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Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition Review

Transformers: Earthspark - Expedition review

It may be aimed at children – as all games from publisher Outright Games are – but don’t let that put you off jumping into Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition. If you’re a Transformers fan, you’ll undoubtedly eke some joy from stepping into the big metal shoes of Bumblebee.

This is the first game based on the animated Netflix series Transformers: Earthspark, but it doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen it. There’s a cast of familiar Autobots and Decepticons here, although Bumblebee is the only one you can take control of. But with the ability to switch between mech and car formations at the touch of a button, there’s no need to control anyone else. Bumblebee’s got a number of melee combat skills, with more available to unlock as you progress. He can also shoot opponents and targets, dodge out of the way of incoming attacks, jump, and boost when in car mode. He’s pretty well equipped for every eventuality, then.

Being an action-adventure game, there’s plenty of combat to get stuck into in Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition. Things get more interesting as you progress, when you’ve potentially unlocked more combos. Tapping the correct sequence of buttons will see Bumblebee unleash various forms of fury on his opponents, which is great fun. Without, you’ll simply be throwing punches and kicks, which deal enough damage but can get fairly dull. Your gun isn’t really a viable option in combat as it doesn’t deal much damage, and so you’re going to want to get up-close-and-personal to your foes. That’s more enjoyable, anyway.

Transformers: Earthspark - Expedition review

There are three main environments to explore, each one acting as a mini open world of sorts. You have main missions to work towards, but you’ll also find various side quests to complete and collectibles to pick up. Some will be out of bounds until you’ve gained new abilities, like a grappling hook or the ability to boost while in car form, so there’s impetus to revisit previous areas if you’re keen to see and do everything Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition has to offer.

Related: The Best Games for Kids on PS5

You’ll need to do some side activities in the process of completing the game, however: seemingly taking a leaf from Ubisoft’s book, you’ll need to take over the odd enemy camp, claiming it for yourself. Doing so will decrease the enemy presence in the area, and that helps you achieve your goal of fighting against the big bad: here, it’s a mad scientist called Mandroid and of course his army of robots.

What’s frustrating, though, is that despite being an open world game of sorts, there’s no minimap, and no real way to set a waypoint. You can open a map and pop down a marker on a location of your choice, but all it does is create a column of light in the world. Depending where you’re stood – in a canyon or a cave, perhaps – it might be impossible to see. Since this is aimed at a younger demographic we can’t help but think that a guided waypoint to the next main mission would be very helpful. It’s all too easy to get lost and end up going round in circles – particularly since the environments aren’t that interesting and are very samey.

Transformers: Earthspark - Expedition review

The Transformers character models, however, at least look very good. They pack in a lot of detail and have some impressive textures, looking like the real thing. On the whole it’s not a bad-looking game; we just wish the environments were a little more varied.

We wish the activities on offer were a little more varied too. Don’t get us wrong, there’s fun to be had but despite the lure of an open world, the moment-to-moment action of Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition quickly feels a little repetitive. The side missions on offer are limited – search for items while clearing out enemies; fight off enemies against the clock; race around a track. Rinse and repeat. At least being able to switch between a two-legged form and a car helps getting around the world more interesting: it always feels fast-paced and smooth.

Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition would have benefited from a wider range of activities; as it is, repetition doesn’t take long to set in thanks to limited mission variety and bland environments. But it’s not all bad: taking control of Bumblebee is plenty of fun, and being able quickly switch between two forms keeps the action fast and fluid. It’s hardly going to set your world on fire, then, but if you’re a Transformers fan, there’s enough to keep you occupied for a few hours.

Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition Review – GameSpew’s Score

GameSpew Our Score 6
This review of Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition is based on the PS5 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.