s thirteen levels, EA roll out the pyrotechnics and pretty much everything onscreen goes kablooey, vehicles are stomped on and ‘bots blast each other to smithereens.
I did quite enjoy the first few levels, but gunning down squads of identikit foes and the occasional big boss whilst traipsing from A to B isn’t enough to sustain an adventure that clocks in at roughly 2 hours worth of playtime. EA’s valiant attempts at breaking up the monotony – the ability to transform into a car at the tap of a button and unlock and upgrade weaponry – sadly, also fall flat. Intermittently unresponsive controls manage to wreck the driving and vehicular combat while, as neat as levelling up is, it would have been infinitely more compelling if you were also able to unlock additional playable characters.
There’s no disguising the fact that this is one for die-hard Transformers fans only. Everyone else, steer clear.
iFanzine Verdict: While it’s far from the worst movie to game adaptation to hit the App Store, Transformers: Dark of the Moon remains a thoroughly average and forgettable dual-stick shooter.