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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)

The StoneCold Review: PS2 Transformers

And now that I've played the full game (well, into the Arctic level) I've got to say that everyone must buy this game.

The levels are seemingly endless, and graphically gorgeous to look at. The CGI sequences are stunning, particularly the opening sequence on Cybertron and the sweeping sequence in on the Amazon level. My only real gripe on the graphics front is the character models themselves: they're either too gangly or just out of whack somehow, yet they're still easily recognisible as the characters they're supposed to be.

The action is nicely set out, the Arctic level providing a necessity for a bit of stealth action with droids floating around who call in re-enforcements if you're spotted. The first-person mode really helps with targeting (though I've been playing Hitman: Contracts of late, 3rd person's not much of a problem) and the triple zoom makes for some great confusing of the enemy.

The Mini-Cons in the game are great additions, though (and I don't know if this is on purpose) I'm finding several types of the same Mini-Con... I can only assume this is so you can switch them between the three available autobots without impairing the set-up on another. It's nice that they've gone to the trouble of naming them too, though it's a typical case of naming-after-ability...

On the subject of Mini-Cons; Sparkplug, Jolt & Longarm are all in game and provide their partners with a bullet-time -esque ability... everything around you slows down, which is a necessity against some of the larger decepticlones.

Other bonuses to be found in game are known as Data-Cons, these unlocking special bonus features accessible from the main-menu -- including concept model sketches, CGI Stills, FMVs to watch at your leisure, toy information and prototype pics, audio and much more. It even includes some G1 stuff!

The enemy AI is quite impressive, with opponents having the ability to move in groups and trying to surround you if possible. They'll dive out of the way of grenades and run away from their fellow soldiers if you manage to attach a mine to one of them.

The sounds in the game are superb, though it appears (I could be wrong) the production team only managed to secure David Kaye & Gary Chalk as voice actors, as Hot Shot, Red Alert & Cyclonus sound nothing like their cartoon counterparts -- which is a tad disappointing. The voice acting is still pretty solid, but if Red Alert tells me anything again I will tear out my 5.1 and beat it to death with a great big stick.

Otherwise in-game the explosions are all crisp and the music running in the background does go some way to giving an insight into how hectic a situation you're in, picking up pace as enemies draw near.

All-in-all, despite only being a short way into the game I can safely say that Melbourne House (developer) and Atari (publisher) have done a fantastic job on what could have potentially been a massive disaster. I can only see it failing on the fact they've decided to run with the name "Transformers" and dropped "Armada: Prelude to Energon" which will undoubtedly cause confusion for those not associated with the active fandom.

Not exactly a perfect game, but damn close to it. Character models and voices need a little tweaking but if this is the shape of things to come, I hope they make another.

Gameplay: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10
Overall: 9/10
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