Transformers definitely has a very solid track record when it comes to video games. Although the same could be said for shows and comics, the video games are really something else as they all typically grab 8/10s. This one is no exception and while Dark of The Moon may not have quite as much depth as War For Cybertron, the gameplay is still great like always. The game doesn’t play like a movie tie in and it’s good to see the developers still give this game their best shot.
So…the plot. Well…you can beat the game while barely recognizing that there is one. Things are happening and the government calls in the Autobots to help out, but what is the grand scheme? Well, it leads to Megatron activating Shockwave at any rate and he makes for a pretty tricky boss. Interestingly enough, Megatron isn’t the final boss and I don’t think you even get to fight him. You do fight Optimus Prime while playing as Megatron though so I suppose that can count to an extent. It was an odd choice, but it was a curve ball so I can appreciate that. There is even a big cliffhanger left in the ending since the Decepticons are now stronger than ever. Who knows, maybe the movie tie ins will diverge even more than we thought or things will tie up nicely. (Shockwave being in Transformers IV suddenly makes sense.
Graphically, you probably could not tell the difference between this one and War For Cybertron. If anything, Cybertron probably looks a little more impressive as all of the levels are futuristic and high tech. At the same time, I do love the city/forest levels in this game so its certainly not a big loss there. The designs are bland if anything and that’s because it is based on the films. I still think the robots could have been a lot more unique and it was a big missed opportunity, but that’s on the films once again. The soundtrack is pretty nonexistent when I try to think about it, but I’m sure that there were some decent tunes while I was playing through. They just escape me at the moment, which is the price of being generic.
Now let’s talk about the gameplay. It is a 3D shooter, which is the norm for Transformers. You can also engage in fisticuffs or turn into a vehicle to throw the opponents off. I don’t recommend close quarters combat..ever, unless you are trying to get a trophy. It simply puts you at a disadvantage as far as I am concerned. Turning into a car is great though and you should do that a lot. I’d say that the game did a terrific job with this mode and the occasional driving level is much appreciated. It brings in a whole new element to the game. (Not the franchise tho) Towards the end of the campaign it will start to be less helpful, but it’s always fun. Normal shooting mode is slightly sketchier than usual as the aim can be a bit off and there is no good lock on as far as I am aware. I think the game mentioned one, but if I did use it, It definitely was not helpful.
The game is reasonably difficult so you can expect a bit of a challenge. There are also a lot of checkpoints which is good since nothing is worse than having to redo a large section from the very beginning. Watch out for large enemy hordes since they can take down your full health bar in seconds. Those guys will give you more of a challenge than the bosses in this game (Which are pretty easy since there are check points at various points so you can enter the fight midway with full health if you lose) and it may take a few shots to beat some of the minion hordes. Strength in numbers and all.
It is worth mentioning that each character has a special ability. I would say that the Machine Gun is the best one, but Invisibility can be quite handy as well. Just use your abilities wisely and you will be okay. They all have their uses and I don’t believe that there were any bad ones, which is good. As far as replay value goes, this game does all right. There are collectibles to grab and a lot of trophies to earn. Considering that the online is basically dead, it will be extremely hard to platinum this title so you’re just earning trophies for the fun of it. If you’re really serious about this, you can probably find some people to help you boost the trophy as well. I collect em, but I’ve never done the whole boosting thing. I’m not quite that into it and I want to earn the online trophies the standard way, with skills and brawn! This will definitely extend your play time in the game, but in the end a multiplayer mode would have been even better.
Overall, Dark of The Moon is pretty fun. It is easy to see why the online died quickly however, since you may as well stick with War For Cybertron. The multiplayer feels more epic and Team Deathmatch is still a blast. While the game may lose out to War For Cybertron, that does not mean you should completely take a pass on the title. The action and enjoyable gameplay still makes this a pretty complete game and you’ll enjoy it a lot even if the plot is very forgettable. We did have some good banter between one of the Autobots and the government in one level though. The Autobot talked tough for a while, but once he started to get pounded by the Decepticons, he knew who to call. I do wish that we could have gotten a game for the 4th film. Ah well, maybe the 5th film will get a title. If not, another stand alone title like Devastation will fit the bill.