Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – PS2 – Review

I have
to admit a fondness for the Transformers that goes way back when I’d rush
back home from school to watch the cartoons in hopes of seeing my favorite toys
battle it out for planet Earth. When the first Michael Bay movie jumped on to
the big screen I was reduced to that excited kid again and enjoyed seeing the
Autobots in two live-action movies. So I approached the game with much respect
to the source material hoping that Activision would do justice to them.  


As it
turns out, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the PlayStation 2
broke my heart. 

It was
interesting to see that the game follows its own path and doesn’t try to port
the somewhat better PlayStation 3 version of the game and it was great to see
that it covered some story elements not found in the next-generation versions
either. Yet thanks to a number of flaws, bad gameplay decisions and uninspiring
level design, Revenge of the Fallen is a game that just isn’t worth the
purchase price.  

On the
plus side, the game does follow the movie’s main premise while introducing other
plot elements that does a good job of fleshing out the story. You see, after the
fall of the Decepticon leader, Megatron, a hidden master of evil named The
Fallen has ordered the remaining Decepticons to continue their assault against
Earth. Their first step in Earth’s annihilation is rescuing Megatron in order to
carry out phase two of their plan seeing as the All-Spark has been destroyed.
This plan includes a weapon of mass destruction that would bring Earth to its
knees and create a new order for the Decepticons. 

course, Optimus Prime and his Autobots will not stand for it and sends his
forces of good to aid the humans who have been busy hunting down all Decepticons.
As part of the military, Optimus and the Autobots find themselves in a fight as
new enemies begin their attack in Shanghai. The game’s first level begins with
Optimus jumping out of a transport carrier and fighting waves of Decepticons
along the way. It’s not a bad way of beginning an action game, actually. 

Oh, but
this is where Revenge of the Fallen takes a turn for the worst. You see,
you control a number of good guys that include Bumblebee and Ratchet as well as
take control of Decepticons in other moments in the level. Played in
third-person mode, your giant robot has primary and secondary fire as well as
melee attacks. It sounds good on paper but it just doesn’t work … but I’ll get
to that in a moment. 


you’ll go up against a number of nameless enemies on both sides but you will
also go up against the big boys such as Starscream or even Long Haul. While the
only time you’ll be transforming during the shooting action is as a special
attack, you will be able to transform to robot form at will during the driving
or flying moments in the game. There’s very little here that will make you feel
like you’re controlling the great Optimus Prime and that will disappoint in
every way. 

game contains five levels that include the Shanghai level, rescue Megatron in
the Atlantic Platform level, head out to Russia, and raid the Decepticon Base
and finally head to Cairo. Each level does offer some variety that does make for
some fun moments and there are some boss fights. Still, the boss fights are
simplistic and not very challenging. Let’s take the boss fight against
Devastator. Does it really take a few punches to the head to bring this big boy
down when it took a couple of rockets and a sword to the cranium in the movie? 

levels even offer some puzzles to open doors but these puzzles aren’t very
inventive and oftentimes you’ll simply bypass them out of mere boredom. I do
applaud the effort but these puzzles could have at least been fun to solve. I
also liked the vehicle moments, although flying above the Atlantic as Starscream
wasn’t as enjoyable thanks to the jerky controls. 

Speaking of the controls, the game makes shooting quite annoying thanks to a
shooting reticule that isn’t easy to move about on the screen so smoothly. I
invited a friend to take control of the reticule (which counts as the game’s
co-op mode, for some reason) but it still was too painful. Then there’s the
camera that doesn’t offer up the best angles, which will result in falling to
your death on a few occasions. Also, why do some of the enemies just stand there
taking melee attacks without blocking or making an effort to move away? 

Visually speaking, Revenge of the Fallen is not the prettiest PS2 game in
town. In fact, it might have some pretty character models but the backgrounds
are so hideous that you’ll think you’re looking at an unattractive original
PlayStation game. Even the visual effects are less than spectacular that even Transformers
director Michael Bay would wince at the sight of it. 


voice acting is not bad at all mainly because the original voice for Optimus
Prime is back and in top form just like in the movies. Some of the other voices
aren’t bad either and the movie’s soundtrack plays over the game and cut scenes.
I just wish the same attention was given to the sound effects as well. 

In the
end, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the PS2 is a weak shooter
and a bad version of the game. As a Transformers fan, I loved a few
sections within the levels and the idea of playing as Autobots and Decepticons.
I just don’t like the game’s glaring flaws that will only make you wish you
spent the money seeing the movie again in theaters. Consider this kid very

Review Scoring Details for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Gameplay: 5.0
There are a few
fun moments in the game but it is ruined thanks to some repetitive level design,
controls that make aiming a chore and vehicle movement that’s really jerky. Some
battles are fun but then again the boss battles are something of a joke.

Graphics: 5.0
The graphics
aren’t horrible but they’re not great either and that’s a real shame considering
the Autobots and Decepticons look good. Still, the flat backgrounds and the dull
visual effects are not visually pleasing at all.

Sound: 5.5
The score from
the movie plays throughout the game and that’s awesome but the sound effects are
so muffled that it would make Michael Bay cry. At least the voices are good and
sound the way they should.

Difficulty: Medium
You’ll die often
in this game but it’s not because the enemy is intelligent or the boss fights
are overly challenging. Instead, you’ll die because of the wonky controls and
weak camera.

Concept: 5.0
Play as the
Autobots and the Decepticons in a campaign that will take you from the streets
of Shanghai to the desert flatlands of Cairo. It’s great to play familiar
characters but taking control of them just isn’t as exciting as expected.
There’s co-op but it’s awful but at least the game tosses in some episodes from
the original ‘80s cartoon.

Multiplayer: 3.0
two-player co-op but before you have visions of aiding a friend as an Autobot or
Decepticon, one player moves the character while the other takes control of the
aiming. There’s also an arena battle mode, but I don’t see gamers playing that
mode for too long.

Overall: 5.0
Revenge of the
for the
PS2 is a considerably flawed game that could have been fun but just doesn’t cut
it as an action game featuring the Transformers. Unlike the
next-generation versions, this version plays quite differently but in the case
of this game it’s not a very good thing.