Transformers might be one of the biggest franchises on the planet today thanks to the Michael Bay films, but those that prefer the original cartoons are the ones receiving what could be the best game adaptation in the series. Coming from Activision and PlatinumGames, Transformers: Devastation looks to be an amazing game by itself, but as an homage to the classic cartoon it is on a whole other level.
The pedigree for Tranformers: Devastation is pretty intense, with voice actors returning from the 1980’s TV show and Andy Schmidt from IDW writing the story. That story will take place before the movie, which places it right after season 2 of the show concludes.
Moving into what makes the game function as a game, it is tried-and-true Platinum style action. Immediately upon picking up the controller I was able to run around and pull off massive combos against multiple enemies. And those combos aren’t just punches and kicks, in fact Platinum has found a way to incorporate the main transforming mechanic into the combat.
Of course you can switch between robot and vehicle modes at any time while playing the game, shifting whenever you might want to move a little bit faster, or need to pummel some enemies into the asphalt. However, during combat is when transforming comes truly alive.
Whenever you pull off a decent enough combo, say 3-4 hits, a prompt will appear directing you to hit the Transform button. At this point your character will pull off a unique Transformation attack, which has them shift into vehicle mode and slam into the enemy.
Transformers: Devastation Teaser Trailer
As Bumblebee he would switch and drive right into them, causing a good amount of damage along the way. Optimus Prime was the best I saw though, which had him shift into his iconic semi-truck and twirl, hitting anything nearby with the trailer to deal some pretty massive damage.
Combat flowed so well it felt like a completely natural element of the game. I almost never had to think about it, it just worked like any other Platinum game; extremely well and thoroughly enjoyable. And it will only get better throughout the game as you unlock more characters, weapons, and combos.
Another important element to Tranformers: Devastation is the sense of scale. Obviously when you’re controlling multi-ton machines, you want to feel like you’re controlling multi-ton machines. They move quickly though, so the way PlatinumGames has done this is by making sure everything remains accurate to scale.
Bumblebee is the runt of the group, so enemies will tower over him. However, this can work to his advantage as he moves quicker and can get out of harm’s way if necessary. One of the examples of this was when Bumblebee would dodge through enemy legs, ending up behind them for some easy and swift attacks.
Once the game’s namesake, Devastator came onto the scene it became clear just how epic this game could become. The size of a skyscraper, Devastator absolutely dwarfed Bumblebee, but by utilizing his speed, and pulling off a few transformation attacks I took him out with only a few instances of trouble.
Transformers: Devastation is a game that feels ripped right out of the 80’s, but with the power of modern gaming behind it. Playing it felt like controlling all my favorite characters from the classic show, as I beat up Devastator, and watched one of the developers take out Soundwave. The presentation would be nothing without excellent gameplay, which PlatinumGames has supplied quite easily.
Transformers: Devastation hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One this Fall.