Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Review Roundup

How did Activision's latest multiplatform licensed game fare? We round up the reviews.

Michael Bay's new movie Transformers: Age of Extinction did not fare so well with critics, but what about the recent multiplatform game from Activision, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark? The reviews are in, and we've rounded them up here to help you decide if you want to pick up the game--the first in the series available on current-gen consoles. There's always the option of renting, too, if that's what you're into.

If you're in the market for a Nintendo version of Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, be aware that the co-op Escalation mode is not available on Wii U and 3DS. For more on the critical response to the game, be sure to head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • Developer: Edge of Reality (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U, PC); WayForward (3DS)
  • Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, 3DS, Wii U
  • Release Date: June 24
  • Price: $59.99 (Xbox One, PS4); $49.99 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC); $29.99 (3DS)

GameSpot -- 4/10

"The game tries to keep you hooked by doling out a constant stream of rewards for your progress in the form of weapon upgrades, experience point boosts, and other doodads, but the action is too shallow to make any of these rewards meaningful. The Transformers are a great property, one that seems like it should lend itself to the creation of great games, but Rise of the Dark Spark is so sloppy and incoherent that it feels more like a cheap knockoff than a proper Transformers game. Optimus Prime deserves better, and so do you." [Full review]

The Escapist -- 2/5

"I don't like this game very much. In other words, Rise of the Dark Spark is Edge of Reality laying a steaming hot turd on the grave of High Moon Studios' work, while Michael Bay and Bobby Kotick watch masturbating from the trees. With its gibberish plot and repetitive, unfulfilling combat, this regrettable little mistake serves only as a prime example of what happens when publishers miss the point of their own products and milk the teat dry." [Full review]

IGN -- 4.9/10

"Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark has a few bright spots; the co-op Escalation mode is enjoyable, and there are cool weapons befitting the bots. But the bland campaign is a slog with uneven difficulty, while vehicle transformations and combat are largely unsatisfying. Without nailing that, you've got a bad Transfomers game." [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 5/10

"It is, at best, a functional shooter that asks little of the player and offers the bare minimum in return. Though it pains me to say it, if there's to be another Transformers game to coincide with the inevitable fifth movie, a little of Michael Bay's bullish mayhem would go a long way in livening up this increasingly dull formula." [Full review]

GamesRadar -- 2.5/5

"In trying to be both a movie tie-in and an interquel to a fan-favorite series, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark creates two different sets of expectations. Looking at it as a summer-movie game, it feels like a well-intentioned experiment gone awry. And really, given how movie-games so often turn out, it could have been a lot worse. As a Cybertron entry however, lackluster design and unremarkable action make Dark Spark a sad disappointment. I can only hope it's meant as a spin-off, and not an indicator of the series' future." [Full review]

Official Xbox Magazine UK -- 5/10

"Activision's Transformers adaptations shed a little more charm and fascination each time they transform. This super-lean take feels like the last OK offering before the rot truly sets in." [Full review]

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Want the latest news about Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark?

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

Discussion

50 comments
RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

This mess is not "more than meets the eye".


Fall of Cybertron was decent, WTH happened?!

blackace
blackace

I don't have any of the Transformer games. The only one that I heard was decent was Transformers: War for Cybertron. I still want to get that game dirt cheap.

BIGFELLAH26
BIGFELLAH26

Transformers games are always the same, just like Dragon Ball games are always the same. Boring, tedious and no variety. They need to reboot the games. Maybe an open world game. 

RoccoHout
RoccoHout

Awful game that will still sell a lot because it has a popular IP behind it, as usual...

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Another example of a video game made to try and cash in on a movie's success. They almost always suck.

wallacom
wallacom

I don't get it. What do people have against the movies? Action, explosions, nice CGI's, nice story. 

What did people expect for the transformers?

