One of my favourite videogame characters; Optimus Prime and his robotic race, return as Edge of Reality takes over from High Moon Studios to deliver us this next instalment in the highly acclaimed Transformers Cybertron video game series. Do they do it justice? No. No they do not.
A good Transformers game really only has to deliver on two things to the player to make them enjoy it: make it fun to transform, and make it fun to destroy other Transformers. Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark makes an epic fail on both counts. Let's be clear, I hate this game. Rise of the Dark Spark is basically Edge of Reality laying a 5 hour long rampant horse poo on the amazing work High Moon Studios did in the previous games, all while Michael Bay watches on smiling and touching himself in the bushes.
Rise of the Dark Spark has a simple storyline (if any) about the Cybertronians racing to find the Dark Spark, as whoever holds it controls the universe. (FYI the Dark Spark is the counterpart to the Matrix Of Leadership. Yes that’s right, that legendary, sacred and revered object that exactly 0% of us have ever heard of. You know, the one that had made no appearances in the Transformers universe whatsoever? Yeah that one! remember? Yeah, me neither.) With that in mind, the campaign mode should be pretty straightforward, but no, the plot line becomes slightly derailed. The previous games, War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron had separate Autobot and Decepticon campaigns, Rise of the Dark Spark’s 14 chapter campaign inexplicably changes factions pretty much when it wants. In the middle of the Decepticons capturing the important relic, you change over to the Autobots during their mission to find it, and after the halfway point, the Decepticon's side of the story just stops being told. Why is this?? I fully expected some sort of cross over between the movie and Cybertron versions but was sorely disappointed at the lack of this event. Even more so I was in immense pain when it was revealed that the Cybertron games are established as a prequel to the movie-verse. My eyes melted, my ears bled and then I punched a hole in the wall.
As for a playable character roster, this game is extremely limited with the handful of playable Decepticons being only on Cybertron and the similar amount of playable Autobots set between the two "ages" you will be left wanting. You will have to go online with the distinctly average multiplayer mode to play as more of the robots in disguise.
Probably one of the most annoying things in this game is that its sorely missing out on a main selling feature. They TRANSFORM. This is almost completely useless in this game, its not that you can’t transform, but more that there is no need to! The only use, for some part, is it that it would be really annoying walking to that next check point! Other than that, the game delivers no need for transformation. IF you managed to play though the whole game, take note, not one enemy transforms. I'm sorry but if you make a Transformers game and have the transformations leaving you unsatisfied, your doing something wrong. Its basically robotix at this point (look it up kids).
Onto the multiplayer: Escalation. Personally I found this horrible. Teams of 4 blowing up waves of enemies for the highest score. That's it. Nothing more. Enjoy.
Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark did have some good points, the selection of weapons and upgrades was extensive and very satisfying, with weapons from its previous superior titles available and even the "pew pew" gun (blaster) up for grabs, anyone is sure to find a favourite in this mighty arsenal. Along with the weapons, T:ROTDS introduces Gearboxes, "Hacks" and T.E.C.H upgrades. Hacks work similarly to Halo's skulls, adding a difficulty to the game in exchange for an experience boost. (I still have no idea why I levelled up in this, it does not make you stronger.) T.E.C.H upgrades allow for such items as shields, boosts, battle drones and healing drones to name a few which came in quite handy at times. Gearboxes: the most over gifted item box in any game I have played. Its your birthday every 5 minutes and the gearbox is your present; shoot 100 enemies? Have a gearbox. Knock down 2 enemies? Have a gearbox. Touch your toes? Have a gearbox!!! These many gifted boxes hold items such as multiplayer characters, weapon upgrades, tech upgrades etc so are a valuable part to the game play but are way too overused, you will forget you earned them at one point and spend a good 10 mins opening the trove that you have unintentionally accumulated, did I say they were overused yet?
All I can hope is that this gets made into some sort of spin-off that can be quickly forgotten about by all that have had the unfortunate experience of playing it. With its ridiculous plot and repetitive combat, this regrettable little void in life serves as a reminder that a game created solely to promote a movie tie in does not work. Especially when your jumping on a bandwagon, I actually wouldn't mind a Michael Bay explosion or two in this dull, bland and shameful excuse for a Transformers game.
42 Level One
Overall Score - 20%