Platinum Games has reached back into my childhood, and brought forth a game that I have wanted to be made for over 30 years with Transformers: Devastation. Transformers: Devastation is a cell-shaded, action packed trek through what made the Transformers extremely popular in the mid-80’s. But what makes Transformers: Devastation better than just a nostalgia piece, is that Platinum Games put in a very solid, action game with rpg elements at the game’s core. The game is incredibly fun, action packed, and truly gives the player the feeling of controlling a Transformer to it’s fullest potential.
The story of Transformers: Devastation feels like it could have been a plot from the original television show. The Decepticons, led by Megatron, are bent on transforming the Earth into a version of Cybertron by harnessing the power of Plasma Energy. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, leap into action to prevent Megatron’s transformation of Earth. During the game, you will control one of five Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, Grimlock, and Sideswipe. In preventing Megatron’s plan, you will battle against faceless hordes of Decepticons and will battle against some of the biggest names from the television show in impressive boss battles, including Devastator.
What also makes Transformers: Devastation story feel like an episode of the old cartoon is the characters and their voice actors. Many of old voice actors have been brought back to relive their old characters, and the characters themselves act like they should. Everything just feels right about this game in terms of story progress and atmosphere. This game just nails the Transformer world like no other.
Transformers: Devastation’s gameplay is almost perfect, with just a few hiccups worth mentioning. The game plays mostly as an old school beat-em-up in 3 dimensional environment. Combos are going to be your best friend, with ranged weapons helping take out some of the airborne threats you will run into. The combos are fun and very satisfying to pull off, including transforming mid-combo. The characters will also play differently depending on you are playing as. Optimus Prime is a slower, stronger style of character while Bumblebee will hit quicker and more often, but with less power.
Moving around the environments is very satisfying also. You can run around in robot mode if you so choose, but transforming into your alternative mode will give you benefits in certain sections of the map. Adding Grimlock the Dinobot was a great addition so you can change up your alt mode from car to dinosaur, though Bumblebee is probably my favorite to use due to his speed.
Transformers: Devastation comes with five difficulty levels, and the difficulty definitely ramps up as you progress through the game. The first boss, Devastator, is absolutely no warm up fight when it comes to difficulty. Quick reactions, reading the boss movements, and timing your attacks with your dodges will get you through most fights.
Not everything in Transformers: Devastation is perfect, however. The maps feel a little generic at times and can be hard to navigate. The loot system feels forced into the game and really made no sense to me. I would have preferred no loot system, and just had increases to my power as the game went on. Having a loot system just did nothing for my enjoyment of the game. It made the game much more fiddly for me. Instead of just wailing on Decepticons, I was finding myself becoming more concerned over min/maxing my loot and stats. Transformers: Devastation also falls on the short side, about six hours of game play. It is a lower price for an Xbox One game then standard releases, being priced at $49.99, but six hours is still on the short side for me.
This game looks amazing. Platinum Games went with cell-shading when it came to art direction, and this is absolutely the perfect use of that design. The game looks like it was ripped from the 80’s. The colors are vibrant, the graphics look clean and just like the cartoon. Sure, the settings have a tendency to look a little generic and uninteresting at times, but watching my Autobots race around and battle Decepticons in full cell-shaded graphics made me not care.
Sound design is perfect as well. The original soundtrack has enough of the old 80’s guitar metal riffs to bring you back to the original cartoon, without really being cheesy. The big draw here, though, is the voice cast. Peter Cullen, Dan Gilvezan, Michael Bell, Gregg Berger, and Frank Welker all revisit their original characters from the cartoon. Having the main characters voiced by the original actors is amazing and just adds mountains of joy on an already great game. The rest of the cast does a great job in sounding like the original characters.
Transformers: Devastation does not only serve up a great dose of nostalgia for those of us that remember the original Transformers television show, but it is also a fantastic game at its core. Beautiful cell-shaded graphics and the use of the original voice actors brings the world of Transformers to life like no other game has. Ever. A solid combat system helps keep the attention of the player, even after the novelty of the art design has worn off. Combos are satisfying to pull off, and even more satisfying when you transform in the middle of a combo. Transformers: Devastation isn’t without its issues. The game is on the short side, about six hours in length, and has a misplaced loot system that will feel more like a hassle then a feature. Other then that, Transformers: Devastation is six hours of pure Transformers fun that I would recommend to anyone that likes a good action game, but it is a must buy for anyone that remembers the Transformers cartoon fondly. Transformers: Devastation is available now for the Xbox One for $49.99.
[easyreview title=”Transformers: Devastation Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”4″ ]