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~Ephesians 5:16

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon PS3 Review

Movie tie-ins have always had a bad rep. It's understandable, for a lot of the times the games are rushed with last-gen graphics, poor level design, and unresponsive controls. I personally haven't played a lot of them, only the Spidey ones, and those have been good. An example I've played would be the X-Men 3 tie-in, that game felt "empty." I've heard the very bad things about the Iron Man tie-ins, and don't get me started on the Fantastic Four tie-in. I am happy to say that the Dark of the Moon tie-in is a step above other tie-ins.

The Revenge of the Fallen game wasn't bad, except for one was always the same thing over and over again. There was virtually no cutscenes, and the plot nonexistent. Only if you saw the film could you see the plot. Dark of the Moon succeeds in that it's not the repetitive mess that is Revenge of the Fallen, the story engages you from the start with actual cutscenes implemented. Of course, it has some problems I'm going to mention soon.

High Moon Studios, the geniuses behind last year's high-rated game Transformers: War for Cybertron, were the ones behind this game. When it was announced that they were behind this game, people actually had a glint of interest. Indeed, War for Cybertron is the definitive Transformers game, it's story, design, and everything else is the game Transformers fans are proud to hold. Even for non-fans, the gameplay was still an excellent third-person shooter. It's obvious of the influence it has on Dark of the Moon, it plays similar, and even uses some sound effects. (Such as the gun-reload.)

Of course, it is pale in comparison to War for Cybertron.

Not to say it isn't a good game, but it's a shadow of the other one.

What's different about this game is that instead of adapting the movie's storyline, it focuses as a prequel to the film. I think that idea is sound, it tells a new tale rather that repeating the film's. Plus, it gives you more incentive to pick the game up. I can't say how well it lines in with the film, for I haven't seen it yet.

Another thing different about this Transformers game is that instead of having Autobot and Decepticon mode, the game has one campaign where you take control of certain Autobots and Decepticons each chapter. I think it's a good and bad idea. As a prequel, it makes sense for it to be that way, plus each chapter feels new rather than being a "swap." (Another problem with the Revenge of the Fallen game.) On the other hand, it's hard to like root for either side, since you're playing as both in one mode. But for the most part, I think it works fine.

The gameplay is very similar to that of War for Cybertron. However, it feels more "grounded." The Revenge of the Fallen game shockingly feels more "free" and "open." The jumping there is better, and you could climb. Some of Dark of the Moon's gameplay feels downgraded in that aspect. The big thing they hyped about this game was the inclusion of Stealth Force. Basically the vehicles have these built in weapons. They are cool to unleash, (not to mention that they are unlimited) but the controls for the vehicles feel clunky and too loose. You DO NOT want to transform into vehicle mode in a confined area.

Gameplay remains rather the same, though each Transformer has their own unique ability, which was nice. Mirage's cloaking ability, to Megatron's drain health power, were nice touches. In one level, you use  Soundwave's pet, Laserbeak. That was fun and different, a spy feel. I was surprised and disappointed that it was used only once. Another disappointing thing is the only flight level with Starscream. The flying should have been fun, but it moves to slow.

This game is great if your a Transformers fan, the voices are top-notch and some of the cutscenes will have you smiling. (I love the scene where Starscream comes in thinking he's done something good, but Megatron slaps him to the side yelling "You imbecile! The Autobots have most likely planted a tracking device!" The robots themselves match their movie counterparts well enough with a good amount of detail. Dark of the Moon has a cinematic feel, something Revenge of the Fallen was severely lacking. Shockwave's rise, to Optimus Prime's duel with Megatron, were some great scenes. The voice work accompanying these scenes are stellar.

Soundtrack wise, it's decent. The menu theme is pretty epic, gets you in the mood to start playing. In-game music is cool, but most of the time only alright. Could have been much better,

The length of the game does not justify the 60$ price tag. I beat it in two weeks, and would have done so sooner, if not for me playing other games along with it. You can beat this game in a week, and that's unacceptable. You'll be spending some time in multiplayer mode after you beat it, but that gets old after awhile.

Overall, Transformers fans will want to definitely pick up this game. I'd recommend War for Cybertron naturally for the better gaming experience. Still, this game is a gem among tie-ins. Is it worth the 60$? Of course not. 30$ at most.


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