Transformers: Dark of the Moon | Zombiegamer Review

In short:

A satisfactory action-packed title with a good control system. For Transformer fans of all ages, but for the older fan maybe not ‘mature’ enough – but then again, it does need to cater for all ages. High Noon Studios return to build on the previous Transformers instalment with  more diversity than before.

Developer: High Noon Studios

Publisher: Activision

For fans of: Transformers

Reviewed on: Xbox 360

Also available on: PS3

If we had to give it a numerical score: 6.9 out of 10

What I Really liked

  • Playing as the various Transformers
  • Solid controls
  • More diversity
  • High octane action

Not so much

  • Not the deepest storyline
  • Not too immersive  for the more mature

Overview

Coming from a massive film series, creators were careful not to spoil anything for anyone and so the Transformers: Dark of the Moon game takes the plot to an original storyline that takes place before the events of the film. Dark of the Moon is an action-packed title where players can assume the roles of the various Autobot Transformers.  The Autobots and Decepticons are again fighting to keep control of the Cybertron.

Gameplay and Features

High Moon Studios followed the previous instalment’s formula with the gameplay, so thankfully the controls make the combat satisfying. The controls are intuitive and responsive. Transforming is quick and easy as is the general movement. New to is the ‘Stealth Force’ mode which allows you to transform to state that combines the weapons and firepower of robot mode with the agility and maneuverability of vehicle mode. The vehicle control took me a little getting used because of the inclusion of this new mode as you can either just hover around in the mode, or go into boost mode by holding down  the LT. But having to use the rest of the controls while getting used to holding down a button was a little confusing as first. I found myself going in and out of the ‘boost’ mode till I got the hang of it. While you have no ability to go into a proper cover mode, the level design does provide plenty of props to hide behind. Or you can just transform and ‘boost’ your way out of trouble.

Bummble Bee in Stealth Mode

You play through as the various Autobots in the various stages, which changes things up for you due to the Transformer’s personal traits. So players get a nice mix between cars, trucks and even some flying action to play through. The Transformers also feature a nice variety of weapons, again mixing it up for you. Weapons differ depending on whether you are in bot or vehicle mode and I found them to be better thought of than with the previous instalment.

While the game is linear, I did find myself lost on a few occasions, albeit not for long. The mission guidance is not always clear, but this was on very few occasions.

One gripe I had with Dark of the Moon is the fact that I found War for Cybertron a little ‘darker’ or more mature. You can’t really hold this against the creators as this game has to appeal to a wide range of age groups – I am not from the typical Transformer fans age groups. While I don’t think the older gamer will be celbrating the storyline for long, the gameplay and the constant action should be entertaining enough to suffice.

More variation is also on offer on the multiplayer front. You can play as four classes of bots in Conquest or Team Deathmatch modes. Like the previous game, the online code works well with no major negatives to report but locals might have different experiences on the quality of their lines. If the previous installment is anything to go on, the multiplayer following won’t be the longest lived, so if you enjoy it you should get in while the game is fresh.

Graphics and Sound

Dark of the Moon graphics are generally of a satisfactory level. While I did not see any major flaws and the Transformers look okay, I think more could have been done – it doesn’t exactly look like a big budget title. I preferred War for Cybertron’s level design which generally seemed a little ‘darker’. Dark of the Moon features more outdoor environments as opposed to the more futuristic look of War for Cybertron. The visual effects are again satisfactory and portray the mass gun-fighting well enough, but not as good as I would have hoped for

The audio in Dark of the Moon was very well put together and definitely a highlight for me. The shooting, explosions and mechanical movement were very well designed and sound great as does the voice-acting.  While the voice-acting is of a high level, because this is not a mature game, there was a lot of playful banter that did get to me after awhile. Again, I can’t hold this against the creators as they are not catering for my tainted taste. The music is pleasing, sparsely used, but pleasing. I am not exactly looking for the soundtrack, but I cannot complain either.

Conclusion

Transformers: Dark of the Moon offers something for both young and old. The younger game should be in ore with the characters, the transforming abilities and the abundance of ammo they will need to spray throughout the stages. The gameplay and action will please the older crowd while not being gory or offensive in any way.

If you liked War for Cybertron, you will like Dark of the Moon. It is not a step forward in all departments, if anything some aspects were a little weaker, but the important part – the gameplay – is still solid. Long gone are the rubbish Transformer games.

Will I be talking about it in a month? Probably not.

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