Transformers: Battlegrounds | game review
This may be a Decepticon trap...
Game summary: With evil Megatron close to capturing The Allspark, Bumblebee and the Autobots need a new commander to help restore peace. (Xbox.com)
When I saw that there was a Transformers game based around XCOM-like gameplay, I couldn't believe I hadn't heard more about it. I'd loved the Transformers cartoons and toys growing up (a long, long time ago now) and I really, really like the XCOM games and others that play similarly to them (hello Midnight Suns!), so I thought I'd maybe found a hidden gem that I could get hooked on.
That wasn't to be, as this has to be one of the most uninspiring licensed games I've ever played in my life. I can't even say that I'm the wrong audience for this game, because I'm not sure that the people who made the game know what audience they were after when making this. All I know is that I gave up on it pretty quickly once I realised that I was playing it for the sake of playing it rather than because I was enjoying it.
The (very) simple graphics - a 2020 game that doesn't even have full HD as a resolution? Seriously? - and more cartoonish character design might suggest that Transformers: Battlegrounds is intended for younger players, or those who aren't normally fans of strategy games like XCOM and how tense they can get. On the other hand, it's so boring and repetitive, I can't see kids and their typically-reduced attention spans lasting too long either.
The story might well improve later on in the game, but I was so bored at the glacial plot progression after however many missions it was that I did (ignoring the fact that each mission I played was divided into two parts each, I think I completed at least seven or eight) that I was never going to find out. Coupled to the simple gameplay, there was just no reason for me to keep pushing through.
Again, I just come back to wondering who this game was made for? Yes, the controls are as simple as the graphics, but the uninspired level layouts, mission design and overall lack of anything interesting going on makes me wonder what the developers were thinking. If you're going to make everything as basic and simple as possible to potentially appeal to kids or those new to gaming, why not make these levels far shorter so at least the story can keep moving?
Transformers: Battlegrounds doesn't look good, it doesn't sound great, the writing for the dialogue is mundane at best, the story gives you no reason to keep playing with how slow and uninteresting it is, with the simple, repetitive gameplay maybe being easy enough for young children or inexperienced gamers to pick it up, but most likely even boring them quickly with how unexciting and lacking in tension it all is.
Transformers: Battlegrounds is lacking in many areas, looking pretty bloody poor for a game from 2020 and proving to be even worse to play. It's as if the developers got the rights to make a Transformers game unexpectedly and didn't know what audience to target it at, ending up with a final product that will most likely put off the majority of players after an hour or two.