|System: Wii,PS3, Xbox 360, DS, 3DS|
|Dev: Behavior Interactive|
|Release: June 14, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
There are certain things that you just can't forgive in the world of video games. I'm talking about those very specific flaws that seem so obvious any random hobo on the street could point them out. Making a Transformers game without transforming is one of those flaws.
This is the case with Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Stealth Force Edition for the Wii. It's a Transformers game that doesn't allow you to transform into a giant robot. Oh sure, you see giant robots in cutscenes, but you play through the entire game as a car. This defeats the entire premise of Transformers, which, if I'm not mistaken, is supposed to be "robots in disguise."
Trust me; it only goes downhill from here.
If I had to compare Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Stealth Force Edition to any other game, it would have to be Twisted Metal. Since you are stuck in car mode the entire game, the game is centered on vehicular combat. Unfortunately, the control scheme doesn't work. To turn, you use the analog stick. To throttle forward or reverse, you also use the analog stick. Because of this, it's hard to turn and throttle at the same time, meaning most of the time you'll stop when you try to change direction. It tries to make controlling your car as simple as controlling a character in an action game, but only succeeds in making the controls far too clunky to actually be usable.
Now, these are only the controls for your basic vehicle form. This is supposed to be a quick form that gets you out of danger. In fact, you can't even attack while in this form; you can only run away. It's unfortunate that the control scheme basically makes you let off the throttle if you want to turn, because you'll lose speed any time you need to change direction. This is exactly when the enemies in the game like to gang up on you, so it feels like you are fighting the controls more than you are fighting the Decepticons.
If you want to attack, you'll need to go into stealth mode which is a total misnomer considering this is actually your heavy battle mode. In stealth mode, your control scheme changes—for no good reason. Steering is now controlled with the d-pad, and strafe and throttle are controlled with the analog stick. No, I'm not kidding. The game needlessly complicates things by remapping your controls in the middle of battle. The camera doesn't change its angle unless you use the turning controls, so it's not even like you can ignore the control scheme change and strafe all the time. That's just mean.
While in stealth mode, you can fire a main gun which costs no ammo, or a secondary weapon which costs "Energon Ammo" to fire. Unfortunately, both of these weapons are extremely boring. The main gun is near useless regardless of its fast rate of fire. It's basically just there to make you feel good when you don't have Energon Ammo. The secondary weapon is supposed to be different for each Transformer, but more often than not it's just some variety of missile. These are literally your only two options of attack in the game.
To use stealth mode you need to collect Energon cubes that refill your health and stealth force meter. While in stealth mode, your stealth force meter drains, and if it's reduced to zero, you'll revert back to vehicle mode (well, more boring vehicle mode). Remember, in vehicle mode all you can do is run away. This basically means you are forced to continuously refill a meter just to play the game. This also means that half of any mission is wandering around looking for Energon cubes while your enemies, who apparently don't have the same restriction, pelt you with bullets until you die.