Stop as I drop this bomb, blow up this place like another Megatron. Transformers Devastation is a third person brawler by Platinum Games, the same folk who brought us Bayonetta. Casting you as a the Autobots you’re tasked with kicking seven bells out of the despicable Decepticons and saving the world from their terrible plan.
The big talking point of this game prior to release was the way the graphics accurately reflected the Gen 1 cartoon characters. The game uses all the bold colours and classic designs, wisely bringing a touch of HD clarity party and making the Transformers look as good as they do in your memory. As good as it looks in screenshots, it looks ten times that when it’s moving with explosions assaulting your eyes and lasers blazing past the screen. Even the menus retain the retro feel with good chunky design and a consistency throughout.
This game is all about the combat and the game is quick to throw you into the thick of it. Taking it’s cue from the likes of Bayonetta the game is fast and fluid. Attacks are mapped to strong and weak, with a ranged attack accessible at any time. Things get interesting when you also consider the fact you are free to transform into your vehicle form at any point during the combat, with some combo finishers even prompting a vehicle finisher. The way the combat is balanced between vehicular and on foot is perfect, and will see you switching confidently between forms to finish off your enemies.
Building around a core model of dodge and counter attack, the game allows you to cancel out of moves and adapt your strategy on the fly. A competent player can juggle and dodge around enemies barley getting a scratch on their paintwork. Time slows down when you execute a perfect dodge and this allows you to get in a powerful counter attack and keep you combo going. You’re also given a devastating special move which needs to be powered up before it can be used. These moves vary dependant on which of the five Autobots you’re playing as. Combat is really satisfying and the speed and energy on display make this very eye catching .
This is not a massive game in length and it can easily be bested in a couple of sittings. The real replayability here comes from exploring the other Autobots and mastering the combat. On the more difficult settings combat is punishingly hard with enemies taking brutal advantage of any mistakes made. It’s testament to the depth of combat here that the combat never feels unfair, and the only way to get better is to practice. Sure the higher difficulty levels will put some people off, but for those wanting a challenge there is plenty to get your teeth into here.
I loved the combat, it reminded me of games like Conan and Ninja Gaiden. The nuances with the various weapons, the way different enemies require different tactics and the fact that button mashing will get you nowhere here. Also the game throws some massive screen filling Combiner boss battles at you, which are frankly epic.
Whilst the combat is excellent the rest of the game is less so. Throughout the whole game there are only two kinds of levels, those which take place in a city and those in a space ship. Yes that’s it, two locations. The levels are also basically a series of corridors linking up to open arenas where your combat takes place. If you come here looking for an open world, or even an engaging linear experience and you’ll be disappointed.
The only action on offer here is the combat. There are a couple of decent set pieces, but nothing really leaves a lasting impression. Overall it’s easy to see why this is a budget release. There is nothing on offer here to compare with the bigger budget games. This also extends to the lack of any decent tutorial and the general lack of anything superfluous within the game. There are no real side missions and the story is straight forward and a load of guff. Over here at Playstation Country we like our lemons, and with Transformers Devastation there is another proud entry into the pack.
Outside of the main story mode there is a series of challenges which give you a range of scenarios to play through. These include races as well as the more straight forward combat arrangements. These offer a very focused way to get to grips with the combat, offering some of the most difficult parts of the game.
For me this is the best Transformers game since the Atari Transformers game on the PS2, and that was great. This game gets so much right, it looks the business, has excellent combat, but just comes off feeling a bit, well lemoney. This is one to buy and experience as it looks the part, but I’d wait for the price drop.