With Transformers: Age of Extinction now out in cinemas, Activision has released a new game called Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark to cash-in on the hype.
Sadly, the game is just as soulless as Micheal Bay's movies.
Past Transformers games were developed by High Moon studios and were generally well received. War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron had original stories and were not based on any of the movies.
Rise of the Dark Spark however is a mix between original content and movie content. Not to mention development is now in the hands of Edge of Reality. As a result of this, you have a game that's got a convoluted plot, plus worse gameplay from previous games.
For some reason in the story, both the movie universe and Cybertron universe Transformers are in search of an artifact called the Dark Spark. The Dark Spark is like an evil version of the Matrix of Leadership that can be seen in the original 1986 animated Transformers movie.
The Autobots need to prevent the Decepticons from obtaining the Dark Spark to prevent Armageddon from happening.
Graphically, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is just a downright ugly looking game. I reviewed the game on Xbox One, but the visuals don't look anything like a "next-gen" game should look like.
Some of the Transformers themselves look okay, but the graphics overall look more like an early Xbox 360 video game instead.
It's even worse that the game still has to load sometimes in the middle of some levels. The levels aren't even that big so there's no excuse that loading times need to happen during gameplay.
The level design is horrible and makes the game even more of a chore to play. With Transformers games, you expect levels to be more open so that you can transform to be a car or plane.
Previous games in the series had levels that catered for both vehicle and robot forms. In this game however, most of the levels are claustrophobic and there is no room for you to be in vehicle mode.
Not to mention most of the levels look a dull shade of brown and/or grey. What happened to the bright coloured games we used to have? Most shooting games out recently have been set in very boring looking locations.
The gameplay itself is repetitive and boring. All you are basically doing is monotonously shooting at other robots all the time. It's also sad that you cannot choose which Autobot or Depecticon you want to play as.
Each mission just forces you to be which robot the game tells you to be. Grimlock only appears in one level, but he's by far the most exciting part of the game. This is because he can breathe out fire and eat his enemies. He's more exciting than the other generic characters you have to be apart from Optimus Prime and BumbleBee.
If you get bored of the mediocre single player mode, you can play the game's online co-op called Escalation mode. Escalation allows you to team with other players online to defeat many waves of enemies.
It can be quite fun and there are over 40 playable Transformers. However, this mode alone cannot save how drab this game is.
Overall, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is a very below average game with nothing special to offer. Even if you are a hardcore Transformers fan, this is still a dull and boring shooter.
There are far better Transformers games out there. This game is only worth a rental at best as it's a game you'll play once, and never want to play again.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 10