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Ranking:
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Release Date: June 24th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

Overview -

To try and make any semblance of the 'Transformers' storyline in the grand scheme of things, is a futile task. Years of cartoons, comics, games and live-action films have rendered the franchise a very messy place. Currently, amid all of this mess is a fourth Michael Bay 'Transformers' movie, and the void left after the two successful High Moon 'Cybertron' Transformers games. With that void in mind, Activision tabbed Edge of Reality to develop a game that part new movie tie-in and part sequel to 'Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.' With multiple 'Transformers universes merging, it's sure to be a confusing muddled narrative, but does it standup to its well-received non-film based predecessors?

OVERALL:
For Fans Only
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
720p
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date:
June 24th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

Graphically, 'Rise of the Dark Spark' is as mediocre as its gameplay. (Editor: Most of the character models look to be lifted from both the Cybertron games and the previous movie tie-in with a emphasis on quick and dirty.)  Textures are less than eye-catching and the character models just slightly above average in detail. Colors are suitable but often obscured by pointless environmental effects. On a whole, the graphical design is flat and lifeless; you could put all the characters amidst a white background and you'd get most of the same effect. What little environmental interaction exists is poorly animated and frankly embarrassing. Framerates on a whole are average with occasional slowdown and brief but abrupt mid-level loading pauses.

Audio Review

Ranking:

"Rise of the Dark Spark's' sound design takes a little bit to fully warm-up and envelop the player, but once it does, there's a lot to take in. At times the overall mix is chaotic and messy, but for the most part the weapons have unique sounds and the classic effects of the cartoon and films are all present. It goes without saying the voice cast, led by the great Peter Cullen is top-notch, and it's only their spot-on performances that make the clueless script and weak story arc tolerable at all.

Final Thoughts

'Rise of the Dark Spark' might not reinvent the wheel in terms of third-person 'Transformers' action, in fact, in some cases it regresses, but it does offer up moments of sheer bliss, most notably its final act. Sadly, that's a very short portion of a game that feels much longer than the five to six hours I invested in my first campaign run-through. Add to that mediocre graphics and a wasted opportunity in multiplayer territory, and you have a game only for the most loyal Autobot or Decepticon supporter. Let us hope the battle surrounding Cybertron picks up where it left off and the next title restores the Transformers videogame legacy to its mark of high praise.