For most of us the Transformers franchise has been a part of our lives for many years, whether it be in the newer Michael Bay movies or with the old 1980’s cartoon and Hasbro toys. No matter which Transformers you grew up with the storyline has stayed relatively the same. The Autobots vs. Decpticons and Optimus Prime vs. Megatron, with the humans in the way in a battle for energon. Transformers Prime is no different. Based on the newer cartoon shown on the Hub network, Transformers Prime does a few things right while falling short in many key areas.
Transformers Prime is clearly geared toward the cartoon’s current viewers. With updated HD graphics and colorfully animated characters, players will enjoy running around Earth as a giant robot. Switching from robot to vehicle and back again is as simple as pressing a button. Switching on the fly makes for great fun no matter if you are just learning the controls or racing through the levels at the end of the game.
The array of attacks that can be combined to disassemble the Decepticons makes the battling system fluid and entertaining. The addition of a boost mode–which adds a melee weapon and upgraded lasers–allows you to do more damage in robot mode. This means that pelting the enemy with lasers as a robot is just as fun as ramming them in vehicle mode. Sadly, that’s about all Transformers Prime does right.
With a story mode that can be finished in 7-8 hours and a rather boring selection of multiplayer options, Transformers Prime has a poor replay value. The levels are divided into three scenarios that end with a boss. Objectives are divided up between killing different waves of drones, racing to your goal, or battling the end boss. Because of this, Transformers Prime becomes very repetitive and the joy of the battling system loses its luster after about an hour.
After defeating the last few missions each of the bosses become playable characters in the multiplayer, so there is no real reason to replay the missions. Activision tried to increase the replayability by adding hidden items in each stage that unlock character bios, but these items aren’t very hard to find and the bios are not that impressive.
The controls in the game are responsive with the exception of the camera. If you want to look anywhere you have to do it quick, since the camera will snap back to its original place in a second. The ability to lock on helps, but you’ll find yourself running into objects in the world or running off a cliff. This can become aggravating when you are trying to find a hidden item, looking while driving, or searching for an enemy not on the screen.
Battling the bosses can be daunting until you find their pattern. All the bosses can break your shield and go into boost mode as well. This becomes frustrating when you get them low on health and they turn the tide with unstoppable attacks. Later in the game it can be so annoying you’ll want to chuck your controller at the screen in frustration.
Wii U Controls
The HD graphics are great, but playing the game on the game pad is pointless. The game takes no advantage of the GamePad, other than showing your time, damage taken, and energon collected. You can activate boost mode by touching the screen, but it’s also on the L trigger so even touching the screen is pointless. I found myself able to enjoy the game better using the Pro Controller. Using the GamePad as a steering wheel in the racing and escape missions is very frustrating. The size of the GamePad could be frustrating for younger players as well, since they may not be able to reach the XYAB buttons.
Overall the game achieves the feel of Transformers as you go through the levels, which is all fans of the show really want. Kids can now control their favorite characters from the cartoon. The frustrating controls and poor replayability will likely deter any serious gamer, however.
- Battling system
- Appeal for younger audience
- Camera controls
- Frustrating bosses
- Virtually no replayability
Score – 6/10