Transformers: Devastation is the highly anticipated video game from Activision and Platinum Dunes. It’s been out for a bit now. But we wanted to share our staff’s thoughts on the game, and give it the proper write up it deserves from our crew. The game is available for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms. In the game, you take control of the Autobots and take on the Decepticons to prevent the destruction of Earth. It gives fans of the classic Generation 1 cartoon a chance to live an all-new episode of their favorite franchise. But it has some great nods to the ongoing Combiner Wars toy line that newcomers will feel right at home. Game overview from Activision:
TRANSFORMERS: Devastation is an original third-person action-brawler game based on Hasbro’s colossal science-fiction franchise and developed by acclaimed studio PlatinumGames. Combining fast-paced gameplay and fine-tuned controls, TRANSFORMERS: Devastation evolves the iconic robots in disguise in a way never before seen in a TRANSFORMERS video game. As the treacherous DECEPTICONS launch a cataclysmic assault on Earth, the noble AUTOBOTS will have to muster all their strength to save their new home from destruction.
The Platinum Touch – Forged with PlatinumGames’ one-of-a-kind talent for over-the-top combat with jaw-dropping style, TRANSFORMERS: Devastation harnesses the raw power and speed of the TRANSFORMERS characters for a totally unique and electrifying action experience. Chain together moves – shifting between robot and vehicle forms on the fly – to fuel massive attacks, combos and counters against the towering forces of the DECEPTICONS.
Legendary Characters – Leaping from the screen with vibrant color and bold edges, PlatinumGames’ take on the TRANSFORMERS brand evokes the classic look of their origins with modern cel-shaded animation and visual effects. Renowned series voice actors like Dan Gilvezan, Frank Welker and Peter Cullen have returned to bring life to this monumental battle between good and evil.
A Galactic Showdown – Igniting with an original story inspired by classic TRANSFORMERS comic book adventures, TRANSFORMERS: Devastation races between Cybertron and Earth toward a climactic confrontation between the heroes of the AUTOBOTS and the leaders of the DECEPTICONS. Play as OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE, SIDESWIPE, WHEELJACK and GRIMLOCK – each upgradeable with new weapons, stats and skills – to take down MEGATRON, DEVASTATOR and their allies.
Transformers: Devastation is available in stores and online now! We have a full review of Transformers: Devastation. We’ve also invited various members of the TFW2005 staff to share their thoughts on the game. Read on to check it out and feel free to share your thoughts on the game as well.
Transformers: Devastation – Reviewed on Playstation 4
- Excellent character models
- Cel-shaded art style works perfectly for the game
- Returning Generation 1 voice actors are a treat for the ears
- Replacement voice actors do a great job
- Combo system is deep and offers a lot of variety
- Music by Vince DiCola is fantastic
- Story is a fun throwback
- Challenge missions offer a ton of replayability
- Environments are a bit bland
- Character and Weapon upgrade system take some getting used to
- Short campaign
- No Decepticon missions
- No co-op or multiplayer
Transformers games have had an up and down history over the years. In the 80’s, fans who were able to track them down, were treated to some truly abysmal games for Famicom and Commadore 64. In the early 2000’s, we were subject to Transformers: Tatekai, a routine and forgettable brawler (with an amazing intro video though), which was available in Japan only. However, the release of Transformers: Armada gave us our first ever truly well made Transformers game. In the last generation we saw some uneventful movie based games. However, with the release of two video nostalgia infused games, War For Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron, fans immediately found games they could fall in love with. When the newest game was revealed as a take on Generation 1, fans were cautiously hopeful. Seeing that Platinum Games, makers of fantastic games such as Mad World (seriously, play this if you haven’t), Bayonetta, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, would be developing the game only heightened fan excitement. However, the game was scheduled for release just a few short months after being revealed at E3 2015, so skepticism was rampant. So how does the game stack up? Let’s dig in!
In Transformers: Devastation, you take control of one of five Autobots; Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Sideswipe or Wheeljack. The player is tasked with confronting Megatron and his army of Decepticons, who look to exploit a long forgotten Cybertronian relic to destroy Earth. The games assorted trailers mainly focused on the fact that you would confront the original G1 Combiner, Devastator in an epic showdown. That confrontation happens in the very first chapter of the story, which is initially a shock. However, that colossal encounter is simply a taste of things to come, with even greater battles ahead. Throughout the game you will confront not only those Constructions, but Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave (with cassette minions), Shockwave and the Stunticons, just to name a few. It’s a varied, excellent assortment of Season 1 and 2 Decepticons.
The game itself does a great job at looking and sounding like a high end episode of the Generation 1 cartoon. Each character is rendered with great care and detail. Things that would seem minor to casual gamers, but important nuggets for fans, are sprinkled throughout. Weapons all look accurate, transformations look spot on and the varied movements sell that each character is unique. The cel-shaded rendering is handled quite well and the animations are as fluid as you could hope for. While you will face off with many name characters, your main fodder will be an assortment of generic Transformers. Eagle-eyed fans, though, will be happy to see Seekers, Battle Chargers and Insecticons well represented by these supposedly generic enemies. There’s even some nice variation within each class of Decepticon, with some displaying more powerful and varied attacks. It’s a nice touch by the developers, who could have easily opted for generic robots with no ties to Generation 1 lore.
