Transformers | PS2
It's now 20 years since what were inarguably the greatest toys ever first enlightened our childhoods. And not only were they the greatest toys ever, but what gaming potential? Robots that could change into vehicles and stuff? Fighting it out with huge laser guns? Utter perfection! Which is why it's so surprising that it's taken so long for someone to bring us any kind of associated virtual offering. Okay, so we had Ocean's side-scroller for Spectrum and C64 back in the mid 80s, but since then not a sausage. Until now, that is.
Transformers is without a doubt what every ageing Transformers fanatic has been hoping for, ever since he first watched the cartoon, played with the toys and, as we all did, tried to talk like a robot. The game is an action-packed, third-person adventure in which you get to step into the various-vehicle-parts-that-change-into-shoes of a range of your favourite Autobots and battle it out against the evil Decepticons.
The story is based around a later addition to the Transformers universe, the Mini-Cons, which are a group of robots that have the power to combine with the larger Transformers, greatly enhancing their combat abilities. Before their war-ravaged planet is destroyed, the Mini-Cons escape onboard an evacuation ark, which, following a collision with a rogue meteor, ends up crash-landing on Earth, scattering the robots far and wide, buried and forgotten. One million years later, a chance discovery awakens a small group of the Mini-Cons and soon, knowing that they could tip the balance of power, the Autobots and Decepticons enter into a race to find them.
The game itself sees you taking on a variety of objective-based missions, whilst endlessly fighting it out in explosive battles with the Decepticons. There are three playable characters on offer - Optimus Prime, Hotshot and Red Alert - each armed with steel-crushing weaponry and, obviously, that oh-so wonderful ability to transform (complete with the sound effect we could all mimic so brilliantly) which, as well being one of the coolest gameplay features ever, is also extremely useful when exploring the game's expansive environments. As you'd expect, gun-cum-chief bad guy Megatron heads up the opposition, complete with his whinging sidekick Starscream and other characters such as Cyclonus and Tidal Wave.
As well as forming a key part in the plot line, the Mini-Cons also feature heavily on the gameplay side of things, introducing a power-up element to the proceedings. As such, your particular character is able to evolve through the collection of Mini-Cons, which subsequently add upgrades to your arsenal such as secondary weapons, armour and the ability to fly.
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