Transformers: Dark of the Moon

What do Optimus Prime and Stephen Colbert Have in Common?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a lot to live up to. Like a child with one of the toys, however, it's left a broken, confused mess.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: July 17, 2011
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The new direction of the Transformers series is a bit of an odd case. On one hand I don’t remember the series ever being this popular and noticeable in everyday culture. On the other, many fans feel as though Michael Bay has bastardized a part of their childhood. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, however, I’m sure a good Transformers game is always appreciated. When Transformers: War for Cybertron came out last year it received a ton of critical and popular praise. For good reason, the online was fantastic and addictive while the single player managed to have two self standing campaigns that felt fresh and unique. All of the praise that High Moon Studios received was well deserved. As an aside I want everyone to know that Darkwatch was also great and everyone who didn’t buy into the vampire cowboy thing is totally lame.


Anyway, even with an impressive debut to the Transformers franchise, many were skeptic over Transformers: Dark of the Moon. With only a year of development and having ties to the film, it seemed to be a recipe for disaster. Truth be told, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Having played both games I can honestly say that War for Cybertron feels more like the sequel with a bunch of major fixes (especially when it comes to the online, hoo-boy). Dark of the Moon has its highlights but it’s quite apparent that the game was rushed to make a deadline.

The game sets itself as a bridge to Revenge of the Fallen to the film adaption of Dark of the Moon. In this aspect the game serves itself well, filling in a lot of holes and setting the stage. I will admit that the story kept me engaged and wanting to continue playing to see what would happen, but more importantly I wanted to see who I would play as next. Both Autobots and Decepticons are represented, as well as a fleet of General Motors vehicles. A word of warning, however, the campaign is extremely short. Most of the missions can be completed in 20 minutes or so and there are only seven of them. Yes, you read that right, the game can be completed from start to finish in roughly an hour and a half if you know what you’re doing.

Gameplay wise, it plays pretty much just like War for Cybertron. Shoulder buttons control everything from shooting, zooming, to special abilities while clicking the stick will transform you from robot to vehicle mode in a pinch. The problem with vehicle mode this go-round is that it feels a bit clunkier, with cars feeling as though you’re pointing them in a direction instead of steering them (this is especially noticeable when using one of the fighter jet transformers). The gunplay is a strong point of the game and the Ais are quite intelligent, even on easier levels; taking cover and using flanking techniques. Boss fights are extra challenging in a good way, never did they feel cheap or too difficult. There are some problems with cutscenes, though, because after a few levels when loading one up the game seemed to freeze and require the PS3 to bet reset. With some luck you’ll have gotten through to the next checkpoint but most of the time you’re tossed right back, having to beat the same baddie.
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