Less Than Meets The Eye

09/12/2008 0 By Administratus Prime

 The worst part about “Transformers Animated: The Game” is how close it is to being great. The groundwork is laid here for a really fun game, but nothing ever comes of it. The game is uninspired and uninspiring from start to finish, and it isn’t clear whether the developers lacked imagination or just time.

The worst part about “Transformers Animated: The Game” is how close it is to being great. The groundwork is laid here for a really fun game, but nothing ever comes of it. The game is uninspired and uninspiring from start to finish, and it isn’t clear whether the developers lacked imagination or just time.

Guiding the three Autobots – Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead – as they pursue Megatron, you spend most of your time switching between the three to use their various abilities to solve puzzles in each level and reach the exit. A few driving sequences, sometimes featuring a fourth Autobot, Prowl, are thrown in to lessen the monotony.

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The basic idea of the game – using three different characters with very different abilities – is good. However, this is never used in a really interesting way. For every engaging, thoughtful puzzle, there are nine more that are each nothing but a retread of something you’ve already done or a series of obvious steps. (You see a switch, Optimus hits it. You see a gap, Bumblebee jumps it. You see a door, Bulkhead smashes it. Puzzle solved).

A couple of new mechanics are introduced as you advance, like magnets that can lift the robots and certain objects, and gravity fields that push you in various directions. Unfortunately, these, as well, are all too rarely used in interesting ways, and quickly become just new cogs in your puzzle solving process.

Combat, as well, is a functional, but boring affair. Enemies are completely ineffective at a distance, and all the Autobots have ranged attacks. In other words, the only time they’re even capable of hurting you is when they’re waiting where you can’t see them, such as the bottom of a pit or the top of an elevator. Even then, they can’t do enough damage to really hinder you, and they really only serve as uninteresting, irrelevant breaks in your forward progress.

The two boss battles also manage to disappoint. Each starts off interesting – presenting you with a powerful foe against whom your normal attacks aren’t very effective – and each quickly devolves into a tedious process where you slowly cause damage to your opponent by doing the same two or three steps over and over again until he gives up.

Ultimately, there aren’t many real, explicit problems with “Transformers Animated: The Game,” but there isn’t a whole lot to recommend about it, either. It’s good enough to hold the attention of kids who like the current incarnation of the series, but too bland to be of much interest to anyone else.

Source: 2 Head Advocate