I understand that the hateful comments here are a minority as the movies grossed over a billion dollars

natalieyan
natalieyan

it`s a movie based game, it`s published by Activision, it`s gonna suck

Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

I really dont understand. Does activision really not want out money? Or do they just want to screw us over as much as they can? Why change the dev on an transformers game? Instead they have High moon working on the last gen version of the new CoD.

jedidave
jedidave

You know what I think is funny... people complaining about how bad the movies are.... the only way you could know that is if you went and saw them, and if you hated the first one, why oh why would you go see the second, the third and the fourth???? LOL

cashandchecks
cashandchecks

This game was poop. They need to stop making them, and just do an original transformer game that has nothing to hinder it like a stupid movie tie in.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

goddammit. what happened? sure, the devs are different but that's like messing up the next ass creed. the foundations have been laid...what happened?


same could be said for the terrible ea ufc game

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

As soon as I knew that HighMoon Studios wasn't making the game, I knew the game was gonna suck.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Meh the Movie TF4 was better. Yeah the movie was good so go ahead and throw food at me for saying that but TF4 deserves better. 

Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

I did love a lot Fall Of Cybertron but this one ... my god ... I got killed by an enemy during a cut-scene because I just ran as fast as my stupid robot could to objective and those dumb asses continued to shoot me. At another point during the first Optimus mission my PS3 froze after an explosion ( Micheal BAY ), it isn't the first time an Activision game froze while every other game by any other Publisher/developper works just fine.


I exchange it for Mario Kart 8 and bought a Wii U ... and I already think of selling that b***s*** too.

Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

"Optimus Prime deserves better, and so do you."

This line sums up the movies, too.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

 I get the distinct impression that it was forced to "completion" by the release of the latest movie, even though it isn't a movie tie-in.  Anyone but a madman would believe that this game would bring in revenue.  But sadly Edge of Reality seems to be controlled, either from within or without (likely some lawyer from without), by madmen.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Was there ever any doubt this would be a steaming pile of crap?

sleeplessmerc
sleeplessmerc

The Transformers name is being dragged through the mud right now between these crap games and even worse movies. It is very sad to see.

Gen007
Gen007

Theres just no shame in their game in inspiring entrepreneurial way i dig it but as a gamer of course it's a tragedy. I mean with deep deep pockets like Activision there's no reason they couldn't make a solid transformers game and yet they refuse to and why? because they can its gonna sell off the name and license alone.

kenpachi212
kenpachi212

I might play it since I get free. Still undecided.

Grim_DIcer
Grim_DIcer

Looks like Activision may close down another studio

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@BIGFELLAH26 Fall of Cybertron was nothing like Revenge of the Fallen so i don't get where your coming from. 

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@wallacom You said "nice story"?


They are a fun-flick, but can't say I personally belive it's well written.

phbz
phbz

@wallacom IMO some of the worst movies ever.


(although the 1st was ok.)

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Acillatem1993 Instead of High Moon delivering high quality, it seems like Activision is trying to moon us with this new game.

nparks
nparks

@EasyComeEasyGo  I don't think the word "good" means what you think it means.  If you look it up in the Thesaurus, it will tell you that "Good" is the antonym of "Michael Bay".

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@amdreallyfast It is a movie tie in. Part of it takes place in the movie universe part takes place in the Fall of Cybertron universe.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Uh, the entire franchise was created to sell overpriced toys to kids that think robots turning into cars is a great idea. It's always been crap, it just seemed cool when we were kids. When I was a child I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good actor, then realized I was just a stupid kid, and he's a terrible actor.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Sounds like COD to me. Money is money to a company like activision. Who needs integrity when your stinking rich.

KIDFOX
KIDFOX

@kenpachi212 I wouldn't even touch it if I had it for free, not everything free is beneficial to you lol

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@fede018 @wallacom Well i agree they did seem to put to much emphasis on the humans in the movie. They were still not bad movies. Not to the degree everyone claims

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I see you have yet to reach puberty, by both your reply, and your avatar. You have fun with your robot cars little guy.