Transformers Devastation’s storyline may feel very familiar for many players that grew up watching the show back in the day. This isn’t because the story is lifted directly from the series itself, but the fact that the writers at Platinum Games have created a narrative that might as well be part of it in the grand scale. There story isn’t really that deep, but its simplicity works well considering the style of narrative Platinum Games has pursued with the game, which is to bring players back to the old days of cartoon storytelling in the Transformers universe, which is quite effective for what it is.This is basically all you’re going to need to know in retrospect, Devastation is the Saturday night cartoon you used to watch all over again, and fans will probably love it for it. The downside for non-fans however would be that the gameplay does often lack context due to this style of narrative, which can be bothersome if you’re not in it for the IP itself.
Devastation is one of the most stylized Transformers titles we’ve gotten so far, and whilst it may not speak to all fans out there, the G1-inspired graphics do lend the game a lot of character that goes along well with the story and action that is heavily inspired by this era of the franchise as well. It’s easy to imagine that a lot of people may miss the more gritty realistic look of the Cybertron games, but Transformers Devastation tries to hit marks elsewhere, which creates both pros and cons when it comes to the design and technical presentation.When it comes to character design the game has gotten it’s source material down as well as it probably could have. The animated feel of the first generation series is effectively applied to the characters, which when accompanied by the classic voice work will lend you a great sense of nostalgia, though its effects may not be as powerful or lasting once you look past the surface.
Whilst Devastation’s G1 inspirations have gotten the game to apply an animated art style, the game does sometimes suffer from some of the simplistic aspects of its nature when it comes to environmental design and effects. This is mostly reflected in the level design, which is often very repetitive in nature. The layouts of the levels and the appearance of the surrounding areas often lack greater detail, making exploration non-viable since there really isn’t any visual value to take in, aside from the artstyle, but you’ll probably be spending more time paying attention to the character designs and animations, which are superb.When the game was announced, many gamers were pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of Platinum Games in its development. But the question, is Platinum’s effort just a cash-in on the franchise, or is it a game that lives up to their own titles? Whilst it may not necessarily be on the same level as Bayonetta for example, Transformers Devastation surely hits a lot of right notes in the same areas.Leaving behind the third-person shooter aspects of the previous games, the game fully embraces Platinum’s signature style of action, which is reflected in both gameplay and presentation. Providing a fluid, fast-paced and fun combat system the main structure of the game is as solid as can be, making Devastation’s combat a delight for fans of both Transformers and other Platinum titles, of which their inspiration is clearly present in this game. If one game had to come to mind whilst playing this, Bayonetta would surely be a title that would come to mind, given the combat structure is pretty similar, which of course is a very good thing. However, the camera and difficulty can often put a lid on the fun due to their applied issues, which hurt what is otherwise a very solid basis of gameplay.
The upgrade system for weapons is often quite a bummer due to its chore-like nature of maintenance, which is even confusing in its set-up due to the fact that it’s just never explained properly, nor is it overly helpful throughout the game. The leveling system is equally poor, considering it rewards players for sticking with a singular character, rather than moving through all of the characters that the game has to offer throughout. These factors combined with the fact that you’re looking at a full-priced title do raise the question: Is Transformers: Devastation really worth it at its asking price?Transformers: Devastation is a very solid installment in the franchise that lends itself to excellent fan-service and strong core gameplay, though its technical and design-based drawbacks do hold its basis back from achieving greatness, rather than hovering in between the upper echelon of decent to good. Combined with the fact that the game does seem a little light on content, Transformers: Devastation remains a solid title, but not one that should be bought at the price its being offered at.