Remember how High Moon's magnificent work on last year's original Transformers IP War For Cybertron almost single-handedly restored your faith in games based on 25-year-old toy licences?
Well, the Californian studio's reward for their endeavours is the none-more-poisoned chalice of transforming Michael Bay's latest special effects showcase into something resembling a coherent interactive experience.
Oh, and by the look and feel of it, they were given less than Dark of the Moon's running time to complete it...
Understandably, then, High Moon have cannibalised their own creation. Dark of the Moon is another third-person shooter in which you can transform between your allotted 'bot's states at will while working your way through Bay's backstory.
Although like a knock-off figurine of Optimus Prime whose joints are out of alignment, nothing quite clicks into place.
The single-player game is hamstrung by bland environments and limp level design, each stage essentially a seemingly endless corridor whose increasingly repetitive twists and turns smack of superfluous padding.
The vehicle sections are sluggish and the anonymous armies of unengaging enemies that clog up each depressingly familiar area sap any remaining atmosphere quicker than your shields.
You'll work out pretty early on that the best chance of beating the game is by transforming into your vehicle's new Stealth mode and staying there until you need to pop out to push yet another switch.
The only saving grace is that the campaign is mercifully short.
Frustratingly, multiplayer offers a glimpse of what might have been. Again it's a cruelly curtailed experience; gametypes stretch to Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Conquest and, er, that's it.
It won't threaten the CoD servers, but might have you wondering what High Moon could have achieved with a little more time and less Michael Bay
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Don't get this - go seek out last year's War For Cybertron game instead.
- Robots that transform
- Disappointing multiplayer
- Waste of High Moon's talents