Ah, Transformers, we've been here before. We still remember reviewing Transformers: Dark Of The Moon back in issue 72 and moaning that it was "possible to finish the game's 18 missions in under three hours". Many had a go at Activision after that shambles and now it's back with a game based on the Transformers Prime cartoon. Now, having completed Transformers Prime, there's a blotch on our Wii U Activity Log showing that no lessons were learned at all.
"Transformers Prime, played one time, total play time two hours and 34 minutes," it reads.
We're sorry, chaps, you just aren't getting this. We don't care how much action you pack into your game, this just isn't worth the full price you're charging for it.
We don't care that the game's combat is pretty smooth with a basic, but generally effective, combo system and the ability to swap easily in and out of vehicle form with the press of a button.
We don't care about the slick framerate, or that it doesn't look quite as frightful as we'd expected it to (though it never shakes the visual simplicity that comes of being a Wii port).
We don't even care that for those two hours and 34 minutes we were having a fairly decent time, despite the repetitive combat and lengthy boss battles that had us firing at them in the distance for up to eight or nine minutes at a time.
For all the good stuff it does, it's simply not right to charge £50 for a game that players can beat in same time it takes to watch the third Transformers film (with its runtime of, spookily, two hours and 34 minutes).
Activision plays the old artificial longevity trick by ranking your performance, but the game isn't enjoyable enough to warrant rolling out a second time to pursue an S-rank. And we're not falling for the little tokens hidden in obscure places on each map, especially when the prizes are the usual underwhelming selection of concept art and rotating character models. Seriously, has anyone, in the history of gaming, actually enjoyed a rotating character model?
You've got 25GB of disc space to play with here, guys. You could have put some episodes of the Transformers Prime cartoon in it. Or given us an upscaled version of the Transformers 3 game, so we could at least play something for another couple of hours. Just something, anything, to make this worth the money. But no.
The first time this happened was disappointing. Activision let us down by churning out a movie tie-in that was shorter and less memorable than some Pot Noodles we've had (we'll never forget you, Chicken and Mushroom, 1997). This time we're angry. The company had plenty of feedback, from critics and gamers alike, that its game was too short and it barely took any notice.
Under no circumstances should anyone who isn't possessed of immeasurable wealth buy Transformers Prime. If you can rent the game for a night, then by all means give it a whirl, because what little content is there isn't terrible, by any means. Just do not, whatever you do, support this shamefully half-hearted attempt by buying it. Doing so only tells Activision that it's acceptable to release games that last a little over two hours. At least the Decepticons have the decency to disguise their evil intentions.
Transformers Prime is one of ONM's Worst Wii U games