WARNING: THIS GAME DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO CUSTOMIZE KEYS
Apart from that big no-no, the unspeakable act of releasing a game for the PC without unmappable keys, it's a kick-♥♥♥ game.
When it comes to video games, the Transformers franchise has never ceased to disappoint me. Almost every Transformer video game that I've given a try were either terrible or mediocre at best.
This game however seems to have gotten it right. My initial reactions to it where along the line of: “This is what the movies should've been about” and “They let you do everything you see them do in the G1 cartoon...” That being: Transforming in mid-air, blasting stuff out of existence whilst spewing cheesy one-liners and exchanging campy dialogue.
Cybertron never looked so good. It really looks like an alien living or sentient mechanical world. Everything moves, like a gargantuan three dimensional mechanical puzzle and one of the thing I really liked is how the robots blend in with their environment. Enemies can be hard to spot, because they are part of this alien mechanical world and their appearance acts as a “natural” camouflage. This makes them feel like they really belong.
Music and sound effects are beyond reproach (in that there is nothing annoying). It has a cinematic score and everything sounds Transformerish. From the clunky metallic footsteps, the 'splosions to the robotic screams and that “Transforming sound” we all love so much.
The nicest thing about this game is that “Transforming is not a gimmick”. In all the Transformers games I've given a try, this is usually the biggest letdown. There is no point to transforming.
In this game however, you have areas where you obviously have to change into vehicle mode because speed is of the essence. Or some areas where you can't progress unless you switch to airplane mode. But in regular combat areas, I've noticed that you actually benefit from changing into vehicle or airplane mode, because then you not only have access to your vehicle/airplane weapons (which are sometimes more powerful or are guided), but you can get to cover faster, you're harder to hit and/or you can reach items faster then when you're on foot. Enemies also transform, they'll move faster in vehicle mode or they'll be airborne...they'll use different weapons...which requires you to adopt a slightly different tactic there as well.
The biggest letdown however in the PC version of this game, is that you cannot rebind the keys. If you're playing this with mouse and keyboard the way I do, you'll have to change to a US keyboard layout, and probably use a mouse that allows you to map keyboard keys. If you're left-handed, you'll probably want to use some kind of key remapper software. Why they released this game for the PC without rebindable keys is beyond me. It might be a first world problem, but it's kind of annoying because my keyboard layout keeps changing on me when I'm not in the game...Apart from the lack of key-binding
(yes, I like rubbing it in), I was immediately sold on this game a few minutes into it. Being a Transformers fan as a kid probably helped a lot, because the developers really “stuck to the lore and style” of the old Transformers sagas. If you like fast-paced third person shooters that don't bother with some kind of “cover mechanic”, you might like this game even when you're not into the whole Transformers thing.PS: I'm not a fan of the Bay movies. I do like the design of the robots though, and the elaborate style of transformation, which this game seems to have burrowed from the Bay movies, but that's just about it.