PS2 Games: Transformers

A couple of forgettable tie-in titles aside, this is a much-awaited plundering of the Transformers universe that fans of the original 1980s' cartoon know and love. If you're among them, you'll be sorry to learn that this new PS2 title is actually based on the more recent Transformers Armada TV series. The Armada tag was reportedly dropped from the game in its final development, assuring a wider audience, but it's going to leave some Trans fans feeling cheated.


The basic plot is that millions of years ago, against a backdrop of war between the Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (bad guys) on their home planet of Cybertron, a third transformer race called the Mini-cons secretly evacuated. They hit a space hurdle and a bunch of them crash landed on remote locations around Earth. Because tiny Mini-cons combine with larger transformers to boost the latter's attack and defensive abilities, a race to find them ensues when a distress signal comes through millions of years later.

Gameplay involves collecting a large amount of Data Discs (to unlock game extras) and Mini-cons that serve as various forms of power-ups including stealth, tractor beam and glide. You'll play as the Autobots, as leader Optimus Prime (truck), Red Alert (ambulance) or Hot Shot (sports car). Because you're collecting so much, the levels are so big and you can warp between them, the game has a slightly non-linear feel even though you progress through levels. These include the Amazon, Antarctica, Deep Amazon, Mid-Atlantic, Alaska, Star Ship, Pacific (Easter) Island and Cybertron itself.

Enemy AI for the most part is quite good. Various types of grunt robots comprise most cannon fodder but medium level bot bosses arrive at the end of some sections. You'll face Decepticon leader Megatron, Starscream (fighter jet), Cyclonus (helicopter) and the mammoth Tidalwave (warship) at the end of levels.

Controls are solid and the third person perspective is action-packed. A first person zoom view is great for attacks at distance. After a while, though, shooting, running and jumping becomes repetitive, and there's no multi-player mode for diversion. It's also not until the second or third stage that you get a true sense of being a big oversized transformer.

Australian outfit Melbourne House has developed a visually stunning game with epic draw distances rivalling Far Cry on the PC, yet everything still runs along smoothly. Yes, you can transform, and yes, when you do, you'll hear that familiar phased transform sound. The game's audio is generally strong and cinematic, and seems to intensify during battles. There's even a theme song remix extra by Regurgitator, and when you defeat Cyclonus you'll hear original score produced by the band's front man, Quan Yeomans.

Unlockable extras include production, comic, toy and CG-sequence art as well as quirky public service announcement TV spots from the original cartoon. It all rounds out a love-it or hate-it title.

Score Card

Visuals: Stunning

Audio: Cinematic sci-fi

Gameplay: Slightly repetitive action/shooter

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Melbourne House


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Danny Allen

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?