Let’s be honest, the concept of space robots that transform into vehicles is pretty absurd. Not more absurd than some turtles getting into toxic waste and turning into ninjas but it’s up there. I would like to know what the creators of 80’s cartoons were smoking back then to come up with those stupid premises but I digress.
Even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of Transformers, my love for vehicles still made me watch the show from time to time. And just like that, my love for hack n’slash videogames drew me into this game. Does this game makes the property justice or will it be another Michael Bay? Let’s find out in the review.
Transformers devastation is a 3D hack n’slash action game developed by platinum, the same folks that created some great titles in the genre like Bayonetta or Metal Gear Rising. The combat on this game did remind me a lot of the former, specially with the slow down as you succesfully evade an attack.
But obviously the characters that you’re using in this game aren’t witches but transformers so the fighting has its own peculiarities. As in a much higher use of sci fi weaponry like blasters and missile launchers and obviously the possibility of turning into a vehicle, which by the way, is very well fitted into the combat itself. For example, you can turn into a car to gain speed for some dash attack or even turn into a vehicle in the middle of a combo to deal the final blow to an enemy.
The game’s story doesn’t waste any time. Throwing you into the conflict right away without any introduction. The basic plot is that the decepticons are using the insecticons and a forgotten autobot ship to cyberform earth and obviously Optimus prime and his crew of autobots have to stop those plans. It sounds like it could be an episode of the tv show in the sense that it feels proper and all of the characters act like they would with their personalities and their alignment and such, and for that, I think that the nostalgic fans of Transformers should enjoy the plot of this game as long as you don’t expect something to break any molds.
However, I should mention that the game takes for granted that being transformers such a classic property, the main audience should already be acquanted with the characters and the lore (which personally I find fair) but, I should warn any young kids that may have never seen the original series, they might get a little confused.
The game’s visuals are as good as they can get. The cel-shaded graphics are gorgeous and makes everything look just as it’s always been supposed to look. The robots themselves are the stars of the show but the particle effects such as the lasers, the clashing of the metal or the dust clouds as you land from a high drop… everything looks perfect and at a stable 60 frames per second.
The audio department has it’s highs and lows. Even If I found the music to be slightly derivative, the sound effects were spot on recreating the original sounds you would hear back on the tv series.
Things I liked
- The combat: The pillar that holds the game and I can say it’s sturdy. The fighting in Transformers Devastation is frantic and responsive. It always looks flashy and it makes you feel empowered and awesome. If you enjoyed Bayonetta‘s combat, this will be right up your alley.
- Visuals: This game won’t be remembered as a staple on graphical advancement but as a game that celebrates the transformers franchise, this is exactly how the game should look. It makes optimus proud.
- Characters: The game lets you choose to play as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack or Grimlock. Except for the dinobot, the rest of the characters handle pretty similar but it’s still pretty fun watching the different combos each one has.
- Added depth: You can equip the characters with gear and weapons. Those add perks to help you in battle and increase the amount of damage you can make. You can create that gear or buy it on the store and you can also fuse weapons to develop even better ones.
Things I didn’t
- Levels: It’s not that they look bad because the game is gorgeous but you can count the assets the game uses with the fingers on your hands. The game uses the classic copy & paste way too often and even dares to make you re-visit the same levels several times just starting from a different point and hoping that you don’t notice it.
- Short: There are side-missions to lengthen the campaign, there are arena challenges to test your skills and the game has been designed as a score attack so the replayability is high but, the main unalterated campaign lasts only around 6 hours and that’s too short for a retail game in my opinion.
Who’d like this?
Nostalgic fans of the transformers series should really enjoy this title and as such fans of the hack n’slash genre that love some fast paced action. The quality of the gameplay in this game is out of any doubt but it may be lacking in content so, if that bothers you, wait for a price drop.
<The review on Transformers Devastation is based on the ps4 port of the game but the TD is also available on other platforms>