I’m going to make this real simple for everyone, if you grew up on the original Transformers from the 80’s then you need to play this game. It’s that simple. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot to love for everyone else, because there is. The game is fun, colorful, and well written(in that 80’s throwback kind of way) and just plain enjoyable. It’s a big change of pace from the Cybertron series made by High Moon Studios but it’s a welcome change of pace.
The core of the game is built around the story mode which finds the Autobots(the good guys for the uninitiated) trying to stop the Decepticons(the bad guys) from cyberforming the Earth. This is bad because that would kill all the organic life as it turned Earth into a new sort of home for the Transformers. The story isn’t very deep but it doesn’t have to be. Transformers isn’t some grand epic like Halo or Mass Effect, it’s an adventure where noble heroes face off against dastardly and brilliant villains. That said, there is an after credits scene that seems to set up a sequel which I hope this game gets.
Players take control of five Autobots through the course of the game and can change between them in between missions. Each on plays fairly distinctly from the others with Optimus Prime and Grimlock being slower moving bruiser, Bumblebee and Sideswipe as the quick strikers, and Wheeljack somewhere in the middle. Everyone can transform between their vehicle, or dinosaur, modes and robot modes with different attack sets for each. Grimlock’s dinosaur mode makes for some humorous moments because the archaic understanding of a dinosaur that he was based on was never meant to actually run. Players can also change the weapon load out of their characters to better suit their play style.
As the player moves through the story missions, challenge missions get unlocked. Challenge missions are small snippets from each level that reward the player with items that can be used in the game based on their performance and the difficulty setting. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the mode because it’s not really my cup of energon but the few missions I played were fun enough for me to consider this a solid addition.
Games like this live and die by their gameplay and Transformers: Devastation doesn’t disappoint. It’s not as complex as games like Devil May Cry or any of the Arkham series of Batman games, but there’s a pleasant amount of depth and complexity. Players have light and heavy attacks, ranged attacks, a dodge, supers, and vehicle/dinosaur mode attacks that they can mix and match to take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses. Some opponents, I’m look at you Shockwave, don’t really have weaknesses but will gladly point out yours.
This game is just fun. Whether you’re fighting Menasor or the generic foot soldiers, this game is a joy. Adding to the experience are most of the original voice actors and an art style that jumps out of the 80’s. Is the game without its problems? No, it certainly isn’t. The Transformers feel a little slower than I’d like given the nature of the game, a lot of environments got reused, and the finale felt like it got artificially lengthened but this game gave me everything I wanted from it, an interactive episode of my favorite cartoon.
Transformers: Devastation is the one of the finest pieces of fan service I’ve ever played. I felt like I was transported back to my youth, to the days of my favorite heroes. This game is well worth the price of admission.