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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Image for Transformers: Dark of the Moon

More robots? Big surprise...

★★★★★

The problem with most movie tie-in games is a simple lack of time. Developers will have about a year to make a game from scratch, awaiting assets and then approval from studios every step of the way. However, following on from last year’s War for Cybertron, developers High Moon Studios already had a working Transformers engine, so surely we could expect an engaging game to tie into Michael Bay’s latest explode-athon?

Well, sort of. Benefiting from being a precursor to the events of the newest movie, rather than an interactive adaptation of its events, Dark of the Moon is certainly the most enjoyable Transformers movie game, though when 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen was so bad it ended up closing its studio, that’s not saying much.

The campaign mode sees you playing through each faction’s story, switching from Autobot to Decepticon midway, and controlling a different character each level. With the addition of the new ‘Stealth Force’ mode – vehicle mode, albeit with exposed weapons, jumping and strafing – the game gets bogged down with messy controls between robot, vehicle and stealth forms. The button used to target enemies switches confusingly, and in full vehicle mode you actually have no real direction control, automatically speeding forward with your orientation governed by the camera. Worse still, any ‘bots unfortunate enough to have a flying vehicle mode are pretty much impossible to control.

The game’s difficulty also spikes randomly throughout – you’ll sleepwalk through Bumblebee’s first mission just holding the infinite fire button down, while the very next level will see you introducing Ironhide bullet-first to an endless series of frustrating deaths.

There is a certain satisfaction to be gained from the destructive gameplay though, and like Bay’s cinematic outings, Dark of the Moon has appropriately explosive set pieces peppered throughout. If the controls didn’t disappoint, the game would actually be a recommended purchase. As it stands, it’s intrinsically flawed – a short-term distraction at best.

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