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'Revenge of the Fallen' for Gobots?

July 24, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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“Since God created man, and man created the Transformers, the Transformers are like a gift from God,” Elias told Randal in Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks 2’. Now, I am not sure I follow that logic just like I don’t understand half the things Bumblebee always says but you just know that Michael Bay is happy that he hooked his wagon to that film franchise and not something like ‘Speed Racer’.

Transformers: Revenge of the FallenWhile the film franchise’s successful formula continues to thrill audiences world-wide, the video games seem to have more in common with the Gobots series. “Transformers: The Game” in 2007 was nothing to write home to Cybertron about and ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ isn’t much better even though its online multiplayer component is a welcome addition.

Following the film’s basic storyline without ample cut scenes to enhance or explain anything, you either situate yourself in the Autobot or Decepticon war rooms and pick out missions on a holographic globe. As the Autobots you can play as Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, Ironhide, Ratchet and Breakaway. If you select the Decepticons, you can be Megatron, Starscream, Sideways,  Grindor and Longhaul.

Good to see my favourite, Starscream, on the roster. You gotta love anyone who can tick Megatron off to no end and still not be reduced to a toaster or waffle iron for his efforts. You never fail ME, Starscream.

Transformers: Revenge of the FallenBesides the differences in their vehicle modes and special attacks, it really doesn’t matter which Transformer you choose and many times, the game doesn’t give you any option at all. Except for boss battles against the likes of The Fallen and Devastator, the missions are just carbon copies of one another except for a few drop off and guardian type exercises. Things sorta go like this…you are plopped down in the middle of a city, aircraft carrier or construction site and you must destroy all of the foes that are thrown at you. Who needs strategy or a game plan? Just kill anything that is wearing the “wrong” symbol and you are a superstar.

Transformers, roll out and mindlessly kick butt! That is if you can master the cumbersome control scheme that relies on the triggers far too much. For instance, having to hold down RT to preserve “vehicle mode” and accelerate with RT makes it almost impossible to drive or fly without colliding into a building or other such obstacles. Press and holding A then releasing RT to do a Super Jump just seems to be an unnecessary combination that could have been simplified this Decepticon control scheme very easily.

Transformers: Revenge of the FallenWhat mitigates the unwieldy controls is that the game’s computer controlled enemies are about as clever and resourceful as a Dinobot. Your enemies will do the craziest and zaniest things. They will climb up buildings and allow themselves to be repetitively shot at. They will stand on rooftops, shoot at you and make no attempt to dodge your return fire in any way. It is not as simple as shooting fish in a barrel but it is awful darn close.

One of the biggest complaints about ‘Transformers: The Game” by fans was that it had no online multiplayer mode. ‘The Fallen’ does have individual, team deathmatches as well as modes where you must kill the rival team’s leader, capture territories or All-Spark fragments. While all of these modes are entertaining, the teams who stick together usually win together as it is nearly impossible for one Transformer to fight off two or three foes at the same time. So, word of advice, band together and swarm the individual members of the opposite team, if you can.

Transformers: Revenge of the FallenThe unlockables and rewards beyond the game’s achievement points are where ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ does break some ground. If you complete certain tasks as certain characters you can open up the standard character skins, art work, movies but get this, you can also unlock full episodes of the original ‘Transformers’ animated series and watch them in the game. That my friend, is very awesome indeed.

Having been around in many incarnations since the eighties, The Transformers brand is as colourful as the characters found within its universe. If the developers had drawn on that for inspiration, ’Revenge of the Fallen’ could have been so much more. Just like ‘Transformers: The Game’ did, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ has left fans in the lurch. Could the third time be the charm upon the release of ‘Transformers 3‘? I hope so because no 'Transformers" fan wants to be treated like a Gobot.


Transformers: Revenge of the FallenTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Luxoflux
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:

Rating: 4 / 10


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