Publisher: Hasbro Interactive|
Based on the computer-generated cartoon of the same name, and developed by Takara (best known for its early PlayStation hit Battle Arena Toshinden), Beast Wars Transformers enables you to play as either the animal-like Maximals or the insectoid Predacons. However, nothing about this game is engaging or fun in any way, and is a major disappointment to anyone even remotely interested in Transformers. It s a damn shame that lots of Transformers fans are going to plunk down their hard-earned money for this travesty.
The game has tried to re-create the premise of the cartoon, whereby the characters need to stay in animal form or else suffer a loss of energy from the planet s poisonous supply of Energon. This is fine on television, but its transference to the game is less than satisfactory. You can only stay in robot form for so long or else you die, but you can t shoot in beast mode, so you die from enemy fire. It s a shooter that punishes you for shooting!
Once you get past the flawed concept that staying in robot mode for too long is a really bad idea, it becomes apparent you don t really know what the main goal is at all. Level mission briefings consist of cryptic things like Stop the evil Predacons, but they don t actually tell you HOW you re supposed to do this. Do I need a key? Do I need to kill everyone? The instruction booklet is equally informative, urging you to monitor the map constantly to ensure that you do not get lost. Perhaps someone should ve told that to Takara.
Graphically, the game is just as unappealing. Looking more like a first-generation PlayStation title than even Toshinden, Beast Wars is a prime example of what happens when you don t bother to push the machine beyond the most basic developer tools. Sure it s in 3D and uses polygons, but so did the early 80's arcade game I Robot, and that looked better than this.
Beast Wars' level design is bland and confusing and the characters look and move almost comically, taking silly little steps when they turn around like they're desperate for a pee. Plus, control is sloppy and loose, resulting in your robot sliding along the walls of corridors more often than not.
In the end, Beast Wars Transformers is a frustrating gaming experience that no one should have to go through. Aren t you glad you ve got me to take the lashes for you?