By Sam Coles:
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark is unfortunately a bland and repetitive shooting gallery with enemies that all look the same due to the developers taking art assets from the Michael Bay movies, alongside with a confusing story that has a habit of jumping all over the place. So let’s transform and roll out and find what problems this game has from being a decent title.
Let’s start off by talking about the story, the basic premise as the title suggest is that it’s about an artefact called the Dark Spark. The Decepticons are after the relic and the Autobots are trying to stop them, what the relic is it’s like the opposite version of the Matrix of leadership that Optimus Prime carries in his chest. Instead of inspiring the carrier to be a great leader it instead corrupts the host and makes them evil, it’s your standard “Good guy’s verses bad guys” story. You don't get to choose a side this time around you'll jump from side to side, but the Decipticon's side of the story gets drop half way through for no reason.
The main problem that I have with this story is the fact that it jumps all over the place with no explanation or context and even the cutscenes don’t seem to transition into the gameplay smoothly it’s as if you are in a different location when you start playing. So the story is a bit of a let-down it’s a shame to because when I saw edge of reality on the box I had high hopes because they’d helped out with Dragon Age Origins, but they were rushed to make this game to meet the release date of the film.
The voice acting isn’t anything to run home about and shout to the rooftops accept for Peter Cullen reprising his role as Optimus Prime again and the dry and witty humour between Soundwave and Shockwave directing it at Starscream. My main problem with the voice acting is not the delivery it’s how often enemies say the same lines over and over again it gets ridiculous it’s every five seconds they’ll spout the same line which will make you mute your television.
How does the game look? Well the first level gave me a bad first impression subscribing to the current generation of graphics, bland, grey and brown in a ruined city and I was not impressed. On the other hand the second level grabbed my interest more because it was colourful with the neon lit world of Cybertron along with the Transformers with their 1980’s counter parts rather than the rustic and industrial look of the latest movies. When you’ve seen the second level of Cycbetron you’ve seen it all and it gets repetitive very quickly.
The gameplay is that you shoot at other robots and they shoot back nothing too exciting, it’s functional but the enemies take far too long to kill and some enemies that you have fought before have a habit of taking most of your health when they have not done that before. It gets very frustrating when you’re instantly killed by a tiny drone.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of War for Cybertron and I didn’t like then because the controls are stiff and even when you transform your car will strafe which boggles my mind because the last time I check cars can’t strafe side to side, but if you hold LT it drives like a normal car or be it with bad steering.
You get a variety of guns and weapons but most of them seem to have the same effect and you don’t get a good sense of impact when you’re hitting your enemies, it’s also very hard to tell if you have killed them or if they have a quick lie down before they stab you in the engine filter. You get unlockable packs with new weapons to select, perks and character skins but even this is a chore to sort through when you’ve completely forgotten about them for a while because the animation to open them take far too long and you can’t skip them.
There is a multiplayer mode where you and three other players have to work together to fight 15 waves of enemies that get progressively harder with each round, but it’s no where near the same levels of intensity as Gears of War 3’s horde-mode because you don’t get boss rounds in this game that keep you on your toes.
Overall Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark has some good ideas, but ultimately falls with its bland and repetitive shooting gallery of copy and paste enemies and its confusing and jumpy story. Next time make the next Transformers game a sandbox again that was awesome with the first movie tie in.