Transformers for Xbox 360

Written by Joe Martin

August 5, 2007 | 13:02

Tags: #360 #cinema #film #license #movie #optimus #prime #tie-in #transform #transformer #transformers #x-box

Companies: #activision

Nerf Cannon

Unfortunately, the combat in Transformers isn’t too great either. There’s a button for a melee attack, the tapping of which unleashes a simple combo, while the right trigger and bumper handle a weak and strong range attack respectively. The weak attack is universally some sort of machine gun, while the strong attack is either a shotgun, missile or energy blast. The left trigger handles blocking.

Combat with drones or human opposition is simple enough and requires just running up a smacking the enemy a bit before they explode and leave a heart behind, but the boss battles are where all the disappointment is held.

Combat with the more substantial enemies is made incredibly tedious by the lack of variation – range attacks nearly always do nothing at all as the enemy will simply block until you stop, before resuming a perpetual offensive. The only tactic to speak of consists of finding a nearby car or piece of scenery and throwing it to disrupt the attack, before quickly closing the ground and getting a punch or two in.

Again, this aspect is flawed by the obviously wonky physics that make the game more farce than fun. As Bumblebee, it’s possible to race down the street in vehicle mode and have a head-on collision with a truck, hitting it with (apparently) enough force to flip the truck backwards over a building. And that’s without using the boost.

Transformers for Xbox 360 Optimus Prime-time Transformers for Xbox 360 Optimus Prime-time
Click to enlarge

The unusual physics also effect combat for the worse, so that swinging a streetlight at an enemy feels the same as trying to beat away a tiger with a piece of dental floss. Throwing a police car at a drone feels like storming a castle with a Nerf gun instead of a siege engine – there’s simply very little satisfaction to be had because of the unimpressive sound effects and bouncy physics engine.

The vehicle handling also suffers noticeably with some characters because of the physics. While it isn’t such a massive problem for Transformers like Jazz, the nippy-but-weak Porsche 935 Turbo, it feels extremely odd for a character like Ironhide, who transforms into a rather rugged 4x4 that handles just like a Porsche and bounces over jumps as if he were covered in hundreds of balloons.

Transformers for Xbox 360 Optimus Prime-time Transformers for Xbox 360 Optimus Prime-time
Click to enlarge

The various jumps and routes dotted around the city are quite important to unlocking the usual selection of concept art and extra movies too as there are five areas that each Transformer can score achievements in to unlock extra items. Performing very high or long jumps properly fills the ‘Jump’ category, while others require a little more though or aggression. Autobots can score extra ‘Heroic’ points for destroying enemies quickly, while Decepticons can knock down buildings for a ‘Destruction’ bonus.

Knocking down buildings isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds though – often only needing a single punch to reduce the building to smouldering rubble. The buildings only seem to have two or three states to exist in, normal, damaged and ruined, and hitting a building will simply push it into the next state on the list. Bland buildings which look identical to all the others will just change into ruined buildings which look identical to all the others.
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