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Overview


TransFormers is based on the Transformers: Armada animated series and comics. It was originally entitled TransFormers: Prelude To Energon, but the name was simplified ahead of the game's release in 2004. The game focuses on the "heroic" Autobots, with players offered control of Optimus Prime, Red Alert, or Hot Shot. The game stays relatively faithful to the "TransFormers Armada" universe lore, while managing to cram in several classic "Generation 1" references and set piece moments. Ultimately, TransFormers received a lukewarm critical and commercial reception.
 

Story


The planet Cybertron is at war. The on-going struggle between the "heroic" Autobots and the "evil" Decepticons rages as strong as ever. Constituting the two factions are the Mini-Cons, a tiny race of lost TransFormers who can be used to enhance the abilities of larger TransFormers. Fearing that the planet will soon be destroyed by war, the Mini-Cons seal  themselves in stasis panels and flee in an arc in hopes of finding a new home. During the search, the ark collides with a meteor and some of the fragments fall towards earth. Dozens of Mini-Con panels strike the surface of earth and scatter to remote locations. Millions of years later, a small group of Mini-Cons are discovered and send out a distress beacon. The game starts just as Megatron stands to claim victory over his adversary, Optimus Prime. As Megatron speaks the classic line, "I would have waited an eternity for this, it's over Prime," the distress call breaks their conflict. With the Mini-Cons located, both the Autobots and Decepticons flee towards Earth searching for the lost Mini-Cons in order to top the balance of power.
 

Playable Characters

 
  • Optimus Prime; the heavy character, slow but has the strongest attacks
  • Red Alert; an all rounder, neither fastest or strongest but in some missions his versatility proves very useful
  • Hot Shot; the fastest character of the three and thus also the one most vulnerable to damage, brilliant for missions that require quickly getting from one area to another
 

Gameplay

 
TransFormers is essentially a third-person shooter. Players control either Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, or Red Alert. The game maintains a third-person perspective during much of its gameplay. The collection of Mini-Cons as per the game's narrative provide upgrades to your selected character's weapons arsenal. Each character has a main cannon assigned to the R1 button, but the remaining three PlayStation 2 shoulder buttons allow players to attach additional enhancements. These include shields, rockets and homing missiles. Upgrades can be either be equipped or stored at Autobot HQ for later missions. Players can also transform into a vehicle with the Triangle button. Due to some rather open level design, the vehicle mechanics are a necessity.
 

Throw-Back References

 
There are numerous references to classic TransFormers fiction in the 2004 PlayStation 2 release. These are mainly nods to the "Generation 1" era of the franchise. The game opens with Megatron delivering the classic line, "I would have waited an eternity for this. It's over Prime," as he wrangles with Autobot leader Optimus Prime. The game also features an appearance from Unicron, the main antagonist in the original Transformers movie. Interestingly, the line "I'll rip out your optics," from the original movie appears in the game, but is delivered by Starscream in the game as opposed to Megatron.
 
Optimus Prime delivers a number of memorable sound-bytes throughout the game, including "'Till all are one" and "Transform... and roll out."
 

Director's Cut

 
A "Director's Cut" version of the TransFormers game was issued in 2005 exclusively for the European market. The only difference between this and the original was the inclusion of a bonus "Making Of" DVD documentary.

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