Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this action game is based on the film of the same name, and that, like the film, it is suitable for teens and up. Be prepared, however, for younger children swayed by the glut of advertising surrounding the movie to be interested in giving it a go. The action, which involves ballistic weaponry and melee combat, is constant and intense, but it is mostly robots fighting robots, which means no blood or gore. Note, though, that innocent civilians are sometimes caught in the combat zone, and that they can be killed by players -- by accident or with intent. A modicum of mildly coarse language can be heard, but it’s nothing worse than what kids might hear watching evening television programming.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Based on the Michael Bay film, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is a straightforward action game starring enormous robots that fight each other and in the process lay waste to the cities around them, usually in spectacular fashion. Players can choose to play as either the good guys (Autobots) or bad guys (Decepticons) in two separate campaigns, each composed of about two dozen missions around the globe. Over the course of the game they'll get to step into the metal skin of the most recognizable robots from the film and upgrade their abilities as they earn energon, the mysterious energy that fuels the Transformers. They can also fight online in a variety of traditional multiplayer modes, ranging from deathmatches to control point challenges to capture the flag games.
Is it any good?
Revenge of the Fallen is pretty standard movie-based fare. The action is fluid and multifaceted -- it can be quite satisfying to drive along in vehicle mode, then transform into a robot, leap onto the side of a building, and begin pounding enemies with a pair of massive metal mitts -- but the environments are small and bland and the mission objectives, which are essentially limited to being ordered to destroy enemies over here then over there, become repetitive before long. And while there’s the façade of an impressive upgrade system, when it comes right down to it all we’re doing is simply increasing health bars and the power of existing attacks. Fans of non-stop action may be appeased by the game's reasonably fun mechanics, but players looking for a little depth and substance in their games ought to look elsewhere.
Xbox 360/PlayStation3/Windows PC:
This is the version reviewed above. It is essentially the same on all platforms, save minor differences in graphics and control layout.
This version of the game is substantially different from the one reviewed. It follows the story of the films more closely, levels are more linear, there is but a single campaign, and, in the case of the Wii, attacks are carried out by swiping the remote vertically and side to side. Note, too, that this version of the game is slightly less violent in that human civilians do not become casualties of the robot battles. They are rated Teen for Violence.
There are two DS games; one with a story that takes place from the perspective of the Autobots and another that tells a similar tale but from the viewpoint of the Decepticons. The latter has players fighting on the side of evil. Both are 3-D action games that take place in the same locations. They are less violent than the console games only in that the destruction is slightly less graphic. It’s rated E10+ for fantasy violence.
This game is different than all the rest. Common Sense Media has yet to evaluate it. It is rated E10+ for fantasy violence.
Online interaction: There are several competitive team-based online multiplayer modes that support voice chat. Depending on the players, these modes can either create a sense of cooperation and teamwork among players or result in bullying and name-calling. Common Sense Media does not recommend this sort of online play for anyone under age 12.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence as it concerns robots. Is a game that features robots being destroyed rather than people being killed somehow less disturbing? Does your opinion change when the robots are depicted as sentient and capable of emotion and creative thought? If you think violence against intelligent robots isn’t as disquieting as violence against humans, does it follow that the most upsetting facet of violence is blood and gore? Should it be so?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $29.99 - $59.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: June 23, 2009
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Language, Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.