I’m what you would call a collector. Over the years I have acquired over 100 Transformers figures and countless pieces of paraphernalia. I’m a fanboy; any time something Transformers related comes out, I’m normally the first to get it, see it, or play it. So when the new game was announced by Platinum and I saw that first piece of cell shaded art, I couldn’t wait. This seemed to be the game that would take the series back to its roots and it did just that.
Reviving a Prime
Platinum Games, best known for their hit title Bayonetta, developed Transformers Devastation under Activision and released it on the current and last gen Xbox and Playstation consoles on October 6th. Devastation follows games like War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron from High Moon Studios. These opened to good scores from most outlets, but both were a more realistic style of game. The direction Platinum has taken, however, is right out of the 80s cartoon series. The art, dialogue, and gameplay bring back a nostalgic feeling that a Transformers game has not yet seen and it is a breath of fresh air that any fan of the cartoons should love.
Taking in the Scenery
What drew me to the game originally was the art direction. The cell shading looks phenomenal–some of the best I have seen since The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. You fight your way through cityscapes and alien raceways and buildings that are bright, colorful, and full of hidden surprises waiting for you to unlock them.
The voice acting is also, as always, amazing. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker make a return as Optimus Prime and Megatron, and they absolutely kill the dialogue. Having worked together since 1984 on the original Transformers TV series, they have developed a chemistry hard to match in the gaming world. Even cooler, they are lending their voices to the original character designs. Instead of the modern design of the Transformers, the characters in Devastation are the same design as their 80s counterparts. I’m not ashamed to admit that I may have let out a fangirl type squeal when I played as Bumblebee and he transformed into the traditional yellow Beetle.
What Robots are Made of
As you run around the map dismantling any robot that stands in your way, you will notice that you pick up common, uncommon, and rare weapon drops, along with money. I found out after the first few missions that you can customize your Autobots. There is a hub before heading out to future missions that allows you to identify and equip up to 4 weapons to anyone on your team. It also allows you to upgrade those weapons through synthesis, which is basically combining your weaker weapons into the stronger one to boost its stats. Along with synthesis, you have the ability to sell your weapons, buy power-ups and new attacks for your campaign, and craft chips that give your campaign, and craft chips that give your Autobot stat boosts.
Autobot Stat Boosts
Using these newfound weapons and abilities, you fight wave after wave of Decepticons in traditional hack and slash style. Using combos and dodge counters, you can take down opponents, but they really don’t vary. You find yourself fighting blue car bot, yellow car bot, blue shield car bot, purple airplane guy, giant robot tentacle, Insecticon one through three, rinse and repeat. The only thing that really changes are boss and mini-boss fights and scenery. Granted, there was not much variation of the peon type Decepticons in the cartoon, but the game could have at least given me a color variation in the hundreds of cars and planes that were thrown my way.
Transformers Devastation provides a lot of entertainment, although it’s a little short. The missions are all variations on beating up a set number of enemies or racing and collecting, but it does what it was meant to very well. Giving you a choice of what character you want to play with is an awesome feature and allowing you to customize them to your liking makes it even better. Settings are repetitive, as are enemies, but it follows the pattern of traditional hack and slash games. The open world lets you explore and collect extras without directly tying you down to the mission at hand and everything is absolutely beautiful to look at.
I don’t really have any major complaints, but maybe I’m biased because I’m a huge Transformers nerd. Overall, Devastation is a solid addition to the Transformers game lineup. Oh yeah, did I mention it is a whole $10 less than a full retail title, so it has that going for it, too! If you are an 80s cartoon fan or just a fan of the Transformers franchise, give this title a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
Dashing Nerds gives Transformers Devastation an 8/10
- Beautiful Art
- Great Voice Work
- Solid Controls
- Repetitive Enemies
- Short Story
- Settings Don't Vary Much