Tech News on G4
Fun surpasses flaws in Transformers Devastation
Oct 16, 2015
By John Powell - G4 Canada
You know a Transformers game is serious about kicking your butt when the first boss you encounter is Devastator, the giant Decepticon made entirely of Constructicons. From that point forward, Transformers Devastation is a remarkable tribute to the classic G1 Transformers series.
Before all the fancy computer animation used in Beast Wars and the eye-popping special effects wizardry on display in the blockbuster movies, there was the original (The) Transformers television series in 1984. The series ignited the imaginations of children around the world with its bitter war between the evil Decepticons captained by Megatron (despite the protests of Starscream) and the benevolent Autobots lead by Optimus Prime. G1's charm came from such simple but colourful animation, superb voice acting and a never-ending cast of assorted characters that are celebrated to this day. G1 has stood the test of time.
Taking its cue from G1, Transformers Devastation is that ground-breaking series come to life. The animation, the voices, it is all a very cool, very fun throwback to a simpler time. As in (The) Transformers, the Autobots and Decepticons are doing the Rock'em Sock'em Robots deal. Megatron's latest hair-brained scheme is to cyberform (terraform) the entire Earth into a ball of metal. The Autobots, protectors of mankind, take exception to Megatron's extreme make-over and unite to spoil his plans.
Once they are unlocked, players can switch between Autobots Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock. They all have their own special robot and vehicle mode attacks, combo attacks and unlike some other Transformers games, you can change from vehicle to robot mode on the fly.
Throughout the game, you will uncover more weapons and enhancements to improve your Autobot army so there is a little bit of character management to be done at the Autobots' Ark headquarters, that is if you want to take full advantage of all the items and be prepared for the enemies, obstacles ahead. A nice feature is that many of the weapons can be combined with one another to form new, even more destructive weapons. Each character has four weapon slots and two slots for special enhancement chips which can be created in Wheeljack's workshop.
Devastation's combat itself though is about as complex as Grimlock's vocabulary. At its core, it is a button-mashing, hack and slasher with a smattering of ranged combat for good measure. Just attack, jump, attack, jump, attack and you should be fine.
The levels themselves aren't the most intricate either. The starting cityscape is essentially a series of maze runs blocked here and there by hurricane machinations and enormous metal tentacles waiting to squash and recycle you into scrap metal. It can be a bit confusing at times, despite having a map in your HUD. There are power-ups, collectibles and challenges all around you, so there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Devastation though convincingly rises above the slight defects in its programming. PlatinumGames has done such an astounding job in replicating the G1 universe through the cut-scenes, the character voices and animation that the short-comings don't really matter at all. We are just too busy having fun rolling out, slicing, dicing and blasting to really notice or care. Transformers Devastation may not be absolute perfection but it serves an inspired and gratifying distraction for those who appreciate the first generation of those robots in disguise.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
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