Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition Review

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023 3:55 pm

Take control of large, open areas to defeat the evil Mandroid.

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition is now available on consoles and PC. We had the chance to check out the Switch and PlayStation 5 versions of the game.

Here’s what we thought.

What is Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition? What’s this game about?

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition is an action adventure game inspired by the animated television series Transformers: EarthSpark. The game allows players to take on the role of Bumblebee, and it will challenge them to defeat the evil Mandroid while working alongside the Terrans (Transformers who were “born” on Earth), Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee’s human allies.

How do you play this game?

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition will allow players to explore a series of wide, open areas currently controlled by Mandroid. For instance, players will start in a large desert canyon area. As players complete main objectives and side quests in an area, they’ll take some control of the area away from Mandroid. Once players have reached a certain amount of “control” in an area, they’ll be able to enter Mandroid’s stronghold to complete the area and move the game’s story forward.

Each in-game area features a variety of locations to visit and collectibles to find. Players can navigate each area on foot, as well as freely switch to Bumblebee’s vehicle mode to move around more quickly.

Players will be able to defeat enemy robots in their base camps to take control of these areas, as well as defeat random enemies scattered throughout each environment. As players take control of enemy camps, they’ll unlock the ability to fast travel to these locations, making navigation easier in the future.

Players can also place “waypoint” markers on the game’s map screen, which will cause beams of light to appear in the environment that can guide players to their desired location(s).

The game’s battle system allows players to defeat enemies using a combination of punches, kicks, and Bumblebee’s “gun.” Players can use this “gun” to temporarily stun enemies, making them more vulnerable to other attacks. Players can also dodge enemy attacks by rolling out of the way.

While the game’s battle system feels simple at first, players will likely need to use a combination of Bumblebee’s abilities to successfully defeat enemies. That is, if players simply run straight at enemies and attempt to mash a single button to defeat them, they’ll likely take lots of damage. Instead, players are encouraged to use strategy and dodge enemy attacks during each battle.

Source: Outright Games

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition features multiple difficulty settings to choose from. Some of the game’s battles are rather challenging even on the “Normal” difficulty setting, but players can lower the difficulty setting at any time from the game’s menu.

As players explore environments, they can collect health kits, strength boosts, and defense boosts that can help them in future battles. Health kits will refill some of Bumblebee’s health, while strength and defense boosts will temporarily increase Bumblebee’s strength and defense, respectively.

If Bumblebee ever runs out of health, players can respawn in the environment (away from the enemies that defeated them) and get back into the action.

As players defeat enemies and destroy crates in the environment, they’ll collect “Scrap,” a currency that can be used to purchase items (like health kits) and upgrades for Bumblebee at the Transformers’ G.H.O.S.T. base. Many upgrades also require special resources that can be earned by completing side missions in each area.

These side missions may ask players to defeat a certain number of enemies in a limited amount of time, complete a race through the environment, and more.

The game’s upgrades allow players to unlock new battle combos and abilities for Bumblebee, as well as increase his maximum health, the amount of health kits he can carry at a single time, and more.

Players will also automatically unlock special upgrades for Bumblebee as they progress through the game’s story. For instance, players can unlock a “Nitro” boost for Bumblebee’s vehicle mode. The game’s environments feature certain areas that can only be accessed by using these special skills, so players will need to revisit areas they’ve already “finished” in order to gather all of the game’s collectibles.

Source: Outright Games

Is this game fun to play?

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition has a fun premise, and we enjoyed systematically taking over large environments one battle or mission at a time.

That being said, how much fun a person can have with the game will be impacted by which version of the game they’re playing.

The Switch version of the game suffers from major technical problems, including stuttering and lagging graphics, which are especially bad during battles. There’s also terrible object pop-in, which causes some environmental details and objects to only appear as you move closer to them or to appear after the rest of the environment has loaded.

We also had the Switch version of the game freeze three times in the same general area of the game’s Canyon map, which caused us to finally give up on playing this version of the game. Putting it simply, we recommend avoiding the Switch version of Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition.

The PlayStation 5 version of the game performs much better, which makes sense, since the PlayStation 5 console is more powerful than the Switch system. The PlayStation 5 version also suffers from some object pop-in issues, as well as some minor audio issues, but the rest of the game performs much more smoothly and is therefore more fun to play. Overall, the PlayStation 5 version of the game offers an enjoyable experience for Transformers fans, while the Switch version feels virtually unplayable due to its severe issues.

We didn’t test the Xbox or PC versions of Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition, but we can make an educated guess that these versions will also perform better than the Switch version of the game, since the Switch is the less powerful system.

Source: Outright Games

Is there anything else parents need to know about this game?

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition features voice acting and subtitles during cutscenes and conversations, but the game’s tutorials are only presented through text, so players will need to know how to read, or play alongside someone who can, in order to follow along with everything that’s presented to them.

Parents should also know that players don’t need to be familiar with the Transformers: EarthSpark television series to understand the storyline in this game.

What’s the final verdict?

We enjoyed playing Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition, but only after we tried the PlayStation 5 version of the game. While it’s possible the Switch version will be updated in the future to fix its many technical problems, for now, we recommend avoiding this version of the game.

Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition is now available on Switch, PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, and PC for $39.99. The game is rated E10+ for Everyone 10+ by the ESRB.

Disclosure: SuperParent received codes for Transformers: EarthSpark Expedition on Switch and PlayStation 5 for coverage purposes.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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