A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players fight against the fiendish Decepticons -- which are invading Earth -- in the single-player campaign. But in multiplayer, you can play as the good guys ("Autobots") or the bad guys. But for the most part, gameplay's positive as you're looking to protect the planet from these malicious E.T.s.
Positive Role Models
As with other games based on the Transformers universe, you play as one of the Autobots, which fight against the evil Decepticons. You'll play as a cast of characters, such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Windblade, and other heroes, who are positive. But you can also play as the Decepticons in the multiplayer modes.
Ease of Play
The turn-based strategy isn't difficult to play from its angled top-down view. Players take turns moving on the map and perhaps executing an action (offensive) move. The game can be controlled with a game console controller or a mouse and keyboard (for PC version). Along with accessible controls, the game offers three difficulty modes, too.
Violence & Scariness
There's fantasy violence, when the Transformers battle on maps using weapons. There are some explosions caused by blasters and missiles. There's no blood or gore. When the Transformer "dies," it falls on the ground and then disappears.
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Products & Purchases
The game is based on the Transformers universe, which includes movies, TV shows, apparel, video games, and more. Some may perceive this game as part of the marketing strategy behind the franchise. Plus, there's a pricier Digital Deluxe Edition of the PC game, which includes extra content, as well as individually sold DLC (downloadable content), including add-ons, skins, and other content packs.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Transformers: Battlegrounds is a tactical strategy game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The game is based off the Transformers universe of characters, and puts players in command of the Autobots (good guys), who battle against the Decepticons (bad guys) on various outdoor maps. These turn-based battles typically end with weapons like missiles and laser blasters being fired at robotic opponents, but there's no blood or gore shown. Enemies simply fall to the ground and disappear when defeated. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
Is It Any Good?
This turn-based strategy game isn't a mess, but it isn't a "must-play" adventure. In fact, only Transformers fans who enjoy turn-based tactics will get more from Transformers: Battlegrounds than the average gamer. In case you haven't played a tactical strategy game before, you'll exploit your character's strengths, your enemy's weaknesses, and the map you're on to successfully complete the round. The strategy comes in by deciding how many Action Points to spend for special attacks, as well as when and whom you use them, or if you should spend the time defensively. You can also calculate how much Energon you'll gain -- with every move and attack -- in which you'll have to spend.
The system works well for the most part, but the gameplay isn't anywhere near as sticky as other tactical games, perhaps because it's nowhere near as challenging (along with its questionable enemy artificial intelligence). Plus, as you evolve from one location to another, not much changes in your strategy (it's more of a visual rather than tactical difference). At least it's great to earn Spark Points after completing missions, which you can spend in-game on unlocking and equipping new abilities. like Fire Breath or Stormfall (windblade attacks). Unfortunately, the game also suffers from some technical issues (frame rate issues), as well as poor writing and voice acting. Hovering just above mediocrity, Transformers: Battlegrounds may be ok for younger or more novice gamers who love the franchise, but everyone else shouldn't expect much depth and replayability here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.