Transformers: Devastation is an incredible tribute to the original Transformers cartoons as well as one of the best examples of ‘what to do’ when making a game based on a classic IP. Everything from styling the game to have the cell shaded animation look to getting original voice actors like Peter Cullen to reprise his role as Optimus Prime. No detail was missed in this brilliant release by Platinum Games.
Transformers: Devastation is obviously a love letter from Platinum Games to the franchise as it was in the 80’s. Everything from the cell shaded look to the roster of everyone’s favorite Autobots and Decepticons. The story is a perfect representation of the source material. Megatron finds a source of power that can help him to “Cyberform” the Earth and make it more like their lost home of Cybertron. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, discover his evil plot and step in to protect humanity and their new home.
In Devastation you take control of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock. Although during the first few missions your autobot is chosen for you, you can freely switch between them after by going back to the Ark. The story itself fits the game perfectly.The game’s story is written by former Transformers comic writer and editor Andy Schmidt. It’s all about nostalgia and fan service. Although it leaves little to interest younger gamers, it makes my inner 10 year old jump for joy. All the old favorites are here like the Constructicons and Insecticons, so be prepared.
Like all Platinum games, the fast paced combat is where Transformers: Devastation really shines. It’s not surprising that the makers of Bayonetta would make sure the gameplay is extremely polished. Combat is satisfying as is transforming and driving around the town. The controls are the same as your basic 3rd person hack and slash brawler. Square for light attacks and triangle for heavy. Different combinations of those button presses change up the combos. There is a dodge that triggers slow motion for a few seconds letting you do severe damage to your foes. There are special vehicle attacks as well and each character has their own special technique. For example Sideswipe can dash quickly towards or away from an enemy while Bumblebee (being as small as he is) can slip under the enemies legs and continue his assault from behind them.
Not only is the combat satisfying but the portions of the game where you drive and race around the city are a lot of fun. They’re also seamless, so it doesn’t feel tacked on or forced. Anyplace you can walk you can drive or vice versa. This is just another detail that makes the game work so well.
Besides the story mode of the game, there are hidden challenges throughout the story mode stages which will have you shooting at targets, driving through checkpoints, and fighting extra challenging mobs and bosses in order to get better gear. There is also a challenge mode where there are 50 challenge missions you can unlock by progressing through the game.
There isn’t much to say about the graphics in this game, which is a good thing in this case. Every image is beautiful from the colors to the line art in each frame. There is no point in this game that doesn’t look good. If you didn’t know it was a game you would think that the cartoon was actually on. Cut scenes flow seamlessly into the action as well which is uncommon in this style of game. All graphics in this game are just right.
The final detail needed to complete the package is the sound. So not only did they mimic all the sound effects just as they were in the original show (I got chills the first time I heard the transforming sound) but they also got many of the original voice actors from the original show to reprise their roles. Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee),Michael Bell (Sideswipe and Scrapper), Gregg Berger (Grimlock and Long Haul), and Frank Welker (Megatron andSoundwave) all are included to complete the package.
The campaign is fairly short, with some reviewers claiming it to be as short as 6 hours while I would say somewhere between 8-10 hours depending on the difficulty level being played and if you explore as you play. I would add a few more hours in if you want to find all the secrets in the story mode. There is also the Challenge mode which adds a few more hours of challenges as well. It’s also common for a game like this to have a ranking system for each mission throughout the story mode which gives some motivation to replay the stages and with 5 different playable characters, theres plenty of reason to keep coming back.
I really enjoyed this game. In fact I made a gameplay video of one of the challenge missions where I fight the constructicons and then Devastator as Nemesis Prime (which was a DLC skin that came with the pre-order). And yes, it was as much fun as it looks.
- Replay Value
I can't praise this game enough. Admittedly I grew up in the 80's and was a huge fan of the show so nostalgia was definitely a factor. However this game actually works even if it were an original IP. From the tight controls, seamless graphics, and excellent sound combine to make an almost perfect package. The story was lacking, although very fitting for this particular game.