Games Gazette Logo

TRANSFORMERS: RISE of the DARK SPARK:  
Publishers & Partners: Third person action game. Activision, Hasbro, Edge of Reality

London, UK – 17th July, 2014 – 30 years ago, alien robots know as Transformers were born into a timeless story of good versus evil. Today, Transformers delivers an epic experience to fans across entertainment, digital, toys and lifestyle and has grown into a multibillion dollar franchise.  Check out a timeline of Transformers heritage, created to celebrate 30 years of Transformers, in   conjunction with the recent launch of TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE DARK SPARK, a third-person action adventure game.

When a video game comes out based, no matter how loosely, on a current movie, especially one that is part of an ongoing series, you know that in most cases the game isn’t going to be a patch on the movie. Whether this is because the game is rushed out so that it catches the wave of enthusiasm for the film or whether it is because the designers aren’t too bothered because they know the game will sell on the back of the film, that’s something particular to each game. As far as Rise of the Dark Spark is concerned I think I would subscribe to the first thought, that the game has been pushed out quickly to run parallel with the movie.

You have many options and variations of play in this new PS3 game. There is the best option – the Campaign – and you also have single missions but first off you need to set the game and characters up for the co-operative Escalation which you do through Character Set-up. Choose the Transformer you wish to control and away you go.   Note: Escalation (4-player co-operative) isn’t available on the WiiU and 3DS.

My thoughts on the design of this game are that it has been made for the 10-14 year olds who only want action upon action within a story that they really do not care about. They are not worried if they have to save this person or find that document, these are just things that happen in a game as you progress. With anything based on the Transformers the players who like this series will be looking for smoothly transforming vehicles, the most powerful weapons available (and then some) and a whole load of combat. Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark delivers on both of these accounts.

The basic story is that the “bad” guys want the Dark Spark, the “good” guys don’t want them to have it – the rest of the tale is irrelevant. The problem with playing a video game is that you usually play it on a small screen and with these new-look Transformers (ie they are like those in the latest film) the only way you can recognise who is good and who is bad is the small identification insignia on the Bots, though Optimus Prime should be recognised by all Transformer fans.

There are times when your weapon auto targets something so when this occurs even though you cannot see what it is you are aiming at it is best that you light it up. Most of the time these target “something’s” will blow sky-high, so although they are nothing’s more than something’s they are also fun to take out.

Throughout the campaign you have opportunities to upgrade your weapons and equipment. While the upgrading of the weaponry is easy and swift, the upgrading of your gear is often painstaking and slow as you have to search through a myriad choices to find upgrades that you can actually use – nearly all the gear is specific to various other equipment.

There are times when the action jumps around from one part of the campaign to another, with one of these eventually just disappearing from the storyline altogether without any warning – very unsatisfactory. In fact too much of the game is unsatisfactory as far as an adventure goes but I stick to my original thoughts that this is a game specifically aimed at youngsters who are only interested in the absolute fun aspect.

Try not to compare it to the film or any previous Transformer games and simply play it as an (almost) all action shooter and you’ll find it quite playable.

Words from the Publishers: 

Explore two unique worlds as your favourite TRANSFORMERS characters from TRANSFORMERS: Age of Extinction and Cybertron universes! Includes Over 40 playable characters from two different universes!  Change Form Anytime: Effortlessly switch between robot and vehicle form!
Beyond the Movie: Weave your way through Earth and Cybertron universes in an unforgettable battle to secure the Dark Spark. Epic Multiplayer Battles: Expanded four-player co-op online escalation mode with new upgradeable defences and challenging Power Foes!*  New Unlock System: Levelling system spans campaign and escalation, allowing players to unlock rewards that will aid progression in both modes!    *Multiplayer available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3 only.

TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. ©2014 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. ©2014 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro. General Motors trademarks used under license to Hasbro. All rights reserved. Game © 2014 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Opening the game box and using the software constitutes acceptance of the Software License Agreement available at support.activision.com/license. “PlayStation”, the “PS” Family logo and “PS3” are registered trademarks. "PS4" is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.  Nintendo trademarks and copyrights are properties of Nintendo. ESRB rating icons are registered trademarks of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and may not be used without permission of the ESA. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.  

TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE DARK SPARK is available now on Sony’s PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo’s Wii U™ system and Windows PC and is rated PEGI 12. The Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system edition is rated PEGI 7. For more information, please visit www.TransformersGame.com.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015