Game: Transformers: Devastation
Consoles: PS4, Xbox One (reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360, PC
The Transformers have been pop culture icons since they rolled into the mid-80’s. The robots in disguise have been plastered all over TV’s, thrown onto store shelves in the form of huge action figures and other paraphernalia. Gamers have gotten the chance to play out the ongoing struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons within a variety of titles. High Moon Studios’ War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron games were underrated ventures that you should experience if you haven’t already. Activision placed the Autobots and Decepticons in the hands of the quality developer known as PlatinumGames. The geniuses behind insane actions game such as Bayonetta and Vanquish have done a bang up job with the awesome Transformers: Devastation.
The most immediate aspect of this game that you’ll notice is its amazing visuals. The cel-shaded cartoon graphics mimic the Saturday morning cartoons of old and even makes it all look better. Each Transformer honors their G1 selves, plus a few of the original voice actors for the show have returned to reprise their storied roles. If you’re an 80’s baby, your heart will fill with glee as you see your favorite Autobots pull off impactful combos and morph into their vehicle form in just one turn. PlatinumGames has done an incredible job bringing the G1 era of Transformers to life in video game form.
The premise for saving the Earth from the Decepticons is simple – Megatron has found a way to cyberform the Earth and he plans to use the power of Plasma Energy to change the planet into a new home for his army. Your Autobot crew includes to five playable characters – Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack and Grimlock. Just like the climactic action games crafted by PlatinumGames before, each character comes with their own playstyle and host of jaw dropping maneuvers. Optimus Prime is a bulky tank-like world beater who uses his trusty axe, while Bumblebee throws quick hands. What keeps each battle encounter from being repetitive is a host of additional features. Several types of melee and ranged weapons can be outfitted to each Autobot, you can pull off dodges that slows down time and opens up your enemies for more combos and each character comes with cool looking super moves and special abilities.
Each chapter can be broken down into fun, bite-sized environments that never overstay their welcome. The combat sections are amazing here, but there’s so much more to do besides tearing up Decepticons. There are cool time-based sequences where you’ll have to unlock new items before the clock stops, plus the road chases evoke the breakneck pace of the Transformers in their automobile formations. The boss fights feature familiar Decepticons, so longtime fans will adore each encounter. The enemy formations change up from time to time, so each group battle never feels exactly the same. The additional Challenge Mode tests your affinity for full combat concentration, which is a fun diversion from the game’s Story Mode.
While Transformers: Devastation is a joy to trek through, there’s one thing missing that could have made it even better. The main campaign only allows you to take five Autobots into battle, but it would have been cooler to play from the Deceptions point of view as well. Even getting the chance to utilize more Autobots could have given this brawler a bit more meat to its worthwhile bones. There’s so many items you’ll accrue over time, but managing them can be a troublesome activity. It’s just a bit too difficult to compare your weapons stats and see which ones are worth keeping or melding into more powerful gear. Getting additional attachments through a nice lil’ minigame is a nice touch, though.
Transformers: Devastation definitely stands out as one of 2015’s sleeper hits. PlatinumGames has done an amazing job with Hasbro’s line of toys by putting them into one of the finest cel-shaded beat ’em up’s ever. You’ll feel every blow as you pull of smashing combos that look all the more flashy due to the wonderful visuals. Fans of the G1 era will get hit in the feels due to all the amazing audio and visual Easter Eggs included here. Shuffling through your inventory is an unnecessary headache, plus we wish there were more playable Transformers to sift through. Nevertheless, Transformer: Devastation’s faults won’t deter you from its entertaining mix of close quarters combat and intense firefights.
- The cel-shaded visuals gives everything a noticeable sheen, which looks great
- The hyperactive melee combos and ranged weaponry all combine nicely to create an always exciting dosage of combat focused gameplay
- Tons of callbacks to the Transformers cartoon are visible and audible here
- The loot system can be quite cumbersome to manage
- Having access to even more playable Autobots (or a Decepticons campaign) would make this game even better, but that’s sadly not an option