Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

June 24, 2014

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.2

Summary:

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark offers more than 40 playable Autobots and Decepticons in a mix of fast-paced run-and-gun action and large-scale vehicular combat on open battlefields. Rise of the Dark Spark also offers multiplayer modes, including the return of Escalation mode, in which up to four players join forces to battles waves of enemies in online co-op action. Gamers can choose from a large roster of playable characters, battle familiar foes, and upgrade their defense systems as they survive each wave. A new leveling system was designed to let players combine the experience they earn in the single-player campaign with their multiplayer experience points to unlock new characters, weapons, abilities, and consumable bonuses.

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Details

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 8.7GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Sound Engine:
    • DTS Digital Surround
    • Dolby Digital
  • Engine:
    • Unreal Engine 3
    • Havok
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 18 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-02-19

Dave_Finnigan

Writer

PS4

7.0

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark on the PlayStation 4 is one of the newer cinema-based video game adaptations by the team of developers at Edge of Reality. This game, which is based off of the legendary cartoon and toy action figure line, released for the PlayStation 4 back in June of 2014. While Transformers has always been a hot property, especially in light of the blockbuster Michael Bay films, fans have had a harder time finding an attractive game to call their own within the franchise. Rise of the Dark Spark seeks to give those fans the perfect game for their needs. Did it succeed? Did it fail? Perhaps, a little bit of both.

Let's talk storyline.

The basic idea of 'Rise of the Dark Spark' is to seamlessly marry the cinematic version of the franchise with the video game version. The games have always stood on their own as a sort of different universe that is inhabited by different key players and characters. 'Dark Spark' seeks to meld the storyline of the film 'Age of Extinction' with the game oriented story, 'Fall of Cybertron'. There is a dark and powerful artifact that pretty much rips holes in dimensions when it is activated. This is the crux of the basis of our conflict: two dimensions merging into one. And it is there that we find out our story.

So the game begins with a cinematic opening showing a purple meteor crashing to Earth. The Autobots detect it and go to investigate, fearing something foul is afoot. Of course, they are right. It is here where we have our first battle of the game as the Autobots attempt to grab the fallen Dark Spark. Unfortunately, a bounty hunter by the name of Lockdown manages to acquire the object and get away, fleeing to some unknown destination. Suddenly we flip the script and now we are in an alternate dimension, on Cybertron, with Megatron and Optimus. From there the story twists tighter and tighter and unless you are a master of all the different names, there is little point in going into more detail. At the basis of the story you should know this: Megatron has something capable of destroying everyone and Optimus wants to stop him.

How does it look on the PlayStation 4?

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark was developed on the Unreal Engine 3 which means that it by default looks pretty good. The fact that this is a Michael Bay related property also means that all of the energy will be poured into the visuals. at the end of the day, on launch, the game came out looking pretty good. All of the different Transformers are captured with beautiful textures. The colors of the different landscapes pop out, from America all the way to Cybertron, and everything seems to be alive. Now, there are repeating textures in some scenarios and background objects aren't always distinctive but these can be some lenience considering how big the game is in scope. In short, 'Dark Spark' looks like an adequate PS4 release. Some things look amazing, others look merely ok, but our eyes will always be following the action.

How does she handle?

The hallmark of an amazing action game will always come down to how well the controls feel in our hands. If the controls feel clunky then we won't enjoy our time. If they are unresponsive then the game will be borderline unplayable. With a game like Transformers, that relies so heavily on different modes of combat and mobility, it is important to get these tight. And for the most part, 'Dark Spark' does an admirable job.

There are over 20 different guns for you to wield in battle and each one has its own distinct style. Some of the weapons are more creative than others (the slime cannon and chain linking electric beam come to mind) while others are simply satisfying (gatling gun, anyone?). When your Transformer is in its humanoid form things tend to go pretty smooth. You can run, jump, dive, and roll out of the way of attacks and feel pretty in control. Unfortunately when you decide to actually transform, things get a little clunky. No matter which Transformer you play as, and there are many to choose from, your vehicular form always feels a little slow and sluggish. There is no sense of speed or excitement in your more mobile form and you will find yourself avoiding the change as frequently as possible.

A twisting campaign mode.

Now when you read the initial synopsis of the game, including the multiple dimensions converging, you probably hoped for an exciting campaign. The idea of jumping between different universes, playing as different alliances, is pretty intriguing. Unfortunately 'Dark Spark' on the PS4 doesn't quite hit the right notes. While the campaign is always interesting, it is rarely invigorating. One of the biggest problems that the game suffers from is a lack of continuity in these mission switches. At one moment you will be completing a dangerous mission for the Decepticons and then seemingly at random you will be teleported to a different, unrelated mission. There's no sense of fulfillment in many of these levels due to the way that you get so haphazardly thrown around. With these seemingly random switches so prevalent, you will run into times where you forget just which side you are currently fighting for.

Escalate the fight.

The brightest moment in 'Rise of the Dark Spark' on the PlayStation 4 occurs outside of the campaign and instead in the multiplayer mode. Escalation Mode is an online co-op mode that pits you, and up to three friends, against 15 increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Much like in prior titles like 'Halo 4', Escalation mode gets the adrenaline pumping as you and your buddies try to stay alive as long as possible. There are ton of Transformers to choose from with many different weapon combinations to get used to. It's a super fun mode that will probably keep people the most entertained when they pick up the game.

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By:

Activision

Release Date:

June 24, 2014

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