At first glance, the environments are also equally impressive. The city in which you start in has a nice cartoon feel to it. It has a variety of buildings and what seems like a unique layout. The interiors feature instantly recognizable G1 Cybertronian architecture. As each chapter progresses, you may see those environments take damage, though only from cut scenes or small destructible pieces such as cars. As you make your way through the game, the environments start to feel too repetitive and a bit lifeless. You realize the same buildings from earlier are being repeated, and interiors feel cramped. However, this is easy to look past, as your main focus is going to be on the characters and the intense battles. Special note should be made of the various weapon and fighting effects, though, which add some extra flair to the visuals. Seeing Starscream hurl an assortment of bombs at you, or to see Megatron wield his iconic purple mace about, is sure to bring a smile to any fans face.
The music, which is crafted by Transformers: The Movie (1986) composer Vince DiCola, is flat out fantastic. It has some nice 80’s style throw back tunes while mixing in heart pounding tunes that give a great cinematic feel to each chapter. Then you have the voice acting, which will be immediately recognizable to fans of the original cartoon. By getting back not only staple voice actors like Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, but also Dan Gilvezan, Michael Bell and Gregg Berger, the game automatically sounds like an authentic G1 episode. Sadly, the fandom has lost some of the iconic voices from the original series. The game had to make use of new actors to replace voices such as Chris Latta and Casey Kasem. Those who stepped up do an admirable job and fit in nicely.
The gameplay is the make or break feature to any game. Thankfully, what you have here is a brawler with fast, responsive controls. Each character can jump into a fight with melee attacks or keep their distance with ranged and blaster attacks. The game pushes the player towards brawling, with shooting used as an occasional tactic to keep flying enemies at bay. The combo system utilized for the brawling is surprisingly deep and challenging. The game rewards players who can successfully string together longer combos while dodging the attacks of the many enemies you’ll face. By stringing together attacks, the game will allow players to utilize mid combo transformation attacks that can be used as a combo ender. Skilled players will be able to use those transformation attacks to string together even longer combos.
Each character has a unique ability, which offers either a powerful attack or a useful defensive ability. These moves can be utilized fairly often, with a meter that fills up quickly enough to break it out a few times in each brawl. Then there are the devastating Ultimate attacks, which take a much longer time to build up to. These powerful moves cause massive damage to enemies within the attack radius and can turn the tide in almost any fight, especially when battling multiple bosses at once. After a few minutes of playing with each character, these combos will become second nature. Mastering the fighting system is a must. Enemies don’t simply stand there and take a beating. They will counter attack or gang up on you. This is where the handy dodge and parry techniques will come into play. Successfully dodge an enemy attack at the right moment, and the game will slow down, alloying you to get a few extra hits in. The whole thing is incredibly fun and it feels great to take down a massive attacking force with a long string of attacks.
Throughout the game, you’ll come across new weapons and power up. Power ups can be accessed at any time. These allow you to restore life, increase a specific stat, or temporarily beef up your defense and attack. On the harder difficulty, these are absolutely essential. The weapons, however, can be accessed at designated points during the game; Either at Ark access points or between missions. You are required to equip one melee weapon and one ranged weapon. Then there are two open slots that you can fill with a weapon of your choice in those areas. Some weapons can be used by all characters, while others are earmarked for specific ones. The weapon upgrade and equip system, however, takes some time to get acclimated to. Not much time is spent explaining how this whole character customization screen works or why it’s an important facet of the game. Make no mistake, if you’re playing on the harder difficulties, you should get familiar with these upgrade areas. Here you can combine weapons, buy new moves and craft new modifiers to aid in the game. And while it started off as a hard part of the game to get used to, you can have a lot of fun messing around in here if you have the time to do so. The weapons system is very forgiving, and if you accidentally merge a weapon you wanted to keep, you’re likely to come across it again.
Transformers: Devastation is a single player affair only. There are no co-op or multiplayer modes here. You will also only be able to play as the five Autobots from the main campaign. With a campaign that lasts from 4 – 6 hours, your longevity with the game will depend on your need to Trophy/Achievement hunt, need to upgrade the characters and your love of one-off challenge mode missions. The Challenge mode, for me, has offered a ton of replay value. Each mission offers an increasingly difficult selection of combatants. Later challenge missions will really test your skill as you face off against multiple boss level characters, many times at once. Beating those harder missions, and earning the highest grade on them, will keep many fans going. Fans who aren’t into these types of missions will be able to play through the campaign a few times to hit all the side missions, get the collectibles and beat it with different characters. This will allow players to unlock concept and character art.
Overall, this is a very fun game. It does justice to the nostalgia of Generation 1 fans, while also being a genuinely enjoyable experience for fans of brawlers. While the main campaign is short, there’s enough incentive to play through at least once more, while the challenge missions offer a nice, quick play, alternative.
