Review: Transformers: Devastation

Posted by: 10/20/2015

At first look, Transformers: Devastation could be viewed as a quick cash in on nostalgia as it is a game where the aesthetics are based on the television series from the late 1980s. But as you play the game, you find a fantastic character action game that can be finished in a handful of hours.

It isn’t surprising that the combat is so good in Transformers: Devastation, as the game is from acclaimed Japanese developer Platinum Games. If you’ve played any of their previous games, you know what to expect: high octane action with great controls and challenging bosses.

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You get to play as one of five of the Autobots, and each Autobot has their own upgrades, weapons, and other enhancements to improve the robots on their adventure. I spent most of my time playing with Optimus Prime, but also available is Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock. The characters are voiced by their respective voice actors from the original cartoon, and the graphics are spot on. You feel like you’re in an episode of the Transformers cartoon.

The story also feels like it would belong on the TV show. Megatron has found an energy core in the middle of the Earth, and he wants to steal it to destroy the planet. It is up to Optimus Prime and the Autobots to save Earth, like they always do. It is enough to keep the action flowing and having you destroying enemy after enemy.

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You do a lot of fighting in Devastation. In my five hour play through, I would estimate that four of those five hours consisted of me in combat. You have a regular attack and strong attack, and if you dive from the enemy’s attack at the right moment, you enter into a focus mode where the game slows down and you can get a few extra attacks on the enemy. Using this technique is key for dealing with later enemies and bosses in the game.

In addition to melee attacks, the Autobots have ranged weapons at their disposal. Using these forms of attack lead to some good variety in the game. It also helps that you will find plenty of weapon drops throughout the campaign to equip to the Autobots. It keeps the combat feeling fresh, and was a big surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting so many options to customize and change the gameplay.

It wouldn’t be a Transformers game without the ability to change into a vehicle, and there is plenty of transforming. The transforming button is mapped to the dodge button, so there are a few instances of accidentally transforming when you meant to dodge, but the problem is mitigated with you driving away quickly from an attacking enemy. You will also encounter some enemies that require a powerful attack from a vehicle going top speed, so the game has a few clever ways of making you transform.

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If there is a complaint, it would be the campaign is rather short for the price tag of the game. It clocks in around five hours. For $50, I would expect a little bit more. There are challenge modes that you unlock, and the campaign is fun enough that you could go through it a few times.

Transformers: Devastation was a wonderful surprise, and I would recommend it to any fan of the original cartoon and line of toys. If you have $50 burning in your pocket and you’re looking for a solid action game, you can’t go wrong with this game. Otherwise, it is a must have when the game hits a lower price point. But I think this is a wonderful game that should be played by all who enjoys a good, straightforward action game.

Score: 8.5/10

Transformers: Devastation was developed by Platinum Games and published by Activision for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on October 6th, 2015. A retail copy of the PC version was provided to us by Activision for reviewing purposes. 

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