TRANSFORMERS: Devastation (Xbox One) Review
Looks just like the cartoon, scratches that nostalgia itch
Fast paced and smooth combat
Level design isn’t great and has invisible walls
Very limited replay value
Devastatingly Platinum –
Taking the developmental reigns from High Moon Studios, Platinum Games – best known for Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance – has put their iconic rock’em sock’em action flourish on the beloved Transformers universe with Transformers: Devastation. While Fall Of Cybertron remains a high point for the series, Devastation crams a ton of fast paced combat in a short, well animated campaign.
The main gimmick behind this brawler is the nostalgia factor. Designed for late 30-something gamers, Devastation looks like it came straight from the 80s with its cartoon cel-shading visual style. The good news is, combat and transforming from humanoid to vehicle is enlisted by a solid frame rate and smooth transitions. The bad news is, the overall fun factor starts off strong but wanes during the short campaign. Ranged attacks are much too loose especially when trying to target flying enemies; ammo is also sparse. There isn’t much variety between playable characters and taking the time to collect dropped items doesn’t yield big, worthwhile rewards.
Luckily, the hand-to-hand combat is what you would expect from a Platinum game albeit not as detailed. Their “dodge at the last second to slow down time” gimmick shines with all its glory but can throw off the balance of some fights as this special move can be taken advantage of. Chaining together button mashable combos is also satisfying especially when paired with the optional vehicular ending attack. Platinum also created a powerful dash attack where the player uses the momentum of top-speed travel to break shields and vehicle barriers. Like other Platinum titles, the combat is wild and takes some getting used to. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to unlock in terms of new abilities and attacking a random target then rushing to the treasure chest it magically spawns is a tedious time waster and used much too often.
Outside of optional side missions and a couple unlockable difficulties, Devastation is a one-trick pony. Level design is also confusing in some segments as invisible walls are littered all over the place and the player only has a small mini-map in the bottom corner of the screen to figure out where to go next. Most of the game is spent walking down narrow corridors until a pack of bad guys show up, rinse and repeat. There are, however, the occasional boss battle and racing segments that break up the action from time to time. It is nowhere near perfect but Platinum has put their emphasis on combat and tickling that nostalgia bone inside of creating deep, interactive environments, a host of unlockables or a compelling multiplayer mode.
If you grew up within the G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoon era, Transformers Devastation is the perfect way to spend a weekend. Otherwise younger gamers might get more of a kick checking out the other titles in Platinum’s library.
Not As Good As: Metal Gear Rising
Better Than: watching a Marky Mark Transformers movie
Also Try: Vanquish
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com