Overall - 70%
Transformers: Devastation isn't just a good Transformers game, it's a good game period. More depth and environments would benefit the game tremendously, but as it stands right now, it's one title for both Transformers and Platinum fans alike.
Transforming robots? Awesome. Transforming robots in a over-the-top Japanese action game? Even better. Activision and Platinum Games’ Transformers: Devastation has fanservice in spades, but is the game up to snuff?
Transformers: Devastation Review
Those familiar with Platinum’s vast library of action-based titles will be right at home in Transformers: Devastation. If anything, the game closely mirrors their Bayonetta series. Players mash their way through tons of robots, switching up light and heavy attacks while dodging and parrying their way to victory. The big twist comes with their dodge system – much like Bayonetta’s “Witch Time” mechanic, Transformers: Devastation rewards well-timed dodges with a few seconds of time slowed down. It’s an addicting risk-reward mechanic that encourages you to read your opponent and get up close and personal with your enemies. While a deeper combo system would be nice, the mechanics in place here are structurally sound.
And it’s a good thing those mechanics are solid – Transformers: Devastation packs a punch. Although it has an easy “Scout” mode, even the normal “Commander” mode will have you fighting multiple bosses at once, protecting enemies, and circumventing punches, kicks, lasers, and more. The game itself is pretty short (a playthrough clocks in at around four hours), but the true joy of the game comes from stylishly conquering your opponent in record time, all while taking no damage. Each battle is ranked from D-S, with better battles bringing netting players better gear. This grind for the perfect rank might be repetitive for those looking for a 60-hour epic, but this system of self-improvement harkens back to the joy of getting a high score at the arcade.
Transformers: Devastation manages to pack a few interesting little wrinkles to Platinum’s tried-and-true formula to make something unique. Five playable characters let players choose what type of playstyle they want to go after (ranged, speedy, powerful, etc.), which can all be leveled up in battle. Weapons can also be fused together and leveled up to make greater gear, each with their own unique properties. Finally TECH skills gained from a development minigame allow players to give buffs to their favorite characters. It’s nothing revolutionary, but these are welcome additions that add some replayability to those who’ve got a thing for leveling.
Of course, a Transformers game is nothing without the Transformers themselves. Based around the G1 animated series, Transformers: Devastation packs all of the cheesy dialog, transforming robots, and over-the-top action the series is known for. The plot often gets bogged down with terminology that will make your head spin, but it makes for an interesting romp nonetheless. It’s just a shame that the environments did not benefit from the level of detail as the characters themselves. Most of the game is spent traversing either a city with identical buildings or a spaceship with countless hallways.
Transformers: Devastation isn’t just a good Transformers game, it’s a good game period. More depth and environments would benefit the game tremendously, but as it stands right now, it’s one title for both Transformers and Platinum fans alike.