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Transformers: Battlegrounds

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 29 - 2020

Transforming strategy.

 
Word of a new Transformers game would have rippled through the fan community and got a lot of people excited. What started as a range of toys has managed to grow and spread into all sorts of other areas, and the video games are always excitedly received, no matter the quality. The new game from Coatsink Software, Transformers: Battlegrounds, is something a little different from the usual transforming alien robot games though. This is a turn-based strategy game, and mentioning turn-based strategy to many gamers will instantly bring the mighty XCOM to mind. While there are some similarities, Transformers: Battlegrounds’ visuals are based on the recent Transformers: Cyberverse animation on Cartoon Network, which should give potential players an idea of the target audience. This is very much turn-based strategy for beginners.

 


 
The story is simple stuff. The Decepticons are once again invading Earth as they try to get their metal hands on the AllSpark. The Autobots are once again trying to stop them. The only real difference here is that the player is a Human that has been pulled into the conflict as a commander that gives the Autobots their orders in battle. It’s easy to follow and plays out over a number of acts made up of missions.

 
For those new to turn-based strategy, the game will hold their hands to start with and explain everything they need to know. This is to be expected as the game is aimed at a younger audience. Anyone who has any experience of this genre will recognise what is going on and quickly be able to slip into the action though.

 
Played across little maps, the player will have control over three Autobots. They will move and perform actions as they see fit and, once that is all done, the Decepticons will have their turn. There are a selection of different Autobots available in the game and players will be able to choose which they want to take out into battle. The robots are divided into brawler, scout and support classes, giving players the chance to create a team with varied abilities to take on each mission.

 


 
For each character, the player has three action points to spend each turn. The player can only use one ability for each character, but the action points have to be shared between the ability and movement. This opens the possibility of moving, using a single action point ability, and then moving again. However, there are also abilities that can have more action points spent on them, to give a more powerful action, but spending all three action points on an ability will leave the character unable to move and potentially at risk. Also, unused action points will go towards charging an Energon meter which can activate special abilities once charged enough.

 
It’s all made to be quite easy to follow. There is no chance to hit to worry about, as long as the character is in range they will hit their target. There is a level of risk and reward as the player chooses to leave themselves vulnerable for the more powerful abilities. With only three abilities for each character, there is not too much to think about. The overall difficulty is set quite low, with simple objectives for each of the levels, but it can get a bit more tricky in the later levels.

 


 
Players will earn currency as they complete levels, which can be used to unlock new abilities for the Autobots. As each Autobot can only have three abilities though, this means the player will have to pick and choose which they keep and which they swap out. This gives the player some freedom in how they develop their team of heroes, but never allows them to become overpowered.

 
The campaign is a decent length, but once that is done the player will still be able to set up their own matches, both solo and in local multiplayer. Missing online multiplayer is a shame, but there is plenty of variety in these matches for local players, including the chance to play as the Decepticons. The multiplayer has some good objectives and can be played both competitively and in co-op.

 
Transformers: Battlegrounds is very much aimed at the younger audience, and in that respect it performs nicely. The problem is that many older Transformers fans will find the game too simple and too repetitive. At a higher difficulty they may find some challenge, but overall they will be disappointed. It doesn’t help that the visual style of the game feels much more suited to a tablet or mobile. It is very simplistic in its style, which is fine for the younger players, but not so great for discerning gamers.

 


 
As an introduction to turn-based strategy for the younger gamers, Transformers: Battlegrounds is pretty successful. The game also has plenty of fan service for fans of the animated series. However, more experienced gamers will find the mechanics here to simple and lacking in depth, and the old-school Transformers fans will be less than impressed with the visuals. There is still fun to be had here, but it will not be the Transformers experience that many have been waiting for. For younger Transformers fans or those looking for a more laid back strategy experience, Transformers: Battlegrounds may be worth taking a look at.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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