With High Moon butchered and sent off to make Call of Duty ports for the rest of eternity (hereby referred to as The Activision Purgatory), Rise of the Dark Spark is a game built over the grave of the phenomenal "Cybertron" series of games, by new developer Edge of Reality, the studio that bought you... err, The Incredible Hulk. And the console port of Dragon Age: Origins. With a pedigree like that, what could go wrong.
Technically, there's everything in this that made War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron work - appealing third-person shooting, familiar faces and voices from the G1 Transformers cartoon, and gimmicks hooked in from the Transformers universe that are, admittedly, as compelling as they have been, if nowhere near as fresh. It's deprived of a soul, though.
It's a product, built and manufactured with devious precision, from the inclusion of the Michael Bay film universe to satiate marketing drive, to scenarios that seem to be outright ripped from prior games. Very few new things happen in this game, instead opting to be some kind of weird, bad DLC for Fall of Cybertron, only selling at full-price, as a tie-in to a often-derided Transformers universe, at least by fans (the same fans that made the High Moon games successful). It's an insult, albeit a perfectly playable one, with a confusing plot, bored actors, tried-and-true gameplay that has nontheless run its course and has been sucked of all joy. Also, it is really ugly. Ech.
No-one deserved this. High Moon especially, their legacy trampled on as they scream silently in The Activision Purgatory. Rise of the Dark Spark, bafflingly, takes two of the most intensely passionate games of the last decade and turns it into the definition of "shovelware". I could
recommend it to people who really, REALLY want to play more of Fall of Cybertron but much, MUCH worse - and if that sounds like it could be fun to you, well, bully t'you, but it's not exactly my idea of a good time, and I don't doubt most would agree with me.