Optimus Prime, one of two characters available.
With the film finally being released, you can expect a lot of debate over the latest episode of the Transformers saga, with millions of fans debating trivial matters.
Perhaps not so many will be talking about the iOS game from EA, which was released shortly before the film. The success of the film will ultimately decide how many downloads this App gets. Whilst the quality of the film may not be available to be assessed at this current time, the quality of the iOS game is. So is it 'More Than Meets The Eye' or just a bad game in disguise?
In brief, you won’t be surprised to hear that the App Store has another dual stick shooter in its midst. Playing as Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, you take on those pesky Decepticons, albeit with a disappointment that there aren’t more characters to play as. The game is a crossover between shooting and driving sections on each level as you transform from robot to vehicle, and vice versa.
While I admire the attempt to bring in diversity in what would otherwise be essentially a shoot ‘em up game, there is simply not enough of the driving side to mix the action up. Races of some form would have been a great addition to the game and could have easily been implemented into the storyline.
There are no complaints on the graphics front. The game is classic EA in that it runs smoothly between clean-cut gameplay graphics to artistic storyboards. The iPad version of the game offers a slightly different sort of experience. Whilst the App is basically the same as the iPhone version, the larger screen size allows the game to feel that much more epic in scope, something that seems to be fundamental for a game concerning huge metal robots fighting each other.
The storyboards, which appear at the bottom of the screen on occasion, are a really nice feature that move the story along in a simple and comprehensible way. The story is therefore enjoyable as you know exactly what is going on whilst playing. It is a simple concept that some Apps surprisingly overlook in favour of overcomplicated movie clips which alienate the storyline.
An unexpected feature was the ability to upgrade weaponry, which adds an RPG element to the game. We all enjoy watching our characters grow, as upgraded abilities and weaponry is a sort of reward for previous achievements. Put it this way, it is far better than Optimus Prime or BumbleBee staying exactly the same throughout the game, with the same weaponry and same abilities being used every level. Where is the sense of reward in that?
But while we didn’t expect an upgrade system, we did expect multiplayer to be implemented into the game, which it isn’t. It would have offered more to do once the storyline was completed. As it is, as soon as you’ve finish playing through the story you won't find much reason to come back.
The use of the virtual controls in the game are standard fare, but their implimentation is questionable as they can be awkward to use, with the response of the App varying from acceptable to downright terrible. The iPad version offers controls that are slightly easier to use as they are spread out, but the same issues with the game not always registering your input applies.
To conclude, you can expect and enjoyable and typical dual stick shooter. There are hints of other genres intertwined within the game, such as RPG and some nice driving elements, but they are just not featured in the game enough to really offer a diverse experience. Adding this to the control issues, as well as the lack of several playable characters and the absence of multiplayer, this game is just not as good as we'd expected it to be. Less than meets the eye, you might say.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 6
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