Like the Michael Bay film of the same name, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen isn't very deep, but it's got enough flashy visuals and screen-shaking explosions to satisfy both fans of the series and common bystanders.
For a long time, I've been excited and highly skeptical of Luxoflux's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. On all counts, the graphics were better than most Transformers games I had seen, and the amount of promised content, missions and unlockables seemed way too good to be true.
But after a solid week of playtime, I can honestly say that ROTF not only lives up to (most) of its promises and hype, it's probably the best Transformers game to hit video game consoles yet.
Explosions. This game has a ton of them. LOTS of them.
Transformers: Autobots, Roll Out!
Previously, I said that Revenge of the Fallen was one of the best-looking games of 2009, and on most counts, that still holds true. When it comes to the visuals, the titular robots outright steal the whole damn show. Each Autobot and Depticon has a remodeled design that looks comparatively better than 2007's lackluster Transformers, and every explosion and flare of weapons fire just adds to the polish.
It's obvious that developer Luxoflux wanted to get as close to the movie's style as possible, and in some cases, the robot designs look stripped from the silver screen. Even with the occasional bouts of slowdown when things get hectic, ROTF remains an impressive graphical feat throughout.
By far, the biggest success in ROTF is the combat and gameplay, which is drastically improved from its horrible, clunky forerunner. In particular, the transformation mechanic has been revamped, so now you have complete freedom to switch from diesel truck to giant robot on the fly.
In fact, the added freedom of movement feels so good, I'd even compare it favourably to Spider-Man 2's web-swinging. For once, you're finally free to jump off a building, shift to vehicle mode in mid-air, hit the boost on the landing, and immediately let loose with gunfire before shifting back to robot mode. Heck, after an hour with the game, you'll actually be mimicking the ridiculous stunts from the movie's overblown fight scenes.
Collateral damage isn't an issue, but you'll gain points for weapons accuracy.
Transformers: Decepticons, Retreat!
Still, even with the successes, Revenge of the Fallen has a few cons that might annoy even hardcore fans of the series. My biggest gripe is probably the inconsistent audio work, which comes off as a mixed bag. On one hand, it's great to hear authentic voice acting from the likes of Peter Cullen and Shia Labeouf, but the inane chattering you'll endure in every single mission could very well make your ears bleed. I've never wanted Megan Fox to shut up during escort missions as much as I did in this game. Also, most of the enemies can be a little dense, although the cheap Deceptions do make good use of hit-and-run tactics.
Still, there are plenty of great things in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to warrant purchasing it. I haven't even talked about the multiplayer, which is awesome when you've got a full roster of robots in the fray, and the extra missions and unlockable content are enough incentive to replay the main game as both Autobot and Decepticon factions.
NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>