Reviewed: June 20, 2011
Released: June 14, 2011
You know why the Transformers franchise is so amazing and hooks everyone who sees it? Itís because they are robots in disguise, meaning they are able to turn into giant robots and beat the bad guys to a pulp then turn back into a car and drive away like the bad asses they areÖ.so why canít I do it on this game? Transformers: Dark of the Moon is supposed to be the prequel game to the upcoming movie of the same title that was released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, but as with most Wii titles that aren't up to the task of mirroring their true next-gen counterparts, Nintendo owners get a spin-off title called Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Stealth Force Edition.|
Like most games we are given the choices of Story mode, Co-op, and multiplayer to choose from. Story mode follows the events leading up to the upcoming movie while alternating as both factions, sometimes you are the Autobots infiltrating a Decepticon base and hacking their communications and others its vice-versa and you get to destroy a few Autobots along the way. An annoying feature of the story mode is the fact you canít choose who you are playing as in each mission as you could in previous games. The Co-op mode has you doing the same missions as story mode with the added fun of doing it all with a friend to help you along the way, but with no added enemies or goals. Multiplayer pits you in combat against your friends with the ability to choose a side and a robot to fight with; unfortunately it doesnít stack up against War for Cybertron in any way.
The levels themselves consist of the usual defeat x amount of enemies followed by a big boss along with the ever-tedious timed collection missions. Some missions also have you defending multiple locations from attack for a set amount of time to gain access to the next level. Unfortunately this pretty much describes every level in the game just with a change of scenery ranging from a desert town to downtown Detroit. While you do get to see many locations in the game one thing they all share in common is the lack of detail, regardless of whether itís the desert, jungle, or tundra missions. Even with all the added trees, rocks and buildings the levels stay bland throughout the whole game. The lack of quality throughout the whole game really hinders the fun that is to be had while playing, as you have nothing to else to look at but your character.
To explain my starting comment about the Transformers being able to change into robots and then change back I suppose I have to inform the masses that for the first time in a Transformers game you donít get to transform, at least not the way we are used to. Instead of going from robot to vehicle mode we go from vehicle to a ďStealth ForceĒ vehicle mode which consists of your car getting beefed up and getting access to weapons while being able to keep the maneuverability of your prior form, at least thatís what Iím sure they intended, but not what we got. To use said stealth force mode you must collect energon cubes which restore your energy and also fill up your stealth meter.
Controls are pretty straightforward in your standard form with the analog stick controlling your throttle and turning. In this form you have no access to weapons and can only use this form to escape from enemies and gather energon ammo and health cubes. Immediately after switching to stealth force mode you no longer use the analog stick to control your direction only your throttle, you must use the d-pad controller to change the direction you drive and your weapons are fired with the B-button being your machinegun and Z-button being your special energon weapon. Neither is very impressive as all characters you play use a missile launcher as their energon weapon and the standard machinegun.
As far as sound design goes I canít say much about Bumblebee since we all know he doesnít ever speak a word, but Optimus Prime sounded just like in prior games which was a major plus for me and Iím sure for the fans of the series. Sound effect quality was decent considering the only thing you hear are the guns you fire and some communications you have with either Optimus informing you of more enemies or mission changes. The music was the typical heroic symphonies we hear from the movies and were quite fitting for some levels while others times when I was at the last bit of health I found them to be very annoying and wished it would at least change depending on the severity of the damage I was taking.
I'm trying not to be biased on the Wii version of the game after seeing the PS3 and Xbox versions and how they compare seeing all differences in quality, controls and gameplay, I will freely admit this is one game that I donít think should have held the Transformers title, especially with the ever prominent issue of not being able to transform into a robot. No robot form...no Transformers game. This is basically a Wii version of Twisted Metal with Transformer skins.
I am a diehard Transformers fan ever since the original G1 series and I canít believe such a staple of the series is missing. With the lack of features, average graphics, acceptable sound, and a completion time of less than 7 hours, I'd say Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Stealth Force Edition is a budget title at best but nothing an avid gamer or hardcore fan would take seriously, especially with the 50$ price tag.