Transformers: Devastation Reviews From TFW2005 Staff
Sol Fury – Platform Played: Playstation 3
My original intention had been to hold off on getting Devastation until I bought myself a PS4, but I found it hard to resist the draw of some Transformers action. I’m glad I did not wait, because Devastation delivers on a slick, action-packed experience that hits all the right notes both as a nostalgia-fueled trip back to the 80s, and as a modern action game. The masters at Platinum have done Transformers justice with this title, which feels like it is adapted from some forgotten episodes of the second season of Generation 1. There is something for everyone – for fans of Transformers, you can dial down the difficulty and enjoy the experience, while action game fans are going to want to check out the challenge mode to really test their metal! Very strongly recommended to one and all – it is one of the best Transformers games I have ever played.
- The voice acting – many of the original voice actors reprise their roles and sound as great as they did 30 years ago, and there are decent sound alikes for others.
- The script – the dialogue feels like Transformers, and the story feels so at home in the cartoon’s second season. Plus, major compliments for not falling back on the over-quoted lines from the 1986 animated movie.
- The action and the spectacle – the game plays extremely well, slick and silky-smooth, and some of the fights are extraordinarily well thought out to be really memorable. To cite a few such battles – your second battle with Starscream, and the last battles with Devastator and Megatron.
- In short – this is the game based on the classic Generation 1 series we have been waiting for!
- The length – the game only has seven levels, and some of them are quite short.
- There is not much in the way of variety in the environments – the initial city stage is repeated at least twice more throughout the game (although different lighting and missions do help to mix it up)
- Non-boss enemy designs could have perhaps had a little more variation – this one is a minor complaint, though, since you don’t really notice all that much due to how well the different enemy types are employed to make each encounter memorable.
Onslaught24 – Platform Played: Playstation 3
- Combat was a nice challenge and a lot of fun once I got the hang of the combos
- Voice acting was for the most part very well done, especially with the original VAs
- The length, while short, made the game feel like an actual G1 episode that you got to play through
- Animation and visuals overall were awesome and also helped make the game as a whole feel like a complete G1 episode
- Weapon variety and upgrade system was a nice touch and expanded a bit more than the High Moon games
- Game could be longer despite the fact that it creates the effect of playing through a G1 episode. Would’ve been better had each individual chapter played like a single episode and they all made some sort of “season”
- Starscream’s voice actor
- Enemies at times would be overwhelming and not provide any way out of a situation with overwhelming odds (i.e. fighting three giant Insecticons simultaneously on a harder difficulty)
- Low limit as to how many boosts one could hold at one time
- Needs a larger cast and maybe some Decepticon parts to play
Overall a very fun game that can be played by pretty much anyone regardless of prior gaming skills and can provide a challenge that makes you wanna go back and try again and again but with different characters, weapons, and strategies. 8.5/10
Optimusfan – Platform Played: Playstation 4
My experience with Transformers Devastation can be summed up in three words: F. U. N. Going in I had never played any of Platinum’s previous games, and I don’t typically gravitate towards brawlers. That being said, I really enjoyed the over-the-top frenetic action this game delivers. Boss battles are frequent and varied. The challenge mode was an extremely nice surprise for anyone who just wants to experience the fights without wading through the more tedious bits of the game. The crafting and loot system are not super sophisticated, but they provide more than enough depth and variety to be interesting. Easy recommend to any Transformers fan who enjoys action games, or just action fans in general.
- It’s like you’re playing an episode of the G1 cartoon!
- All the villains – the game has you fight the majority of the most iconic villains from early G1.
- Fast-paced, frenetic combat.
- Story is about as engaging as an episode of the G1 cartoon.
- Lack of variety means levels can get very repetitive. You move from the tremendous highs of the boss fights to the tedium of much of what’s in between.
- I could do without the overhead missions.
Tony Bacala – Platform Played: Playstation 4
Devastation was a nice surprise. I saw all the trailers and screen shots leading up to release, but didn’t really dig in to the detailed info. I knew it was Transformers, G1-esque, and non multi-player focused so I didn’t need a lot of convincing. What really got me though was the overall quality of the story. It plays out like an upgraded episode of a Generation 1 cartoon, it could technically fit anywhere in season 1 or 2 and work. Coupled with the graphics being cell shaded and the voice actors returning, it was a perfect week of reminiscing. Oh and the game play was fun too. .
- Classic toon feel
- G1 Voice actors
- Non Multi-player. Sit down and beat it.
- Synthesis method is confusing, especially maxing add-ons
- Magnus and Prime are a gigantic leap past Commander in difficulty
- Repetitive when playing past the first run
Kickback – Platform Played: Playstation 4
Let me start off by saying I’m not a big gamer anymore. And with the last 7 years of Transformers being heavily inspired by the movies, I lost touch with Transformers in general only returning with Combiner Wars. This game is everything I want(ed) – a return to G1 style, looks, and to top it off they gave me back the voice actors. This is probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to “getting G1 back”. For a casual/not-often gamer, this game was perfect for me.
- The cel-shaded graphics are perfect
- The returning voice cast is perfect (that Soundwave!)
- Game play is easy to learn and fun to use
- No multiplayer at all (no Co-Op, no multiplayer battles, etc.)
- Replay value is limited
- That’s not Wildrider!