As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I can clearly remember rushing home each day after school to watch my favourite cartoon―Transformers. It was just like clockwork, as my friends and I would enter the door and our backpacks hit the floor, the show would start. Boy did we love Transformers, between all of us we pretty much had all the toys, comics and just about anything else we could find with a Transformers logo on it.
The pinnacle of my Transformers fascination occurred in August of 1986, Transformers: The Movie hit theaters, and it was as if I had died and went to heaven. Taking place 20 years after the second season, the movie provided a seamless transition into the third and exciting season of the cartoon. The battles were epic, the sound track was superb, the story was captivating (I cried when Optimus Prime died), and the voice acting was top notch. What more could a fan possibly want?
Fast forward to E3 2015, this is when my jaw hit the floor, Transformers: Devastation, a new third-person, action-brawler Transformers game was announced. To add to my enthusiasm, it was revealed that world renowned developer Platinum Games, the masterminds behind the Bayonetta series and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance games, where developing this new game and it was based upon Hasbro’s classic 1980’s generations design.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, my longtime dream of a Transformers game where I could play as my childhood favourties was finally happening. Could Transformers: Devastation be the ultimate Transformers game that many children of the 1980’s have been waiting to play? Let’s find out!
Platinum Games did an unbelievable job of faithfully recreating the true authentic feel of the 1980’s Transformers cartoon and movie. Legendary original Transformers voice actors make their return including, Frank Welker as Megatron and Soundwave, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, and Dan Gilvezan as Bumblebee. The sound track is top notch as well, Transformers: The Movie music composer Vince DiCola is back, and fan favourite 80’s power ballads make their glorious return, rounding out the soundtrack.
The graphics and animation in Transformers: Devastation are mind blowing. Transformers are brought to life with colourful cell-shaded graphics, that faithfully reproduces the 1980’s cartoon, and buttery smooth animation that will leave you in disbelief. I had to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming, that’s how awesome the graphics and animations are!
You can choose from five playable Autobots – Grimlock, Swideswipe, Wheeljack, Bumblebee, and Optimus Prime. Each character is unique in that they all play and control differently. Take for example Grimlock, a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, he is slow but dishes out powerful close-range attacks. On the other hand you have Bumblebee, a Volkswagen Beetle, who quick, agile and has lighting fast fists to attack. Each Autobot offers a series of light and heavy physical attacks with unique abilities that can be triggered in battle.
Chaining your attacks is easy to do, and in turn your character unleashes new moves, by strategically transforming back and forth between vehicle and robot modes, to blow away the enemies. In particular one of my favourite moves is by Optimus Prime, after attacking his enemy multiple times with his fists he’ll then transform into truck form, and perform a “ramming speed” move to finish off his foe. A truly satisfying experience, to say the least.
Your characters and weapons earn experience as you use them, but after you upgrade them the result is not very obvious. You will hardly notice, little to no effect in the amount of damage that you dish out to your enemies. You’ll be showered with extra weapons by defeating enemies or finding loot caches, but you will need to synthesize them together with other weapons to make stronger ones. It’s a time-consuming process that ends up being confusing and a chore to sort through. At points you will end up with several weapons that look very similar and it’s hard to distinguish between them.
Surprisingly, there is a lack of any type of multiplayer mode in the game at all. I would have loved to seen multiplayer modes, or even some arena based modes included with the game. It’s a missed opportunity in my opinion, let’s hope we see these features added in the future with an update.
My Final Verdict
Transformers: Devastation is an action-brawler that moves at a lighting pace offering a satisfying experience for old and new Transformer fans alike. With a true authentic feel of the original cartoon series and movie, amazing colorful cell-shaded graphics, silky smooth animation, and compelling gameplay, gamers of all kinds will find something they love about the game.
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.
Genre(s): Action game, Beat’em up
ESRB Rating: T For Teen