Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies may be getting worse with each installment, but Activision’s “Transformers” games are getting better.
The last one, “War for Cybertron,” told the tale of the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons, showing the rise of Optimus Prime and the machinations of Megatron with separate campaigns for each faction.
Megatron’s efforts to conquer Cybertron are causing the mechanized planet to shut down and cut off its production of Energon, the power source all Transformers need to function. The Autobots have built an enormous Ark ship to escape and survive the coming calamity. Never one to see sense, Megatron continues to press the attack.
Players will take control of various characters, such as Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Grimlock and even Megatron himself. Each character has alternate forms, various weapons and unique abilities — Optimus can call down artillery strikes from his enormous ally Metroplex, while the melee-centric Grimlock transforms into a powerful robotic Tyrannosaurus rex instead of a car, tank or aircraft.
Like “War for Cybertron,” this “Transformers” game is a solid shooter with a focus on spectacle. Most of the Transformers can find or buy a variety of exotic-looking weapons that fill typical shooter roles— pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles and so on. You can also find heavy weapons with limited ammo and more powerful effects — rocket and grenade launchers and other heavy hitters.
Each weapon can be upgraded — for a price—at equipment kiosks, which also sell various one-time-use items and permanent upgrades that do things like increase your robots’ speed on foot, armor in their alternate form, or even apply permanent discounts to future items you buy.
Apart from the single-player campaign, there’s a survival mode called Escalation in which you combat waves of enemies, and an online multiplayer mode that lets you extensively customize four different basic classes of Transformer for your combat style —Scientist, Infiltrator, Destroyer and Titan.
Your options are limited when you begin, but as you gain experience by completing matches you’ll gain access to new weapons, abilities, cosmetic additions and other goodies for your
Transformer archetypes (and if you wish, there are some items you can simply buy outright instead of earning through play).