It couldn’t have gone worse for Activision if he had vomited at the mere mention of it. Quizzed on the Wii version of this very game, Transformers star Shia LaBeouf scornfully replied that the Wii was an “amateur console” and that he didn’t “mess” with it. Fighting talk! And just when you thought Activision reps couldn’t possibly get any redder, he added that he’d rather “eat glass” than play Lego Star Wars. We’re not sure why he didn’t twist the knife further by proclaiming “Call of Duty 4 causes eight million preventable deaths every year.”
LaBeouf has given the game short shrift and the game repays in kind, offering up less than five hours of action. This alone makes it impossible to recommend, but at least it’s reasonably diverting within this time period. You fight as big robots should, waving the remote to pummel other equally big robots into scrap. The camera is fixed firmly behind the player at all times, nipping potential visibility issues in the bud and freeing the remote to be used as a shooting reticule. Since your bot is trotting about in 3D space, it can be difficult to line up your shots consistently, but this is an issue that fades with practice.
Transformations are limited to some very ropey vehicular sections. They control smoothly enough to make you feel like you’re in for a good time, but this initial optimism is crushed under an avalanche of grimly unexciting combat and looped backgrounds. The story also shifts your loyalties between Autobot and Decepticon at an alarming rate, making the whole thing feel a bit counter-productive.
Aside from the puny run-through time, the main problem is that there’s really nothing to it. If the enemies took an IQ test it would come back negative, and even if they do manage to kill you, you’re dropped back into the action instantly, making it hard to see how anyone could get stuck. The best we can say for it is at least it ends before the shoot, punch, jump formula can grow old. Also: there’s little to no LaBeouf.
Jul 9, 2009