Transformers. The name alone means so many memories to so many people. From the iconic voices of Peter Cullen who voiced Optimus Prime, Ironhide, and Wingspan among many others to Fran Welker who voiced Megatron, Jazz, and Groove among many others as well. There is just something about the action of the show, the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons, and that iconic sound that can make us instantly think of our favorite moments of the series from that transforming sound to even the toys we might have had growing up. But does developer Meta4 Interactive bring the Transformers experience into a new reality? Let’s find out with Transformers Beyond Reality for PlayStation VR.
Transformers Beyond Reality is an arcade-style first-person on-the-rails shooter where you fight a human alongside some of your favorite Autobots as the battle epic Decepticon as you are trying to help save both Earth and Cybertron from annihilation in a VR experience like never before. So before you go into battle there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, make sure you are not disturbed. You want your time with Transformers to be your time and not be distracted by the likes of anyone or anything that Megatron and the Decepticons would have sent to make sure you fail. Second, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to miss any opportunity to put down any Decepticons because you forgot to charge them. And finally, just have some fun. With that said, let’s continue…
When you start, you are in a simulation in which you are wearing an Exo suit. With this suit, you do have your arms which do consist of weapons, and being introduced to the weapons system of the Exo suit. But the beginning part of this simulation is a tutorial where you will learn how to shoot, avoid traps, dodge, and use Ultra weapons, like the Beam Gun, reload them, and pickups that you can collect that will give your weapons some much-needed extra boost. But something interesting happens as you get interrupted with a cutscene that you get to see what is unfolding as if you were reading a Transformers motion comic book.
Back at the hub, you have some options. You get to see the six different stages and pick their difficulty which ranges from Story to Brutal, so pick your poison. Then you will need to select your Exo suit. You have three to select from. First is the Tank with the defensive and static style and your secondary weapon is a shield. Second, is the Champion with a Dynamic combat style and a sword as its secondary weapon. And finally, the heavy hitter, Heavy, with its dual-wielding style and a minigun as its secondary weapon. Now that you have your class, you will need to select your ultra weapon, which can be the Beam or Launcher. It’s going to be a trial and error to see which class and ultra weapon combo works for you. As you play, you will earn Energon that you can use to upgrade your Main Gun, Secondary, Health, and Ultra weapons. Of course, each upgrade, like the prices in the world now, will go up. Once you have everything ready, it’s time to start the action.
Being an on-the-rails shooter, you are along for the ride, but you will need to shoot at whatever enemies come your way and try and dodge their attacks. But be on the lookout for those powerups because they can appear anywhere at any time. But being Transformers, you do want to get into the action against those Decepticons and each stage will have you facing a boss that you very well might be familiar with, and each one becoming more challenging than the last.
Action on each of the stages will have a familiar feel with some of the enemies seem like they are set on this rotation of the same enemies such as the Insecticons feels like an infestation where I wish one of my weapons was a can of Raid, but it’s truly being in the action where you see your favorite Transformers either go by you or have their action with the others that takes you along for the ride.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When looking at the graphics, I always like to look at how much detail goes into the characters and their surroundings. Even when the action is moving and you are shooting, you can still make out everything, even though some parts are clearer than others. Even when on Cybertron, the structures had this palette of blues that made everything seem much larger to the point that I wanted to see and explore more. Sound-wise, hearing Optimus Prime, Grimlock, and even Starscream and Soundwave voices sounded accurate. And when you add the futuristic soundtrack that was just at the right level that was taking away from the action to even different sounds of the weapons being fired, all had this immersive sound that helped completed the package.
There are some things that I would love to see added. For one, the shooting. When you shoot, you do have to pull on the trigger each time which can make your fingers get very tired. It would be great to see an option where you can just hold down the trigger to fire. Second, more control options. Using the Move controllers does work, however, there is a missed opportunity here to not use the Aim controller as an additional option. Yes, you can use your arms freely, but it would have been great to use the Aim controller for even more of an immersion. And finally, the length. I will say that only have six stages, you can get through them quickly and it left me wanting more. Fourth, the interaction. Being Transformers, it would be awesome if you could be in say Bumblebee and fight from Bumblebee’s perspective, for example, and then be able to transform in VR. I know this is an on-the-rails shooter, but it still would be amazing to do that.
Transformers Beyond Reality allows us to take a break and enjoy our time. It sent me back and allowed me to be part of the action as if it was an episode of the show. It doesn’t try to throw everything it can at you, but welcome you into its adventure. In life, we have those memories that we hold deep in our hearts where the slightest sound or name will bring back those memories of our childhood and remind us of the good times we had and the good times yet to come. And couldn’t we all use a lot more good times in our life?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to see if I can increase my score and roll out.