Transformers Prime: The Game is based on the show of the same name that currently screens in New Zealand on TV2. It follows the same old Autobots vs. Decepticon theme, complete with token human characters that really just get in the way, which is fine for the target audience: kids.
The game’s story goes that Megatron has discovered a meteorite full of dark energon and has attempted to drag it down to Earth. However, no sooner do the Autobots try to foil Megatron’s plan, than said meteorite explodes, revealing that it harboured more than just dark energon. The explosion scatters the Autobots over a large area - providing a nice setup for a variety of different locations and environments – from canyons, to caves, and ruins.
The game plays out with different Autobots, each of whom have varying strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, despite having an excellent setup, the levels are linear and repetitive, following a room-by-room clearing – with a couple of on-rail levels - pattern: kill some grunts, move onto the boss.
Transformers Prime’s combat mechanics are a mixed bag. The game incorporates transformations into the attacks you can unleash by waggling the Wii remote in vehicle mode; something you'll typically use for breaking a boss’ shields. This mechanic reduces the battles to shooting the given boss until they raise their shield, then transforming and using a transforming strike, thenusing a melee combo – rinse and repeat.
In addition, each autobot's weapon can be charged to take off a decent chunk of a grunts health – as long as the attack connects. There's also a ‘powered up’ mode, which makes your weapons and melee moves deal extra damage; the only drawback is that it slows down the gun's firing rate.
Unfortunately, the aiming system can be an issue when fighting flying bosses, and the manual camera controls are slow; an option to use the classic controller would have been extremely welcome. Using the Wii remote and nunchuck combo over the classic controllers added nothing to the experience.
Visually, Transformers Prime: The Game highlights the need for an HD Wii console, with its mix of terrible aliasing and low resolution textures. Besides those issues, it’s not a bad looking game – the environments look nice, and the opening cut scene with the meteorite explosion still looks good on the Wii’s aging hardware.
Transformers Prime’s high point is its multiplayer. You can play split-screen two on two, with bots, or one against several bots. It features three modes:
As far as fan service goes, Transformers Prime features a ton of extras, including a concept art gallery, character profiles, clips from the campaign, and collectable emblems. Overall, although Transformers Prime: The Game is fun at first, the repetition soon sinks in. In the end, it’s a competent tie-in with plenty of goodies for fans of the series.