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Chris McMahon is dead

Chris McMahon is dead

Hello.  I could give you a useless load of blather about all the magazines I’ve written for, but I know you literally couldn’t care less. Unless it’s actually imperative you know that I wrote for GamesTM or Securities Fraud Monthly or something, we’ll skip all of that.

So here’s a (rambling, semi-coherent) rant article I wrote about my newfound love for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I hope you like it, and if you don’t, then let us know in the comments.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is my new favourite game

No, that title is not a joke. The game itself is, of course: as standard a movie tie-in as there is possible to create. Explaining its flaws here seems worthless because A) it’s a movie tie-in and 2) developer High Moon Studios probably knew when they accepted the gig that it wouldn’t amount to anything more than something to craftily delete from your CV – after you resign in shame and have to apply for another job to feed the family that now hates your guts, of course. (Note: High Moon is actually a solid studio, having made a perfectly good Transformers game with War for Cybertron. But this is a movie tie-in, and we all know what that means).

Anyway, despite it being poor-to-average in a lot of places, Dark of the Moon has done something to me that no game has managed in quite some time: literally make me laugh out loud, repeatedly. Those ponderous bores that spend hours debating that ‘games as art’ noise are always asking: why can’t games make us ‘feel’ something? Well, they obviously haven’t been playing Dark of the Moon, because I’ve not felt anything other than pure unbridled love for the world since I started playing it.

Why? It’s the multiplayer. Again, this is not because it’s good: it’s deathly dull, COD-light for kids who aren’t old enough to legally play Call of Duty but have it anyway because it keeps them out of their parents hair and if there’s one thing parents hate it’s parenting because F*ck That Sh*t, have you ever tried to reason with one of those things?

No, it’s amazing because in it, you can play as Starscream. For those of you that weren’t a kid in the eighties or haven’t seen either of Michael Bay’s gross insults to the Lumiére Brothers, he’s a duplicitous robot that can turn into a fighter jet. Man, the 80’s were awesome, weren’t they?

Anyway, unfortunately for Starscream the maps aren’t really built for, uh, flying, so most of the time you’ll be watching the robot, in its jet form, hovering around the maps two inches from the ground because it’s easier to kill people that way.

This is brilliant. To see something so clearly out of place make an appearance because some marketing suit thought it a good idea makes me howl with laughter until pus runs out of my eyes and I have to have a lie down.

Seeing it move like a hovercraft – ah, I forgot to say it can also strafe, much like in real life I presume – around the maps, crashing into things and generally handling with all of the grace of a 3 AM clubber desperately attempting to find something, anything to sleep with, even if it’s a bin or a second hand copy of Your Dog magazine (because hey, why not eh?) is brilliant. It’s so outrageously nonsensical that my brain can’t handle it and one of those weird stress/grief triggers flips, but instead of crying I start laughing hysterically.

At one point I saw it literally climbing up some stairs. Over the guttural cry of my own in-breaths I could hear various people eyeing me with suspicion because Having Fun is Bad, but whatever. It’s demented genius.

Funnier still must have been the moment when the designers of the game, beholden no doubt to some terrible marketing document that was concocted by the sort of heinous bastards that would make Franco blush (note: our attorneys would have you know that this probably isn’t true and you should probably be able to work that out yourselves but people get a bit funny about all of this and there’s no way we’re going to court, ever) realised that they’d made a game that’s best feature is a jet climbing some stairs.

When I think of how much work went into that game, the man-hours spent building it, and how it will be forgotten by the instant after Michael Bay’s latest cine-geddon erupts onto screens everywhere it saddens me.

But it’ll live on, in my heart forever, because it has a jet that climbs stairs. I love this game. I finally know what all of those songs by singer/thing Celine Dion mean. This is not a joke. Dark of the Moon is now one of my favourite games because of this. And I couldn’t be happier.



  • Joey

    Change?
    I’ve only just gotten over Nick Jones stepping down as editor and now this!?

  • Conor

    Chris you traitor!How could you join the dark side??? :'(

  • Dark

    Who