Being a long time fan of Transformers, knowing that Transformers Devastation was coming had me excited, albeit a bit nervous. Platinum has a mostly good track record of action brawler games (most notably the Bayonetta series) and so the announcement of them doing a cell shaded G1 Transformers action brawler just oozed of potential.
But one cannot help but be skeptical with the way our beloved 80’s franchise has been treated (*cough* Rise of the Dark Spark *cough*). Fortunately for aging nerds like myself, this game is for the most part an excellent title worthy of the Transformers name.
Transformers Devastation is very much an action brawler that borrows a lot of its mechanics from Bayonetta. This is most notable in the slow down mechanic (a.k.a witch time), triggered when you dodge right before you are attacked. This is good as the controls and fighting are both very solid, fluent and work well, but by the end of the game they are a tad repetitive.
The real standout is the fanfare.
The story and the characters are exactly what I would want and the almost complete original voice cast really brings the experience home. The cell shading looks absolutely stunning and for the most part looks like you are playing the cartoon. The only real criticism I could level at the aesthetics of the game is the city feels a little bland and the buildings are a little generic, but that is a minor gripe about an otherwise beautiful game.
The only thing that I felt let the game down a bit was the equipment drop and upgrading system.
Weapons get dropped which can be equipped and you upgrade them at certain points in the game by deconstructing a weapon to level the one up. Alternatively you can sell them for credits which can be used to construct power ups, or to upgrade the weapons (breaking a weapon down to upgrade another is not free). So it is fine as a rudimentary upgrade system, but it mostly felt like an inconvenience, when a basic experience system could have been a lot more satisfying.
The story is not long. At about five hours, it is broken up into smaller Levels which are all graded, immediately adding replay value in trying to get better grades. On top of that, as you advance the story, you will unlock challenges, which I am not going to lie, I spent much more time playing (and loving) than the story.
But the ultimate factor in the game is it is just fun. I cannot describe the joy that beating down Megatron in a cell shaded G1 world and fortunately different playable characters have just different enough attacks that there is enough of a reason to experiment with each character and see which one suits you best.
The gameplay is simple enough that when you have finished the story it becomes the perfect game to play for 20 minutes, though one must be warned, those 20 minutes can disappear quickly and melt into an hour.
As a fussy Transformers fan, I had a high list of demands the moment I found out that Transformers Devastation would be based on the G1 series. Somehow it managed to tick most of those boxes and a handful that I did not know existed. A few minor annoyances aside the game is a worthwhile play.
Just put your headphones on, sit back and melt into a world dripping with 80’s Transformers nostalgia.
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