Back to haunt the gamers of the world, licensed games are the ultimate in sour experiences for fans of the source material. But those who take a risk with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 may find themselves oddly and pleasantly surprised.
ROTF follows the basic plot of it's movie counterpart, so no spoilers will be given. The whole single-player game has undergone a complete overhaul and separates itself vastly from it's predecessor. Menus such as the War Room are fantastic additions, allowing the characters to interact after each mission. Loading screens before missions also allow your commander to address you, it's a nice touch. In the War Room, other additions include an unlockables screen and an upgrades screen. In the unlockables you can read up on what to try and accomplish during your missions, certain actions will reward you with things like slideshow of concept art, propaganda posters, alternate skins for your characters, and even episodes of the original Transformers cartoon series (six in all).
Even bigger changes include a new control scheme, and it's a doozie. There is a bit of a learning curve here, and small children may have difficulty getting the hang of it. On the upside, experienced gamers may find them rewarding once mastered, as it allows such a unique means of locomotion that is beautiful in it's intricacy, ex: transform, seamlessly leap to a rooftop and transform again, hitting the ground tires squealing, then repeating from rooftop to rooftop until finishing with an advanced ground pound or vehicle strike. Oh and this time, ranged weaponry matters. Whereas in the last game, it was worthless. In ROTF, you'll find yourself firing salvos of missiles, laser beams and machine gun bullets in every direction. The game can have it's blast riot moments.
Despite ROTF's many changes for the better, it is still hampered by a few things. Mission structure becomes stale quickly, as they all are repetitive (destroy the enemy, advance to a location, destroy the enemy, etc.) But the game throws you some curveballs to try and keep thing fresh, and it mildly succeeds. Such things include surprise boss battles with characters from the movie, that you otherwise didn't think would be in the game. Another added plus, going back to different missions as different characters to earn better rank and medals adds to the replayability.
So I've established that the single player campaigns (one for each faction) are an admirable effort and is leagues above it's predecessors (even other Transformer games not related to the live action movies). But does it's multiplayer stand out? At one point, playing with your friends as your favorite Transformer was just a dream. And though not every Transformer could possibly be present, playing deathmatch with your friends as a giant robot is pretty awesome. There is a good variety of play modes here including standard deathmatch and team deathmatch. Control Points is almost just like playing a game of King of the Hill on Halo or Gears of War 2. One Shall Stand is similar in concept to Gears of War 2's Guardian mode. Lastly we have a run of the mill capture the flag type mode where teams duke it out over Allspark fragments. Game types aside, the servers seem to hold up well and I've experienced very little lag if any at all.
And finally there are the graphics. They aren't near the level of other top tier games but they do their job just fine. The insanely detailed style of the movie characters is represented well here, and there isn't much in the way of clipping or pop-up.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen the game is rated T (Teen) for Mild Violence and Language. It is brought to you by the fine folks from Activision, Luxoflux, Hasbro, Paramount and Dreamworks. I give it a very solid 3 out of 5, for why it is very entertaining, it just doesn't hold a candle to other 4 or 5 star games.