TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE DARK SPARK RRP: $ 89 ( reviewed on PlayStation 4)
WHETHER you’re a fan of the Transformers franchise or not, you have to admit these shape- shifting robots have built quite an empire from their humble beginning as children’s toys in the 1980s.
Right on cue, to coincide with the release of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, comes an interactive counterpart for gamers.
Dark Spark is the third instalment in the ongoing battle for Cybertron series, set in time before the events in the previous video game, Fall of Cybertron, and it also touches loosely on the latest fi lm’s plot.
The story centres around a Cybertronian relic – the Dark Spark, which offers its owner control over the universe, and naturally both the Autobots and the Decepticons are fi ghting over it.
The game’s main campaign spans 14 missions, each taking half an hour to complete. The main action comprises mostly of running and gunning as you clear the enemies and obstacles of each level, although being able to transform from robot into vehicle with the press of a button remains one of the main drawcards.
I don’t know if the game designer did it intentionally, but most robots are sluggish and dull to control in comparison to the vehicles and fl ying machines they morph into.
Outside the short campaign mode, there is a surprisingly fun escalation style online mode. Here a team of four players band together to pit their skills against ensuing waves of progressively tougher computer- controlled enemies in a bid to hold their ground and stay alive. Unfortunately, multiplayer options stop there, as there are no other modes.
While the robots themselves are a visual treat, especially as they shift shape in high defi nition, the game’s bland background environments and levels lack the same care and detail. With the extra power of the latest games console, there is no excuse these days for mediocre visuals.
Unfortunately, Dark Spark does what so many movie tie- in games before it have done, which is little more than tick the basic boxes.