Real Talk By: KJ
Transformers Devastation (XO, X360, PS4, PS3, PC) takes us back to the golden age. Generation 1. So your favorite 80’s robots are here. Play as a handful of highlight Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock. Take on the Decepticons.
Combat infuses transforming with speedy melee moves. Combining the proper light and heavy attacks, will give the player an opportunity to hit the right bumper. This sends your vehicle launching at the opponent. Very useful in crowds, and larger enemies. Boss fights are frequent, but they are fun and challenging. Over the top. Good thing each character has exclusive abilities. Bumblebee’s unique attack allows him to slide behind and stun the enemy, letting you get more combos in. He is definitely the fastest of the group as well. Using his super move, Bee throws bombs all over the area, doing heavy damage to every one present. It can become almost overwhelming the amount of enemies on-screen, making these moves necessary. Also hitting the evade button at the perfect time, puts the game in slow motion, giving you the upper hand.
The rock music fits well with the on-screen battles. Some memorable tracks can be heard inside. The cell-shaded visuals are perfect for Generation 1 Transformers. Overall presentation is solid minus the level design. More on this later.
Defeating key enemies will drop weapons. As you progress, better weapons become available. Flame, Electric, Ice, and more elements can be infused to your weapons. This really seems more for show, as the bad guys take extra damage depending on your level, not necessarily the element equipped. Certain weapons can only be used by specific autobots. This applies to firearms as well. Grenade launchers, and various blasters are satisfying to shoot. The clips are tiny, so save the rounds for when it counts. There’s enough depth in the gameplay to make changing characters feel worthwhile even if the roster is small.
Cutscenes are quick and to the point. Either setting up the fight ahead, or pushing the story. The campaign involves Megaton attempting to turn Earth into a new Cybertron. As you can see he’s up to his really-old tricks. Key actors from the series lend their to TF Devastation. Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron/Soundwave), Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee), and more from the series of old.
A generic Abandoned city seems to be the highlight area of the game, with a dash of space battling. Sadly there is a lot of backtracking too. Going to the same place over and over, or a similar area with a slight color change. Not sure if platinum ran out of time to further develop stages, but this is a glaring weakness in the game.
Ways to maximize your fun in this short game, is finding the unlockables. That is one benefit to seeing areas again. Find collectibles such as concept art, and bonus stages. 50 challenge rooms in total to unlock and play. Like the campaign, you can try these on three levels of difficulty. The hardest being “Commander”. That mode will definitely test players even with the upgrades equipped. Challenges vary from defeating punishing waves of enemies, some having time limits enforced. Racing fast to finish lines. In Challenge mode, players can still unlock weapons and gain more experience points. I couldn’t help but think of how great this would have been in coop mode. The latest Bayonetta game allowed two players online taking on various challenges. In this title, there are some exciting stages where you’ll fight alongside your Autobot brothers. It’s hard not to think what could have been. TFD being a single player only title feels like a missed opportunity.
It was a smart move to debut at a $49.99 price tag considering the length of game. perhaps waiting for a further drop is an idea. Those who take the plunge will have an action-packed fun time while it last. True to the source material. Some of the findings here will really put a smile on the faces of die-hard fans. Devastation overall feels like a starting point for something more. Take what has been established here, and expand. Oh the potential. Hopefully this Activision/Platinum partnership continues.
Transformers Devastation Gets
3.5 Out of 5
-Limited Replay Value
-Too Much Backtracking