Transformers: Devastation – Review
Follow Genre: Hack and Slash, Action
Developer: PlatinumGames
Publisher: Activision
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Transformers: Devastation – Review

Site Score
6.2
Good: Different characters, Atmosphere
Bad: Simplistic, Relies too heavily on 'replay value', Not that fluent/responsive, Feels last gen
User Score
5.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Robots in disguise, they were first introduced in 1984 and we still see them appear on screen today. Many different formulas have come to fruition, namely toys, cartoons and even Hollywood movies. This time we dive back into the robotic action, albeit only for a few hours. At first glance it seems that the modern movie-styled robots went back to their original roots, design wise. Let’s fight one more grand Autobots vs. Decepticons battle.

TRANSFORMERS Logo

Story

Megatron has not been idling around even though Optimus Prime has foiled his plans many times over the years. This time however, Megatron is back and he means business, as he discovered a way to ‘cyberform’ the Earth, destroying all organic life. If his plan succeeds, Earth will be turned into one big hunk of metal, just like the Transformers’ home planet, Cybertron. Cybertron is pretty much void of life, hence the relocation of the robotic warriors to Earth.

This is pretty much all there is to the game. You’ll get small snippets of information, in-between all of the action sequences. It could have been nice if the developers added some extra cinematics or simply a slightly more enticing story, seeing that how it currently stands, it’s not really that attractive. Nonetheless, Transformers fans will find some joy in the overly simple storyline, as one does not need much more to beat some Deception robotic ass.

Graphics

Even though we tried out the Xbox One version, it’s clear that this game should have been developed for last gen consoles alone, instead of current generation. This does not mean the game looks bad, but it does not really look all that good either. Whilst the robots themselves are fairly attractive, they aren’t the most detailed bunch, especially with many of your enemies being copy pasted all over the game, thus providing only a few character models throughout the entire campaign.

The environments look rather simplistic, as they are mostly empty, with a few of the same obstacles here and there. As you’ll be spending the entire game either in ‘the city’ or on Cybertron, there is hardly any variation in backdrop to be found.

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Overall the cel-shaded finishing touches have a certain appeal, making the game feel like one of the older Transformers cartoons, rather than their modern appearances, which will please many older fans. Also with the usage of said techniques, it makes the game appear slightly better than it actually is.

Sound

What the game lacks in the graphical department, it makes up with voice acting, at least to a certain extent. The game hired a top cast to keep the voices of the character authentic and this helps to set the right mood. Sadly, most of the dialogues in Transformers: Devastation are painstakingly short or don’t hold that much value.

The music and sound effects do offer a bit of entertainment but never truly stand out throughout the very short campaign. Nonetheless, it sets the proper atmosphere for you to punch your robotic foes to oblivion and beyond.

Gameplay

Transformers: Devastation is a very typical hack and slash game, with a few extra options and different characters, in order to keep the gameplay from becoming completely bland and repetitive. Even though a hack and slash game is often ‘repetitive’ in terms of combat, the fact that the developers made the game very short with the excuse of ‘offering replay value’, makes the game in fact repetitive, if you wish to earn all your achievements.

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After booting up the story mode for the first time, things are very straightforward. You’ll be able to perform two different melee attacks in your robot form and equip four different weapons which will all aid you in your conquest. In the melee weapons there is not that much diversity, except for attack speed and damage, but the ranged arsenal does offer a slight variation. Other than that, it’s pretty much just crash and bash your way through all of the opposition.

The fun variation that PlatinumGames implemented is that you can switch to your vehicle mode at will, which gives the game a small edge. You’ll be able to speed around the level you’re in, and still use your ranged weaponry when you do so. Other than that, the vehicle mode offers some shield breaking attacks, when you’ve reached your top speed, thus this attack mode will come in handy more than often.

Each of the five selectable characters will gain experience when you use them in battle, but you’ll also collect weaponry in the process. As these weapons are often not that special, you’ll be able to merge some of them together, making them gain new and better stats. If you wish to boost your favorite character(s) even more, you can create some passive boosts in the lab as well. The overall crafting system is kept quite simple, but it’s better than nothing.

Seeing the campaign only lasts around five hours, the developers try to motivate you into replaying the game more than once, or diving into the challenge mode. Replaying the game on higher difficulties is pretty much the same experience as your original playthrough, with a few different enemies and you probably dying (more). The challenges are short missions, with one set goal, that will give you rewards if you succeed.

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The controls don’t always feel that responsive and especially during combos, when the ‘vehicle attack’ option pops up, it tends to break the flow of the ongoing battle. Whilst this extra attack proves to be quite original, the transition could have been a bit smoother. Other problems are the fact that during some of the ‘racing’ sequences you have absolutely no overview, due to the many explosions, the lousy handling of the vehicle mode and the atrocious camera angles you’ll have to wade through throughout the game. Horrible camera actions tend to occur a lot, especially when aiming with your ranged weapon. The auto-aim function tends to offer a slight relief, as you can attack some enemies a tad easier, but it often triggers a target you don’t really want to shoot first.

Conclusion

Transformers: Devastation will offer a brief amount of entertainment to hardcore transformer fans or those who tend to like what PlatinumGames has to offer. Whilst the game itself is never truly bad, it never stands out either. After completing the campaign for the first time, things turn bland quite rapidly, given there is not much extra to do with the simplistic crafting system. Nonetheless, score beaters might want to keep an eye on this one.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Transformers: Devastation - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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