Published on July 9th, 2014 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
Summary: Transformers are back for their third entry to the War For Cybertron series in another third-person, action adventure game, featuring robot-changing-vehicles in their war over Cybertron. This time created by new developer, Edge of Reality.
Concept: If you’re expecting a complete transformation, don’t! The gameplay looks, feels and plays like the previous games we’ve grown used to, yet less impressive in duller settings, as the previous premise is recycled once more. The “Dark Spark” reference in the title is a powerful artifact that is capable of ripping holes in dimensions, which brings two transformers universes together: The War for Cybertron universe and the Michael Bay movie universe. It’s a silly idea with a messy, confusing story that we feel Activision was tied to through lisencing requirements with the film release of Transformers: The Age of Extinction.
Green walls make Optimus angry.
Graphics: Levels look uninspired and feel confined, and the ‘bots are in line with Michael Bay’s generic film characters and look too similar, visually soft and outdated. It’s one of the next-gens least-impressive efforts, and it’s not because we’re feeling weathered with familiarity, it just lacks the charm the previous games delivered on previous-gen consoles.
Gameplay: Playing this game brings a dull sense of déjà vu – we’ve seen it all before and it feels exactly the same. Like before, it’s primarily a third-person shooter with driving and flying moments when you transform. Transforming feels like a pointless novelty, used only when you run out of ammo and need a new gun, or need to cover a short distance faster, like a “turbo run” button. Even then it feels very slow and cumbersome and lacks any form of excitement. On the bright side, melee strikes connect a little better than before and some characters have “special moves” to shake things up a little.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a… bird plane.
Sound: Musically this game is quite forgettable and lacks the quality of the amazing score from the previous game, Fall of Cybertron. Aside from Optimus Prime’s commandingly-bassy voice, the voices have very little impact on the game, and help very little in making sense of the confusing story.
Multiplayer: Online co-op Escalation mode presents 15 waves of increasingly-difficult assaults from enemy robots. The concept is much like Gears of War Horde mode, where the aim is to stay alive, but this mode is not new to the series and just the default repeat of what’s been done before.
Awesomeness: The release of this game feels like the laborious shovelling of more of the same stuff to grab some of the cash falling from Transformers film tree. There’s no new designs, concepts or approach and can’t even live up to its predecessors made from the previous gen.
Final Word: If you’re a massive fan of these morphin’ robots, namely the Michael Bay ones, then you might be able to last the haul. But overall there’s less than meets the eye here, with boring combat and gameplay, average level designs, an uninteresting story and little excitement.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing