Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
They melted it all down. 

By Bradley Lewis

There are times, when playing video games, that they bring you to a new level of emotion. The new wave of games in the empathy category are such games that bring you to a new emotional feeling that you may never have had previously in this context. Feeling a connection to a character or story is a deep emotion that can make a game go from mediocre to legendary.....
Ohhhh, sorry. I was daydreaming and having wishful thoughts about this game. All of that has nothing to do with Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (RotDS) as you shall soon see. 


There are times when writing a review that you are at a loss for words as to describe what you have experienced. Normally it is because a game is so different from anything previous to it, or because it goes beyond words such as great, good, amazing, tremendous, etc. However, Transformers: RotDS does this in the opposite direction. 

Graphically, this game is something that you would expect to see on a mobile device. The average quality for a game on modern consoles is much higher than anything you see in this game. As long as nothing is moving in the game, it looks adequate. But if there is anything moving at all which lets face it, its a Transformers game so everything is moving, and in certain lighting conditions,  suddenly it gets a sort of static effect to the entire moving part. You notice it all the time as your transformer moves about in the game and it quite frankly becomes a nuisance. Audio in this game is not inadequate as well. It is difficult to hear almost all of the voices and the sound effects do not sound correct either. There is a point where you are playing as the Decepticons that you cannot understand some of the characters that are speaking without subtitles. 


When playing Transformers, the enjoyable part of the game for many is being able to transform. This game, however, does not give you that option all the time. Yes, you read that correctly. There are times that it will not let you transform. Also, there are moments that it will not let you perform your special ability that each transformer is allowed to perform. Sometimes your special ability is a rush forward to strike with a sword or releasing a bird type transformer that kills surrounding enemies, but there are spots where it will not let you perform that action. Worst of all, there is not a way to predict where these areas are in the game. They seem to be random areas of the map that are out of the blue. One step you can transform and the next then you cannot. You just find them when you press the correct button for the action.  

The worst parts of this game are the glimpses you receive of the previous games in the franchise. There are times where you are playing a level and you think that it looks very familiar to the previous games in the franchise. This is probably because they took levels from previous games and just copy and pasted them into RotDS. There are times when you get to play as a jet and fly around and then transform and it brings you back to what is fun but even then there is something not quite just right. 

The competitive balance in this game is just not right as well. When playing on the normal difficulty, the game can be very frustrating. Your health in this game dwindles quite rapidly when under fire and the cover system is nonexistent. You just have to get behind an object and hope that you are not exposed. The flying enemies in this game are also relentless, which is great for a challenge but not when it seems like they always have the upper hand. The gunplay in this game is off. It is difficult to describe but it seems like the guns that you use are underpowered and the enemies guns are overpowered. In essence, all the guns are the same regardless as to who is using them even on normal difficulty. 

This is the stunning load out screen, very advanced

This is the stunning load out screen, very advanced

A general trend in gaming is that those games that are based on movies are mostly disappointments. They tried to hide this fact in this game by not having the same name, but it does not fool you when you play it. The quality is not there as compared to previous Transformers games. The effort in the game is connect the previous games to the current movie, and the story is alright but it is very tedious to follow since everything else in the game is lacking. 

The way the game goes is something like the following: You go up to a door, while waiting for said door to open, enemies appear and attack you. You defend until the game decides you have had enough, and the door finally opens. Repeat. You know all the parts of the previous games that you loved in the franchise? Yeah, they basically discarded all of those.

This is a typical fight in the game. Make your own assumptions. Sorry for lack of audio, you are not missing much without it. 

Overall, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is lacking in most aspects. It is a game that seems to have been rushed through development to meet a deadline and is lacking any sort of polishing. The franchise was moving in the correct direction in the past games, but it has taken a turn for the worse in this installment. 

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark receives a 4 out of 10


- It is Transformers


- Graphics/Audio are what are to be expected on a mobile game, not a console. 
- The gameplay is off and it seems like you are always at a disadvantage. 
- There is little in the game that is fun. Too linear and not enough variety. 

Agree or disagree with the review? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below, your thoughts are valued. (Unless you are being a troll, in which case, do not be that guy. )

You can follow Brad and his antics and thoughts about the World Cup on Twitter @bradleydlewis and follow him on Xbox at his gamer tag: Superior32. 

Name *
Please take the survey if you do not mind. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Writing Ability
Thoughts on Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark